Thursday, May 30, 2013

Homemade Caipirinhas with Leblon Cachaça

In my last post I made mention that Caipirinhas are "...quite easy to make so its surprising that someone would get it wrong". Well add me to that list folks. I decided to make three different Caipirinhas to see which one would taste the best. One utilized Splenda instead of sugar and was shaken. The second one had sugar and was shaken. The third contained sugar and was stirred. The reason why I decided to stir the last one was that there is a bit of a debate on whether a Caipirinha should be shaken or stirred.

Apparently the custom is to stir them in Brazil since they tend to use a sugar that is finer compared to the sugar that is used here in the United States. Our sugar tends to be coarser and takes longer to dissolve. I'm not sure how accurate that is. For more information on Cachaça, check out the article Step Away From The Lime, sir... from Imbibe magazine's July/August 2008 issue. Back to my Caipirinhas.

I made the Caipirinhas with the basic measurements of a half of lime cut into quarters with the piths removed, two teaspons of sugar/sweetner, ice and two ounces of Leblon Cachaça. For the Splenda version, I found it not to be sweet enough. The lime juice overpowered the cocktail making it much more tart than the Caipirinha should be. The second cocktail with sugar and shaken was a much more balanced Caipirinha. The key is to shake it thoroughly, for at least 10 seconds so as to have proper sugar incorporation with the other ingredients. The third one with sugar and stirred was not as balanced as the second one but a bit sweeter than the first. I guess I would have to stir it for a longer period in order to get the sugar dissolved properly. For my personal tastes I would shake it here at home. I much rather preferred the result I got with the sugar and shaking it. Some Caipirinha purists out there will be cursing me out. Oh well, join the club ;)

Here is the final recipe for the Caipirinha:
2 oz. Leblon Cachaça
2 tsp. superfine sugar
1/2 lime, cut into wedges

Muddle the lime and sugar in a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and add Leblon Cachaça. Shake vigorously and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
I forgot to garnish it with a lime wheel, but I promise that if I make one for you, I'll garnish it with the wheel. Deal?

One last thing, I found something interesting in the article. One of the bartenders that they ask from Mokoko in St Albans uses granulated brown sugar rather than white sugar. Why? Apparently the brown sugar adds a level of earthiness that is missing in white sugar. They say it matches earthy flavors in the cachaça. I guess I have to experiment with some brown sugar.

The next post will be about the Strawberry Caipirinha that I made after the regular Caipirinha. Keep an eye open for it.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla