The word of the day is caipirinha. I think I butcher it every time I say it, but the pronunciation is kai-pur-een-ya. This is reportedly the national drink of Brazil. I wish I had been to Brazil or knew some native Brazilians to confirm it.
I do know from field research and trials at home that this is a great drink. The base of a caipirinha is cachaca, which is rum made from sugar cane. You can find several different types at BevMo, but I was able to get a bottle of Leblon at my local S-Mart. Leblon, which seems to be making the most focused marketing push in the states, ages its cachaca in vintage cognac barrels for two months.
The preparation of a caipirinha is simple. Take limes, or really any other fruit, and muddle it with a tablespoon of sugar. Add 1.5 ounces, or a generous pour of cachaca on top and then add in cracked ice. The rum has enough flowery and almost citrus like characteristics that it holds up on its own quite well. I had these prior to a tasty grilled tri-tip steak for dinner and it really is a nice change of pace for summer cocktails. It’s akin to a mohjito, and it seems like it could be the next fad cocktail like mohjitos. Just based on taste alone though, I think cachaca is a spirit that deserves more recognition.