There is a high probability England won’t be playing in the later matches of the World Cup in Brazil, if the conclusion of a recent Home Office report is to be believed. So it looks like we’ll need a drink or two just to get though Group D. Cometh the Cup, cometh Brazil’s national cocktail: the Caipirinha.
You may have already tried a Caipirinha but, like the Mojito, it is usually made terribly. There are three things you need to get right if you want to make a decent version: the right cachaça, the right technique and the right ice.
Firstly, you’ll need a good bottle of Brazil’s national spirit, cachaça, which is simply distilled sugarcane juice. A decent rule of thumb is that, if you’re paying less than £20, you should probably upgrade. Brands such as Germana, Ypióca, Leblon, Abelha, and Sagatiba are worth looking out for.
You should also invest in a muddler, which looks like a mini baseball bat and is used to get the juice out of fruit (although a wooden spoon will also do if needs must). The key to a good muddling technique is to avoid the temptation to smash the fruit to smithereens. Too much muddling will release bitter flavours that may overpower the flavour of the cocktail. Save your aggression for the ice.
Decent crushed ice is a must. A manual or electric ice crusher is best. If you don’t have a bespoke device, you may want to experiment with a blender or food processor. However, the most fun way to make crushed ice just requires a tea towel, a heavy object and Neymar running at England's last four (nature will take care of the rest).
The Caipirinha may seem like a simple cocktail, but it’s worth putting that extra effort to make it well. There is no such thing as an easy international cocktail. Or football tournament, for that matter.