Caipirinha, The Brazilian Cocktail Created By Enslaved Africans Is Brazil's National Drink
Photo Credit: TN

Photo Credit: TN

Caipirinha, The Brazilian Cocktail Created By Enslaved Africans Is Brazil's National Drink

african diaspora , Black History , Brazil
Brunno Braga
Brunno Braga May 9, 2022

Caipirinha is the most famous cocktail in Brazil. Strong and refreshing at the same time, the caipirinha is the ideal companion for hot summer days. Its peculiar flavor is appreciated from north to south of the country. The Brazilian cocktail can be enjoyed alone or combined with the most varied types of dishes.

If the caipirinha is considered the national cocktail par excellence, its history dates back centuries ago, during the slave era in Brazil. According to some scholars, Caipirinha was primarily drunk by enslaved Africans in Brazil who created the cocktail by adding fruits such as lime to cachaça (a Brazilian rum made up of raw sugar cane) during their festivities.

The first cachaça would have been distilled in a premeditated way in clay or copper stills brought by the Portuguese colonizers. The word “cachaça” comes from enslaved Africans who worked in sugarcane mills—they gave the name to the foam that collected at the top of cauldrons where sugarcane was boiled (the first step in producing sugar). Since Africans had knowledge about fermentation and the consumption of alcoholic beverages and they have always been associated with the cultural, religious and festivities in many villages across West Africa, the enslaved Africans in Brazil applied the same procedures.

There are even records from the 17th century that describe that enslaved Africans in the state of Bahia were already consciously fermenting the derivatives of sugar production for the consumption of cane wine. Even today, in Paraty, on the coast of Rio de Janeiro, it is customary for the elderly to drink named ‘Mucungo’, a word of African origin to designate the fermented sugarcane juice.

They would have mixed fruit with the cachaça, which was named centuries later caipirinha, and the recipe would have been initially ignored by the white elite of the 19th century.

Today, the cocktail is widely spread across the country and many other nations are starting to serve caipirinha in their major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. The drink is becoming very popular for offering the authentic Brazilian identity.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

To make the Brazilian Cocktail Caipirinha for 2 people you need:

5 Limes
Sugar
Cachaça
Ice cubs

How to make it:

Squeeze 3 limes until you have about 1/3 of a glass of lime juice

Cut the other 2 limes into 8 parts each
These are the chunks we’ll mix

Add the cut limes, and 3 tablespoons of sugar to the cup and mix them.

Add the lime juice and 3/4 cup of cachaça

Add ice cubs

Cheers

Grilled Fraiche

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