Classic Caipirinha Cocktail Recipe

The caipirinha is indeed the national cocktail of Brazil, but that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy it elsewhere. The liquor used — cachaça — is key here, which recipe developer Christina Musgrave describes as "a cross between a rum and a tequila, with notes of spice and sweetness." When combined with sugar and fresh limes, the classic caipirinha "is boozy, sweet, and citrusy," Musgrave shares.

Whether you want to taste-test the cocktails of the world or you just want to add a flavorful one to your rotation, you can't go wrong with a caipirinha. Cocktails really don't get much simpler than this one, which is partly why Musgrave loves it. "It's only three ingredients and super easy, but has a ton of flavor," she comments. It's also great for those who have a bit of a sweet tooth, seeing as the cachaça is sweet on its own, plus there's extra sugar muddled in. All in all, the caipirinha is refreshing, sweet, and citrusy, and with this homemade recipe, you can bring a little taste of Brazil right into your home.

Gather the ingredients for this classic caipirinha recipe

As we've covered, this is an easy cocktail to make — the only ingredients you'll need are lime wedges, sugar, and cachaça. Of course, you'll also want some ice for serving, as this drink is definitely best enjoyed cold.

Muddle the lime wedges and sugar

You won't simply be pouring lime juice into a glass for this cocktail — instead, start by muddling whole lime wedges to fully express the citrus flavor. In a rocks glass add the lime wedges along with the sugar. Then, grab your trusty muddler and muddle the two ingredients together until you've squeezed out as much juice as possible.

Finish off the cocktail with ice and cachaça

To finish off this cocktail, simply add ice to your glass (don't worry about removing any of the lime wedges), pour the cachaça over top, and stir well. 

Serve and enjoy your classic caipirinha cocktail

Once you've given the cocktail that final stir, you're ready to sip on this sweet concoction. You could easily enjoy this cocktail on its own, but Musgrave has a few serving suggestions as it's fairly potent on an empty stomach. "This would be great with chips and salsa, tacos, or other food that has strong citrus flavors," she notes. To stay on theme, you could get busy in the kitchen and whip up an easy Brazilian rice recipe, which would pair really well with those tacos that Musgrave mentioned. 

Classic Caipirinha Cocktail Recipe
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Learn how to make a classic caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail. The local spirit cachaça is used, making this drink a fun switch from the usual suspects.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cocktail with lime wedges
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 ounces cachaça
  1. Muddle the lime wedges and sugar in a rocks glass.
  2. Fill the glass with ice and cachaça.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Serve and enjoy.
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