It’s Friday … Have a Drink: Caipirinha

It’s Friday … Have a Drink: Caipirinha
Our weekly recommendation.

This is a classic that’s often overlooked because its base liquor doesn’t show up in too many home bars (it’s even missing in a lot of actual bars!). I like it better than the Mojito, because of the muddled fruit and the darker sugar, and because the cachaça does bring its own unique flavor to the drink.

Cachaça is basically Brazilian rum. It’s made from fresh sugarcane juice, whereas most rum is made from molasses, but the two processes yield a very similar flavor profile in the final liquor. Typically you find it in the unaged, “white” variation, but barrel-aged versions do exist, and take on similar taste and scent notes to aged rums – lots of caramel, dried fruit, and spice. The Caipirinha is the best-known Cachaça drink, but you can use it as a substitute in most rum cocktails and get something delicious.

The recipe below is the International Bartenders’ Association standard, but I find it a little too sour for its own good. I actually recommend a full three teaspoons (one tablespoon, or half an ounce) of brown sugar for this one.

  • 2 oz Cachaça (Soul)
  • 2 tsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 a Lime, quartered

Muddle lime and brown sugar in a cocktail shaker until well-combined. Add cachaça and ice, and shake thoroughly. Pour unstrained into a chilled rocks glass.

This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts. Liquors in parentheses are what I used when I made this recipe, and are included as suggestions.

Christopher Buecheler is a novelist, a web developer, an award-winning amateur mixologist, a brewer, a guitarist, a drummer, and an NBA enthusiast. He lives a semi-nomadic life with his wife and two cats, currently residing in Providence, RI. You can learn more at his website,


  • Reply November 28, 2014



  • Reply November 28, 2014


    As a brazilian, I’d say that we don’t really use brown sugar, we prefer the normal one(white) instead. But Caipirinha is always a good choice!

    • Reply November 30, 2014

      Christopher Buecheler

      Thanks for the heads up. I bet the white sugar makes for a slightly prettier drink, too!

  • Reply November 28, 2014


    Caipirinha can be made in a 1000 ways. I’m Brazilian too and my favorite style is not with cachaça but with Vodka (is way more simple to find outside of Brazil and the flavor is great too, back home they call this variation Caipiroska) and I normally use Lime without the skin and seeds and white sugar. You can try this with other types of Lemons and Limes for different combinations of flavor and if you try with Rum use less sugar.

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