I can think of no country other than Brazil that turned what was once medicine into their national cocktail.
As the legend goes, the caipirinha was invented in San Paulo around 1918 as an elixir for patients suffering from the Spanish flu. This medicine contained heavy amounts of cachaça with lime, garlic, and honey. Similar versions of the concoction are still used today as a home remedy for everything from the flu to the common cold too, well, I had a pretty crappy day and want a drink.
Today’s caipirinha, the one that is considered Brazil’s national cocktail, is a little different. It contains just three ingredients: cachaça, sugar, and lime. According to my head barkeep Chip, the exact ingredients are 1 2/3 ounces of cachaça, 2 teaspoons of fine sugar, and one lime. Chip says to muddle the sugar and lime together before adding liquor and ice and a decorative lime wedge.
The taste is out of this world and if you drink enough of them you understand why some people think the name caipirinha came from the word caipira which roughly translates to hillbilly.
As in if ya’ drink enough of them you’ll turn slack jawed and dimwitted. Of course that’s just one idea where the name came from.
I’ve never drank enough myself to get to that point nor seen anyone else to do so.
Still, I like the story.
And I know that there has to be at least a little bit of truth to it.
I know this because I know Amazônia.
I’m Capt Peacock.
A vida é melhor vivida na Amazônia.