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Qu'est-ce Que C'est? De-Mystifying Chicago Restaurant Menus: Caipirinha

By L. Stolpman in Food on Jul 11, 2008 4:30PM


We dined at a churrascaria recently and, while officially and famously known for slow roasted meats over an open flame, we were charmed by the caipirinhas we drank. The caipirinha is Brazil's national drink and is made with cachaça, lime and sugar. Cachaça is similar to rum but the distillation process varies by distillery, resulting in products of wildly varying quality. Texas de Brazil's was sunshine, summer and heat in an ice-filled glass. The sweetened citrus balances out the salted meats and refreshes the palate.

Our esteemed foodie editor describing making a caipirinha here and his recipe is below. As he noted, while traditionally made with lime, the cachaça goes beautifully with other fruits. We enjoyed the pineapple-mint caipirinha and the strawberry-basil caipirinha at the new Texas de Brazil that opened downtown. Next time you're at a churrascaria, complete the experience by ordering a caipirinha.

3 ounces cachaca
½ lime, rolled to loosen the pulp and quartered
3 tablespoons simple sugar syrup
cracked or crushed ice

Muddle the sugar syrup and lime in a glass with a wooden muddler or spoon. Add the cachaca and ice.

Texas de Brazil is located at 51 East Ohio Street.
You can also enjoy a great caipirinha at Sinhá, located at 2018 W. Adams Street. Jorgina Pereira provides the fixings, you need to bring the cachaca.