Total Time
Prep 3 mins
Cook 0 mins

Caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil. The drink is made with cachaça (pronounced - kuh-sha-suh). It is technically a brandy and a member of the aguardente family. There is an old adage in Brazil: "quanto pior a cachaça, melhor a caipirinha" –– the worse the cachaça, the better the caipirinha. The name caipirinha is derived from the Portuguese word caipira (hick, hayseed, country bumpkin, rube, etc.) coupled with the -inha suffix (a diminutive denoting little or small) and can be roughly translated as little hick, little hayseed, little country bumpkin, little rube, etc., etc. Poor man’s drink or not, cachaça has become an integral part of Brazilian culture and its significance ranks right up there with soccer/football (futebol), carnival and samba as Brazilian national icons. The Brazilians like it sweet.... VERY sweet. In Brazil, the very best caipirinhas are made with "limões gallegos" –– what in the U.S. is often referred to as a key lime. Can also be made by the pitcher!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 key limes
  • 4 ounces cachaca (1/2 cup)
  • 14 cup superfine sugar (to taste)
  • 2 cups crushed ice


  1. Trim the ends off the key limes and halve lengthwise. Cut each half into 4 slices.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, using a wooden spoon or a pestle, muddle the key limes with the 1/4 cup of sugar until juicy and the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add the cachaça and the crushed ice and shake for 10 seconds; taste and add more sugar if desired.
  4. Pour (not strain) into an old-fashioned glass or tumbler ice and serve.
Most Helpful

Great Drink! A bit sweet, but great nonetheless. Made for Tastebud Tickling Travellers,ZWT4

Vanja77 July 11, 2008

Not tart at all - this is deliciously sweet like the best limeade you've ever had! If you have the opportunity to try one of these...go for it! Citrusy and refreshing, and *much sweeter* than what we had everywhere in Brazil, from cheapos on the beach to fine dining restaurants. Rita's Caipirinha Original or With Fruit is more similar to what we had in Rio, but this version is much easier to drink. I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the key limes here and regular limes in the other version (but they are cuter). I never met a Caipirinha I didn't like - except the next day...for that reason I personally disagree with the "quanto pior...melhor a" adage...

FLKeysJen June 28, 2008

This has been a favorite of mine for several years now. I first had it at a local Brazilian restaurant and it was the best thing I had all night. I have a resident bottle of Cachaca in the fridge. I find that fixing a drink at a time is safest for me!!!! Glad you posted for anyone not familiar with this drink.

Peg629 June 28, 2008