Sometimes, cachaça might not be the easiest drink to find if you’re in the US. So your dreams of enjoying a delicious caipirinha might have been torpedoed, you may think. Well, while cachaça is definitely the main ingredient in any true Caipirinha. Many people, even in Brazil, sometimes change their cachaça for vodka, turning their drinks into caipivodkas (or Caipiroskas, as we call it in Brazil). Tastes are a little different, hence different names. Unless you are some kind of expert in liquor you won’t notice the difference. Vodka makes a killer combination with caipirinha other ingredients (sugar and lime).
Caipirinha cousins as Caipivodka or Caipisake (Caipirinha with Japanese Sake) became very popular in more urban settings, especially nightclubs in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, even among Brazilians. While the vodka version is very similar to the cachaça one, the sake version is usually is much milder in the alcohol taste, which usually is people who don’t enjoy hard liquors ask for it. Also, specially for Caipisake, it’s very common to find versions with strawberries, kiwis or passion-fruit instead of lemon. As always, Brazilians excel at creativity. Anyway, after a while, it’s very common to find these drinks even in churrascos, because caipirinha, being a sweeter drink than most already, gets even sweeter with these modifications like sake and strawberry.
The basic Caipivodka recipe is fairly simple, and actually is quite identical to the cachaça caipirinha recipe:
- 2 limes sliced in halves
- 3 shots of vodka
- 2 spoonfuls of white sugar
- Crushed ice
Place lime and sugar into old fashioned glass and muddle (mash the two ingredients together using a muddler or a wooden spoon). Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the Vodka. You can also do it in a bigger jar all at once, if you think you got enough practice and can do it by eye. It’s not very difficult, really.
For the Sake with different fruits version, the only thing that we have to change is the quantity and fruits
- For the Strawberry version, three of them should be enough for a glass of Caipisake.
- If you go for Kiwi Use two.
- One Passion-fruit is enough for a caipisake.
Obviously, you may try to use fruits in your Caipivodka recipe. Even your standard caipirinha, but since sake is the milder liquor, it tends to match better with sweeter fruits. But the truth is, as you can see, Caipirinhas are very flexible, it’s all a matter of trying.