Caipirinha: Recipe and Ingredients | Giovanni Ceccarelli

How to make a Caipirinha

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Caipirinha is a Brazilian symbol. In this article, you’ll find the Caipirinha recipe and, in detail, the preparation method, with attention to the ingredients.

Caipirinha is a summer drink, easy to make, has few ingredients, and can be customized with fresh fruit (a must is with the passion fruit). The main ingredient of this drink is Cachaça, a Brazilian sugar cane spirit. Cachaça is my favourite spirit for its herbaceous and pungent notes.


  • Medium size lime
  • 2 barspoons of white sugar
  • 6cl (2oz) of Cachaça


  • 35cl glass
  • Barspoon or teaspoon
  • muddler
  • knife


First wash the lime in water and bicarbonate thoroughly, rinse and dry with a cloth. Often the lime has a non-edible skin and finding untreated ones can be really hard. Wash and dry them well to help remove dirt and products used for storage during transport. If you want to read my article on limes, click here.


Now, with a sharpened knife, remove the petioles of the lime, cut it halfway through the long side, remove the central white part with a V cut, and cut the lime into 6 cubes. Removing the central white part is crucial because it can have a bitter taste and, once removed, the limes will release more juice.

In a 35cl glass put the lime cubes and the two barspoons of white sugar. Remember that white cane sugar and white beet sugar are the same thing: sucrose. Discover more about sure clicking here.

With the muddler, muddle everything to get the juice and precious essential lime skin oils out. Muddling the lime serves mainly to make the oils run out and not the juice. If we wanted only the juice we would have used a lime squeezer. If you smell the glass now you will feel the strong scent of lime skin.

At this point, after dissolving the sugar by quickly mixing with the barspoons, add the Cachaça. As you see, it is good to add the spirit before the ice, but after dissolving the sugar. Adding the spirit after dissolving the sugar is important because the latter does not dissolve in alcohol, while adding Cachaça before the ice is important to ”capture” the essential oils, extremely volatile, extracted from the skin.

Finally add the crushed ice, mix and serve with a straw. The Caipirinha is ready.

I prefer crushed ice because it cools the drink and dilutes it faster.

Errors to avoid:
In many bars, before serving, the “muddled bases” are prepared, that is, the pieces of lime and sugar are stacked in advance. This is a practice to avoid absolutely, because it leads to the oxidation of lime juice and the loss of essential oils. If you don’t believe us, try to make a Caipirinha with limes muddled at the moment and a Caipirinha with a base prepared 1h in advance. Or try to muddle lime and sugar, sniff the glass immediately and smell it again after half an hour.

If you are a workplace with big volumes of work and you cannot give up these drinks, I suggest you read my article on how to speed up the preparation of drinks without altering their quality.

One last thought: you do not need to be Brazilian to make a good Caipirinha, what you need is to study ingredients, techniques and taste (always!). The nationality of the bartender or the country where you drink a certain drink is not enough to make a good drink. Think about how many nasty cappuccinos you drink in Italy (and I am Italian).

Happy Mixing,

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