Recently I was enjoying a Caiprinha, a favourite of mine which has always intrigued me somewhat. For, to me, the mystery of the Caipirinha is that it is so much more than the sum of its parts and even if made with some fairly rough cachaça it still shines in a way that a Daiquiri constructed with some dodgy rum certainly would not. Sipping and pondering I gradually come to the realisation that the secret must be in the unusual preparation of the drink – specifically the muddling of the lime with sugar. In this way all the flavours of those wonderful green orbs are released; juice, oil from the peels but also a bitterness from the pith which we are normally urged to avoid. Thus inspired I proceeded to make the drink anew but this time using some decent aged Caribbean rum in place of the Cachaça. Wow. The combination is simply delicious with all that I love from the mother drink but with the extra depth of flavour from a more sophisticated base spirit – truly the best of both worlds! Just when you’re thinking, “Rum, lime sugar – can it get any better?” – yep, it can. Thinking “this must surely already exist” I conducted some light “research” (aka looked on Wikipedia) and, indeed, there is thing called a Caipirissima. However the recipe almost always calls for some anemic white rum such as Bacardi Carta Blanca which is a largely pointless exercise if we want to elevate the Caipirinha to new levels. Further (and very enjoyable) experimentation reveals that the process works equally well with a range of aged rums and especially the combining of more than just one – Tiki style – as we would in a Mai Tai for example. For the picture above I used some of the excellent yet affordable Appleton Signature blend which serves as a decent starting point but moving further up the Caribbean rum ladder is amply rewarded. I hereby grant you licence to experiment*. Now, I am probably taking something of a liberty renaming this drink but in my defence proper deference has been given to the source recipe whilst introducing the Caribbean element and thus I present to you The Caribinha.
The process is important so bear with me. First cut a nice fresh lime into eight wedges and throw them into a chilled double old fashioned glass. Add a tablespoon (0.5oz/15ml if measured in a jigger) of Demerara or other raw sugar and muddle well until you have a sugary paste in the bottom of the glass. Add plenty of crushed ice and the rum then stir well with the back end of a barspoon. Note that the amount of sugar may be adjusted to taste and to account for the size and juiciness of the lime. Enjoy!
2oz / 60ml Carribbean aged rum of choice (see text).
1 lime, cut into wedges.
0.5oz / 15ml / 1 tablespoon raw sugar.
See above for process.
Toast Citrus latfolia – where would we be without the noble Persian lime? More on ’em real soon!
*Pssssst, Smith & Cross and El Dorado 8 – just sayin’