Whenever I think of Summer cocktails, I think of Caipirinhas (Brazil’s national cocktail). The traditional Caipirinha is made with Cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), lime, sugar and ice. But there are many variations regarding fruits and liquor. There’s the Caipiroska (that is the Vodka version), the not so popular Caipiríssima (the rum version) and there’s also my favorite: the Sakerinha (that is the sake version)! You can easily find them made with fruits like tangerine, passion fruit, pineapple, strawberry, lemon, grapes, cashew fruit, mango, lichee and – of course – watermelon! Sometimes they are made of a combination of fruits, like pineapple and kiwi, for example.
There’s no confirmed version on caipirinha’s origin but people in Brazil seem to believe that the caipirinha was created in 1918, in São Paulo (that’s where I’m from!!), from a popular recipe of a tea made with lime, garlic and honey indicated for patients with the Spanish flu. Nowadays we drink that tea when we have a cold! :) Anyway, someone decided to put some cachaça in it to expedite the effect… Then they eventually got rid of the garlic and honey and just added some ice and some sugar to reduce the acidity of the lime and the country’s national cocktail was created. Crazy, huh? I have no clue if that is true. But it does seem true because in Brazil, people usually suggest you put a dash or two of liquor in your “cold tea” to get better faster. :)
In case you’re wondering, the word “caipirinha” is the diminutive of “caipira” which in English would be something like “hillbilly”. Diminutives are used really often in Brazil. My husband seems to learn only the diminutive words of the Portuguese language, as he thinks it’s amusing. I wonder how his first encounter with my family (grandparents, uncles and cousins) will be with him talking like that… Lol! I guess I should be grateful he’s taking the time (kind of…) to learn my language!
- 1 cup fresh watermelon, cubed and seeded
- 1 to 1.5oz Vodka (depending on desired strength)
- 1 Tbsp sugar (or sweetener)
- Mash the watermelon and the sugar (or sweetener) in a mixing cup.
- Add the vodka and the ice and shake.
- Serve it in an Old Fashioned glass with a slice of lime as garnish.