As cheesesteak is the unofficial food of Philly, or margaritas the drink of a certain Key off Florida, this cocktail is the patron saint of posh lubricated Brazil. I was thrilled to find it stateside recently with fresh variations on this classic quencher.
Caipirinha (KYE-puh-reen-ah) is made from cachaca, sugar and a whole lotta limes. I first encountered it in hotel bar in Sao Paolo this summer, a Casablanca moment if there ever was one. The bartender scooped sugar into the bottom of a low ball, pulverized ripe limes on top of it, tumbled cubes on top and finished it off with a staggering pour of cachaca, a cousin on rum made from sugar cane in Brazil. One drink was enough to put a golden bossa nova glaze over the rest of the afternoon.
Chow has a recipe for the classic here. But new variations include other crushed fresh fruits including raspberries, pineapple and watermelon. My personal favorite is the strawberry with basil which has a garden fresh taste with of sweet fruit and gentle herb. A blackberry agave variation though could be next on the list.