The Key Lime Caipirinha

A Brazilian Cocktail Made For August

Clarke Conde
2 min read
Key Lime Caipirinha
Serve it in a coupe glass just to be fancy. (Clarke Condé)
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The Key Lime Caipirinha is a tropical drink perfect for the dog days of August in the Northern Hemisphere. Of Brazilian derivation, it gets its flavor from the key limes and the Brazilian spirit Cachaça which is similar to rum, but made directly from raw sugarcane instead of molasses. The flavor is unique, so go through the extra effort to find it and don’t cheap out thinking you can get away with just using rum. In fact, don’t cheap out on any of the ingredients. Rum is not cachaça, white sugar is not agave and Persian limes are not Key limes.

Key limes are an unrivaled fruit when it comes to delivering a tropical taste in a small package. They are distinguished from their blander Persian cousins by their stronger flavor and yellower skin. For this cocktail it is best to start with a big bag or two and grab the juicer. It takes a lot of juice to make the Key Lime Caipirinha, but it is worth it for the flavor. Just don’t plan on making a pitcher of this stuff unless you like spending all afternoon juicing limes.

Three parts cachaça

Two parts key lime juice

One part agave nectar

Key lime to garnish

Crushed ice

Once you’ve juiced the limes, get yourself a cocktail shaker and add the cachaça and agave. A couple of shakes later and you are good to go. This cocktail has a powerful flavor so feel free to adjust its potency with crushed ice. Usually served in a rocks glass, the Key Lime Caipirinha is garnished with a slice of key lime. Here you can get creative and substitute for some other glass if you like. It is just a cocktail after all.
Key Lime Caipirinha

Clarke Condé

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