Brazilian cocktails using cachaça

Brazil is known for many things, and its cocktails are no exception. With so many different drinks throughout…
Brazilian cocktails using cachaça
Foto: Photo by Gabi Butcher via CCL

Brazil is known for many things, and its cocktails are no exception. With so many different drinks throughout its many different regions, you’re sure to find a favorite among them that you can prepare at home. Below, you’ll find a list of tasty Brazilian cocktails using cachaça that are sure to satisfy.

Cachaça is the national liquor of Brazil. Like rum, it’s made from distilled sugar cane. It can be purchased aged or unaged, in white or gold, and it’s delicious. Aged cachaça is considered to be superior by many and can be sipped on its own without any additional mixers. It varies in flavor, depending in large part on the type of wood used for the barrels it’s stored in, because of the many different local trees that are used in producing them. It’s the base alcohol used in a variety of famous Brazilian cocktails you’ll want to try, like these:

Caju Amigo, or the Friendly Cashew, is the name of a Brazilian cocktail that combines two of Brazil’s favorite flavors. This surprisingly delicious drink is a mixture of cachaça and the juice of a cashew nut. In Brazil you can occasionally find bars where chewing a cashew and then washing it down with a shot of cachaça is the preferred method of ingestion. Locating cashew juice or concentrate may be difficult in the States but give it a try. Either way, you’ll want to try this simple drink if you’ve never had it before. All you’ll need is a shot glass in which you’ll pour equal amounts of cachaça and cashew nut juice. If you prefer, you can sugar the rim of the shot glass before pouring it out and downing it.

The Caipirinha is by far the most well-known of all Brazilian cocktails, and is considered the national drink. It’s also made with cachaça, and it includes sugar and lime juice. This refreshing cocktail is a great party drink that is a favorite during Carnival. Copied in bars throughout the world, it can easily be prepared to enjoy at home as well. All you’ll need is four limes, 1/2 cup of brown or raw sugar, 5 oz. of cachaça or white rum, and crushed ice. Start by rolling your limes to soften them and then quartering them and placing them in a pitcher with sugar. Using a muddler (wooden pestle) or sturdy wooden spoon, mash the ingredients together until they begin to dissolve. Don’t go overboard on the muddling or you risk bitterness. Once you’ve muddled the ingredients, pour in the alcohol and stir. At this point you can take a taste to see if you want to add a bit more cachaça or rum. Next, add crushed ice, stir again and enjoy.

Although there’s been much contention about it, Caipirinhas made with sake and lychee are apparently all the rage in Brazilian cocktails right now. Of course they are not considered a true and legitimate version of this national drink, but the Far East Caipirinhas and other variations of it are turning up everywhere, with a variety of delicious twists on the original recipe that are easily found online. For the Far East Caipirinha or Tokyo version, use one part sake to two parts cachaça and add lychee puree or lychee liqueur along with muddled lemongrass and chili. Some versions of this interesting drink call for a champagne topper floated on top.