The Olympics are finally here and I’m excited to toast the summer games with a Brazilian-inspired cocktail. I love watching the games, and more so this time around because I love, LOVE, seeing those panoramic views of Ipanema and Copacabana beach.
The aerial views of Christ the Redeemer always make me gasp and I can’t help but reminisce of our short yet sweet visit in 2014. I remember walking down the long beach paths, as beach goers play soccer and daring sunbathers in skimpy bathing suits (men and women alike) lather on the tanning oil. The waves carry surfers over the water and finally crash onto the beach in a majestic, synchronized fashion.
I prefer to hide in the shade as others brave the hot sun. I carry around an SPF 60 sunblock with me, it’s my travelling buddy. But I must admit, even I couldn’t resist the beach mentality in Rio. The music is playing loud, rambunctious kids are playing soccer and the smell of fried bacalhua (salted cod balls) wafts through the air. People are drinking pints of beer as if it was water, and others are grilling food in tents.
We found a food tent championed by Anthony Bourdain, known famously for their pork sausage sandwiches. Excitedly, we ordered the grilled pork sausage on a bun with a generous spoonful of hot sauce and chimichurri sauce (find the recipe here) and a couple caipirinhas, found an empty spot on the sand and plunked ourselves there to gorge on the food and drink in front of us. It was as close to a perfect moment as it could ever get.
Caipirinhas are, without a doubt, a perfect summer drink. It’s sugary, tart and very boozy. Made with cachaça, a rum made from sugar cane, this cocktail packs a punch and will hit you fast. If you can’t find cachaça anywhere, don’t worry! Sub in some white rum instead and you’ve still got a great cocktail to toast the Olympic summer games and the rest of summer for that matter!
I made two different types of caipirinhas for the Olympics, because well, would you expect anything less? The original caipirinha, with sugar, lime and cachaça is of course making an appearance. The second one is made with a hibiscus simple syrup, muddled blackberries, lime and cachaça and is probably my favourite of the two.
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup dried hibiscus flowers (optional)
(for 2 drinks)
- 4 ounces of cachaca (or white rum)
- 2 limes, each lime cut into 8 rough segments
- 4-5 blackberries (optional)
- club soda
- extra lime for garnish
- Simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and place on the stove over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. If using the hibiscus flowers, remove the saucepan from the stove and place the hibiscus flowers in the water. Let it steep for 10-15 mins until a bright red colour forms. Strain into a jar and let it cool.
- Caipirinha: Muddle the cachaca (or rum) and the limes (and blackberries if using) in a large glass. Place 1 ounce of simple syrup into each glass and add ice cubes. Pour the cachaca/lime mixture over the ice and stir. Top with club soda. Add more simple syrup to taste and garnish with lime wedge.
- To make the ice cubes, I simply poured water into each mould and topped with dried hibiscus flowers, lime wedges or blackberries
Don’t forget to tag your posts with #littlekitchenbigworld if you make this recipe!