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Refreshing Caipirinhas with muddled lime

Add a taste of tropical South America to your next party with our best-ever recipe for Caipirinhas. Made with fresh lime juice, sugar, and cachaça (a Brazilian rum distilled from sugar cane), these summertime cocktails deliver the spirit of the fiesta in a glass. Learning how to make a Caipirinha is much easier than mastering the Samba. And if you get all the moves right, it will be one of the most refreshing drinks you’ll ever taste.



If you don’t have a muddler, the back of a wooden spoon works just as well. 


Stick to fresh lime and granulated sugar. When you muddle these two together, you’re releasing the lime peel’s fragrant oils.


For a tropical boost, add pineapple or raspberry to the glass when muddling the lime.



1 Person

2 Oz

60 Ml

2 Parts

Cachaça (or white rum) 
Lime, quartered 
Teaspoons white sugar 
An extra slice of lime for garnish


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Add the lime wedges and sugar to a double rocks glass


Muddle together  


Fill the glass with ice, add the cachaça (or white rum) and stir 


Pop a lime wheel onto the rim of the glass, if you’re feeling fancy

Classic Caipirinha cocktails

To make the best Caipirinha recipe ever, there are a few rules to keep in mind if you’re going to do it right. First up, you’re going to make it straight in the glass, which is excellent news if you’re serving these to a crowd (unless you actually enjoy washing dishes). Secondly, try to get your hands on cachaça. While it’s OK to swap out this authentic South American sugar cane drink with light rum, the taste won’t be what you’d get when ordering a Caipirinha at a Brazilian bar.

The origins of the Caipirinha cocktail recipe

The origin of the first-ever Caipirinha cocktail is as muddled as the drink. One story is that it dates to the 19th century when Brazilian sugar cane farmers created the Caipirinha drink recipe to show off their produce. Another popular theory is that the recipe for Caipirinhas was developed to curb the Spanish flu outbreak towards the end of World War I. But that recipe included garlic, so we’re happy that it evolved from there!

How to choose limes for Caipirinha?

Lime is basically the heart and soul of the Caipirinha drink recipe, so you’ve got to be a little picky when choosing them. You’re looking for soft and juicy limes with a smooth peel. But it’s not just the right lime that will make or break the best recipe for Caipirinhas. How you cut and muddle this zesty fruit is just as important.  

When cutting the lime, cut off the pointy ends first, then halve and quarter it. Next, remove the white core, as this can make your Caipirinha overly bitter.  

Once you’ve added the sugar to the lime, it’s time to muddle. When doing this, do not use brute force! Instead, go gently but hard enough to get a decent amount of juice out of the fruit. If you go at it too hard, you could bruise the peel and end up with an overly bitter drink.  

You might also like: 11 Sublime Lime Cocktails You Gotta Try

Caipirinha vs. Mojito

These two muddled cocktails often get mixed up (see what we did there?!), but there are big differences in both presentation and taste. While both drinks use fresh lime and sugar, the Mojito is different in that it requires fresh mint, club soda, and rum, which is less herbaceous than the taste of cachaça. Both are definitely on our list of best summer cocktails that everyone should try at least once in their lives. It will be memorable! 

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Other than the juice of half a lime, a Caipirinha only uses cachaça, so there’s not a lot that will dilute this drink. This national drink of Brazil comes in at around 30% ABV.  

For the best result, stick with tradition and use white sugar. Don’t use simple syrup, as you will need the sugar to help release those fragrant oils from the lime when muddling. 

If you can’t get your hands on Brazil’s potent sugar cane drink, then substitute it with a premium light rum like Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum. 

If you make it with cachaça, you should get a drink that is refreshing and has a lovely sweet lime and grassy aftertaste. It’s basically a beach vacation in a glass.