Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lime In The Coconut - well, sort of...

Authentic Brazilian caipirinhas are plentiful in Buzios, where the sun slowly sets on the town's beautiful boat-filled harbor.

So the catalyst for this blog was all the great food and drink we had on our recent honeymoon to beautiful Brazil. For years, my husband, whose mother was Brazilian, had raved to me about authentic feijoada and refreshing caipirinhas. Finally I got to experience it for myself - and people, I'm hooked!
We spent three days in Rio De Janiero, amid Ipanema and Copacabana Beach. From there we went to Buzios, a small, beach town, known as the Hamptons of Brazil. It was gorgeous! A quaint fishing harbor, cobblestone streets, fabulous seafood restaurants, 10 different and magnificent beaches, great scenery and friendly people. Our final stop was Trancoso, in the state of Bahia. We stayed at Villas De Trancoso, It was sheer paradise! We had our own private villa and shared the whole property with only one other couple. The staff, food, accomodations, beach and activities were some of the finest in Brazil. And so were the caipirinhas! And boy did we have our fill. 33 to be exact! They handed us our itemized bill after our 5 day stay and I think we had more caipirinhas than anything else - although we did find time for mountain biking, kayaking, horseback riding and tons of swimming. Needless to say, caipirinhas were the biggest seller among the two of us. So it's fitting that I name this blog, Lime In The Coconut, since we spent many an afternoon under the palm trees sipping these limey concoctions. It's also fitting that I bought a wooden muddler and have finally perfected a caipirnha recipe at home.
First though, a little info about the caipirinha (pronounced kai-per-een-ya). It is the national drink of Brazil that is made with cachaca (pronounced ca-sha-sa), fresh lime juice and granulated sugar (and lots of ice). Cachaca is a liqour derived from sugar cane. It is not rum though! However, you can make a caipirinha with other liquors, like rum, but they go by different names. For example, a caipirissima is what it is called when you use rum. A caipiroska is what the drink is called when made with vodka. Another variety is a caipifruta, which is made with cachaca and any type of crushed fruit you want, strawberries, mango, passion fruit etc. Our favorite though, is the traditional caipirinha, which I think you'll also enjoy. Let's get muddlin'!

Traditional Caipirinha
1 whole lime, cut into about 12 small pieces
2 heaping tablespoons of extra fine granulated sugar (it dissolves the best)
6 oz of Cachaca (51 Brand is pretty easy to find and works well in caipirinhas)
1 wooden muddler, or the blunt end of a wooden spoon or cooking utensil
1 tumbler glass
1 cup of ice
Once you have cut up the lime, place it in the tumbler and top with the two tablespoons of sugar. Take your muddler and begin crushing the juice out of the limes and mashing them with the sugar. The acid in the lime juice will begin to breakdown the sugar and form a syrupy consistency in your glass.
Next fill the glass with ice (you can use crushed or cubes, whichever you prefer). Once you've done that pour in your cachaca to fill the glass. Grab a cocktail shaker or larger glass so that you can mix up the ice, cachaca and sugary lime syrup. Once the concoction is thoroughly mixed, garnish the glass with a lime wedge, throw in a straw and start drinking. You can add more sugar if it's not sweet enough for you. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... seems like your missing a real Lime in the Coconut. Have no fear, the Dr. is here.

Put the Lime in the Coconut;
1/2oz, Malibu Rum
1/2oz.Bacardi Limon Rum
1/2oz. Triple Sec
1/2oz. Rose's Lime Juice or Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
3oz. Pina Colada Mix
1 Big scoop of Ice
Garnish with a lime wedge & shaved coconut.

Oh, and if you doubt the authenticity then check this out. (However you may find the recipe slightly altered since I have perfected it since then.)
Enjoy!!! 8)