America has its fair share of classic cocktails, and innovative bartenders experimenting with traditional drinks have propelled our craft cocktail scene to new heights. But in some nations, a single cocktail is so synonymous with the country, that it stands as a point of national pride. For Cuba, it’s the Cuba libre
. For Singapore, it’s the Singapore sling
. And for Brazil, it’s the caipirinha.
Walk into any bar in Brazil, and bartenders will be busily pouring this mix of lime, sugar and cachaça
– the country’s ubiquitous national liquor distilled from fresh sugarcane juice. The cocktail is at once spirit forward and incredibly refreshing, evoking images of a balmy day in the Amazon.
This version calls for the welcome addition of fresh ginger, giving the drink an even more refreshing quality – plus a hint of spice. No, it’s not traditional – but if the American craft cocktail scene has taught us anything, it’s that even classics can benefit from a tiny bit of innovation.
fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
lime, rinsed and quartered, plus thin wedges for garnish
raw or turbinado sugar
Add fresh ginger, a quartered lime wedge and sugar to a rocks glass
Using a muddler, press down and twist the ginger,and lime to release the juice and the oils from the peel.
Add crushed ice, pour cachaça over ice and stir. Squeeze a lime wedge into glass and serve.