What is the country of origin for the Caipirinha cocktail?
caipirinha cocktail brazil

A little bit of history

Perhaps the best point of departure, for an exotic sounding cocktail, is to confirm exactly how to pronounce it! Caipirinha (Portuguese) is pronounced Kai-Pur-Reen-Yah and, as with many of the world’s cocktails, the history of the Caipirinha is a bit of a mixed basket (pun intended) to say the least!

The original recipe consisted of Cachaça (a distilled spirit made from sugar cane), green lemon, honey and garlic. The green lemon possessed a high concentration of vitamin C, and the cachaça contained the alcohol needed to expedite the absorption of the vitamins into the body.

As with many unintentional inventions, some wise individuals decided to replace the honey and garlic with sugar and ice, and thus, saw the birth of the modern day Caipirinha.

Many believe, much like the Gin-and-Tonic, that the Caipirinha was originally created with its medicinal properties in mind to combat the effects of the Spanish Flu. But this is where its connection with Spain ends!

Speaking of death and birth, what is the country of origin for the Caipirinha cocktail? 

Caipirinha Cocktail

What is the country of origin for the Caipirinha cocktail?

Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail and the word Caipirinha is the diminutive of the word “caipira” referring to meaning someone from the countryside (rural parts of south-central Brazil) in Brazilian Portuguese, similar to the US term “hillbilly”.

Caipira is a two-gender noun. The diminutive mostly-refers to the drink, in which case it is a feminine noun. Described by some as a little cup of summer, the refreshing cocktail translates to a ‘little countryside drink’.

According to historians, the Caipirinha was invented by landowning farmers (from the Piracicaba region of the State of São Paulo) during the 19th century as a local drink for events and parties. Other theories hold that the drink originated around 1918 in the region of Alentejo in Portugal to aid patients cope with the Spanish flu.

Another theory is that the Caipirinha is based on Poncha, an alcoholic drink from Madeira, Portugal, a version of which the main ingredient is Aguardente de Cana (also made from sugar cane).

The world stage

With the increased availability of first-rate brands of cachaça outside Brazil, the rise in popularity of the Caipirinha comes as no surprise and the inclusion of the drink as an official contemporary classic cocktail by The International Bartenders Association has simply continued the Caipirinha’s rise in popularity.

In spite of being a Brazilian cocktail, the popularity of the Caipirinha has created an undeniable global classic, and similar to the Carnival, we remain forever indebted to the Brazilians!

Follow this easy recipe to make a tasty Caipirinha in the comfort of your home.