The Caipirinha | Your Official Drink for the Rio Olympics
A few years ago, Alex and I went to a restaurant in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle called The Grill From Ipanema. I think I saw it on Groupon and LOVED the name (who wouldn't!) and we ended up having a great time. The Grill From Ipanema is a Brazilian steakhouse restaurant or churrascaria, where servers or Passadores, come around table to table holding large sword-like skewers with fire grilled meat on them. They use a knife to slice the meat right onto your plate. This style of eating is called rodízio, and at the Grill From Ipanema, it is the only way to eat! Make sure you have an empty stomach because you will want to fill it with all the different types of meat they have to offer.
The first time we went, we came a little bit early and sat at the bar to enjoy a tropical cocktail (or two) and chat with the bartender about what we were about to experience. He told us that the salad bar is delicious but try not to fill up there, as tempting as it is, because you want to save all your space for the meat. I like to try authentic cocktails when I am at new restaurants and so the bartender suggested the caipirinha.
My first caipirinha, before we were even married (no wedding band). I don't remember what Alex ordered :)
The caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil and a very simple drink to make, once you have the proper ingredients. The most essential one is the cachaça. Cachaça is a Brazilian spirit made from sugar cane. It most closely resembles white rum (and you will find it in the rum section of your liquor store) but to Brazilians, it is NOT RUM, it is cachaça. The bartender told us that the best and only brand of cachaça to use is Leblon which comes straight from Brazil.
The only other ingredient you need are limes and white sugar. The recipe we used comes straight from the Leblon website (here).
2 oz Leblon Cachaça
1/2 a lime, cut into wedges
2 tsp Superfine sugar or 1 oz Simple syrup
Muddle the lime and sugar in a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and add Leblon Cachaça. Shake well and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge
Once you make your refreshing Caipirinha, put on a your Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 record or your Getz/Gilberto CD, turn on the Rio Olympics, and watch the amazing athletes compete. It will almost be like you are right on the Copacabana beach.