Drink of the Wednesday: Caipirinhas

First guest blogger! Whooo!

Sorry, had to be done. This is Danny, the Als' roommate for the summer, and I've been granted a rare opportunity to appear on Two Fat Als due to my position as our de facto bartender. In what may or may not become a regular feature, we decided Wednesday should be celebrated with an appropriately named Drink of the Wednesday. When I say we, I really mean Alanna, but whatever: tonight's drink, courtesy of my being part Brazilian, is a caipirinha. It's a drink that's become fairly popular in the U.S., but once you see how easy it is to make, you may never pay eight bucks for one in a bar again. And remember: if you're under 21, you didn't learn this here.

1 lime (or 2 key limes)
2 tbsp sugar
Crushed ice
2 shots cachaça

Cachaça is an un-aged Brazilian sugar cane liquor that's pretty similar to rum, and is fairly easy to find in most liquor stores. If you can't get your hands on it, or you're feeling lazy, you can use rum or vodka. Just know that you won't be making a caipirinha--rum makes it a caipirão, and using vodka turns it into a caipiroska. Go figure.

Whatever liquor you're using, the instructions are the same. Start by cutting off the ends of the lime; because the peel contains the bitter lime oil that, although it gives the drink its punch, can be overpowering if you include all of the peel. Then, quarter the lime and put the pieces into an old-fashioned glass (one of those short cocktail glasses, like you'd get a whiskey sour in). Add the sugar, and muddle it into the limes (muddling is a fancy word for mushing, ideally done with a pestle though I've used the handle of a ladle in a pinch). Then just add ice to about half an inch below the glass's rim, pour in the
cachaça, stir, and enjoy. A word to the wise, though: remember that, although you may not taste it, you just tossed in two shots of 80-proof liquor. Caipirinhas are one of the most refreshing drinks I know, but they pack quite a punch, and you may want to keep that in mind.