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Drink of the Week: Brown Sugar Caipirinha

Arianna Auber
During the World Cup, downtown restaurant La Condesa will have caipirinhas on special for $6. The bar staff there recommends making these cocktails with Leblon, one of the best cachaça brands. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Brazil is about to be the center of the world’s attention for a month. The World Cup will not only deliver plenty of heart-stopping games and eleventh-hour plays to millions of soccer fans from Argentina to Australia; the tournament also promises to pique international interest in the host country’s culture and traditions. Among these is the caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink.

One of the best ways to get to know a particular country or region is by drinking exactly as they’re drinking (to paraphrase that old Rome adage). That’s why for the Liquid Austin column that publishes in print tomorrow, I explore exactly what a caipirinha is: a sweet and refreshing subtropical blend of cachaça, simple syrup and muddled lime wedges. Cachaça, a close relative of rum, is Brazil’s own creation, a spirit made from sugarcane juice. The column also looks into where in Austin you can find a caipirinha if you don’t want to make one yourself (but if you do fancy yourself a mixologist, a classic caipirinha recipe is attached to the bottom of the story).

Or you can try this recipe. It comes from “Cocktails for the Four Seasons” (Peter Pauper Press, $10.95), a handy little cocktail recipe book written by two food bloggers, Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher, who certainly know how to mix up their drinks, too. Note that they’ve swapped out the traditional cane sugar for light brown sugar.

Brown Sugar Caipirinha

1/4 cup light brown sugar

12 lime wedges (about 3 limes)

8 oz. cachaça

12 oz. club soda

Lime wedges from 1 lime

Set out four stemless wine glasses or four double old-fashioned glasses and fill each with one tablespoon of sugar and three lime wedges. Muddle together.

Fill each glass with ice, top with the cachaca and stir. Finish each cocktail with club soda.

Garnish with extra lime wedges. Serves 4.

— “Cocktails for the Four Seasons” by Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher