More interesting correspondence, this time with Chris Viljoen (who offered the Preview cocktail a while back). We’ve been talking Caipirinhas, and variations thereof.
Thanks to Chris, I’ve learned that Caipirinhas made here aren’t quite the same as the ones made in Brazil, even using Brazilian cachaça; they don’t taste quite the same. Some of his Brazilian friends told him that to get it perfect, you must use Brazilian sugar, which has more of a molasses content than our white granulated sugar. I asked him if turbinado (“sugar in the raw”) would work, and he said it’s not quite the same either — perhaps an equal mixture of white and turbinado might be closer. In any case, I’ll be looking for Brazilian sugar at El Camaguey Market, or the Palms Latino market (thanks again for that one, Greg!) on Motor. They also use a specific type of Brazilian lime called taiti, which are obviously going to be much more difficult to get here. (I guess I’m just going to have to go to Brazil and get a real one.)
Apparently they also make versions of the Caipirinha using other fruits besides limes, including strawberries and the cashew nut fruit, caju. I first tried cashew nut fruit juice at a terrific little Brazilian restaurant in West Hollywood called Itana Bahía. It’s absolutely luscious. You can find it frozen in Latin or Brazilian markets, and you muddle some of that along with about half the amount of lime.
Here’s an interesting looking variation on the Caipirinha, which has a little froth from the addition of egg whites.
(from the city of São Paulo)
2 teaspoons egg white.
2 tablespoons superfine sugar (Brazilian if possible).
2 ounces cachaça.
1 ounce fresh lime juice.
3-4 ice cubes.
Combine the egg white, sugar, lime juice, ice and cachaça in a shaker. Shake vigorously about 15 times. Strain into a chilled Old-Fashioned glass and garnish with a thin slice of lime.