Saturday, February 9, 2013

Weekend Cooking...the Brazilian Caipirinha

While I was down in Cancun I drank a number of that oh-so-easy-to drink cocktail, the margarita. Which is why, if you noticed, I did not post a Weekend Cooking last Saturday.
A slight case of over indulgence Friday evening at the Club Lounge left me feeling a bit ill .
I was sucked in by the fact that those margaritas, and all the other booze, was free.

There are photos, but trust me, you don't want to see them.

But as tasty as a margarita is, and it is, especially when sitting by a pool or the gentle ocean waves by a turquoise sea, I also discovered another very tasty drink. This one is also from south of the border, in this case, much further south, in Brazil....The Caipirinha.
It is made with cachaca, which is sometimes referred to as Brazilian rum, although some object to calling it rum. Regardless, it makes one simple, and very nice beverage, the perfect balance of tart, from the lime, sweet from the sugar and with a deceptive punch from the cachaca, all icy cold.

In it's natural elements...

From our friends at Wikipedia.... The "Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça  (sugar cane rum), sugar and lime. Cachaça is Brazil's most common distilled alcoholic beverage. Both rum and cachaça are made from sugarcane-derived products. Specifically with cachaça, the alcohol results from the fermentation of sugarcane juice that is afterwards distilled."  

First, we will look at the basic drink and then two fruity variations.
And if you look online, you will see a lot of different takes on this drink, with every sort of fruit out there and some with other things, such as coffee.
We will stick to something more basic. Feel free to go from there.
In my opinion, no use playing with perfection.

  • 2.5 oz cachaça 
  • 2 tsp sugar or simple syrup 
  • 1/2 lime (cut into chunks) 

In a rocks glass place the cut up lime and the sugar (or simple syrup). 
Muddle vigorously to extract the oils from the lime peel. 
Pack the glass full of coarsely cracked ice and add the cachaça. 
Stir and garnish with a piece of sugar cane or a lime wedge. 

 Soho Pineapple Caipirinha 
  • 2 1/2 oz cachaça 
  • juice of 2/3 fresh lime 
  • 1/3 oz simple syrup
  • chopped limes
  • pineapple chunks
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 oz pineapple juice 
  • Garnish: pineapple wedge 

Muddle pineapple and limes with brown sugar. 
Add cachaça, lime juice, simple syrup and pineapple juice. 
Shake with ice and pour into rocks glass. 
Garnish with pineapple wedge if desired. 

 Batida de Carneval
  • 1 oz Orange Juice 
  • 2 1/4 oz Mango Juice 
  • 1 oz Cachaca 

Pour over crushed ice in a large highball glass. 
Stir, and serve.

Now, such drinks should not be consumed on an empty stomach.
I will tell you, that can be dangerous! :-)
So I will present a traditional Brazilian snack you can eat as you drink these, Pão de Queijo. It is a sort of cheesy, chewy, slightly salty puff, best eaten warm from the oven. This snack is made with tapioca flour, milk, eggs, olive oil, and cheese and can be made and baked off in just a few minutes, especially with this recipe, from Simple Recipes.
You can make a large batch of the batter ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for up to a week and just bake a small batch as you need them.

Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread 

The recipe as presented is fairly basic. 
Feel free to dress it up a bit with herbs or spices of your choice. 
Prep time: 5 minutes 
Cook time: 15 minutes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • 2/3 cup milk 
  • Scant 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) tapioca flour 
  • 1/2 cup (packed, about 66 grams) grated Mexican farmer's cheese, queso fresco
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)
You need one or two mini muffin tins. 
Mini muffin tins are about half the size of a regular muffin pan.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a mini-muffin tin. 
Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. 
You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender 
so that everything gets blended well. 
At this point you can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all puffy and just lightly browned. 
Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes. 
Eat while warm or save to reheat later.

Note that Brazilian cheese bread is very chewy, a lot like Japanese mochi. 
Yield: Enough batter for 16 mini muffin sized cheese breads. 

I was a little concerned about getting the tapioca flour but it was not a problem.
My local supermarket had it, made by the folks at Bob's Red Mill and available in my baking aisle.
Bake too many and you will eat them all!
I will warn you that those cheesy puffs, especially fresh from the oven are addictive.

As are those Caipirinhas.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. Makes me want to go out and buy some cachaca and mango juice right now!! Especially since I've just posted a review of a mystery set in Brazil. In this winter weather, a jaunt to Rio (via drink and book) sounds appealing.

    1. Oh, I think you must!
      And I need to check out that mystery!

  2. The cheese bread looks and sounds delicious, Caite! And the drink sounds refreshing, a great summer drink. Have a happy weekend!

  3. This is quite ironic because last Saturday my family went to this restaurant called Cuba Libre, and I HAD ONE OF THOSE DRINKS. The waiter absolutely would not take no for an answer. They had lots of flavors but I had the original one with lime. It was amaaaaaazing.

  4. Those drinks look fantastic! And, I do want to see those photos! lol

  5. I first had one of the drinks at a Brazilian steakhouse and holy cow, did we love them! (maybe a little too much)
    Thanks for the cheese biscuit recipe, those look yummy.

  6. Never mind the drinks I would just love to be lounging in the sun.

  7. Oh yum! What a fantastic trip. I would love the pineapple version of that drink.

  8. Looks delish! Heading to Mazatlan next week and looking forward to some margaritas!!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Sorry made a hash up of my first comment! These drinks sound just great. Hope you are having a good week.

  10. I love the looks of these drinks and the cheese bread!

  11. Fruity drinks sound like a wonderful way to bring a bit of summer into a wintry weekend. The combination of pineapple and brown sugar sounds really appealing!

  12. Okay, I'm going over to *your* hose for cocktail hour. I love the idea that you can keep the batter in the refrigerator and make just a few a night. Yummmm.

  13. What Beth said! I want to come to your house! The cocktails look so refreshing and light. I just got almost three feet of snow, so I would basically give my left hand to be in Brazil right now! Okay...maybe that's a little extreme. lol. Thanks for sharing!

    1. yes, they are refreshing, but beware! that cachaca has a potent punch

  14. I'm contemplating seeing if I can figure out a virgin variety of these cocktails! They look great, but me and alcohol don't mix together well.

  15. Those cheese puffs sound easy and delicious.

  16. Oh, caipirihnas... the cause of one too many fuzzy nights on the beach in Rio (I spent 2 months there a couple of years back learning Portuguese)...

    I recommend them (and the pao de queijo!) for a delicious drink & snack.

  17. Never thought of putting queso fresco in bread. Wow!

  18. I must admit that in my way long ago youth, the hubster and I consumed an entire bottle of cachaca one cold New england evening. NEVER AGAIN. Our bottle was of the "home=made" variety and I've never had the nerve to try the stuff again. I'll stick to good wine instead.

    Glad to hear you had fun....and must try the cheezy bready things.


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