5 Ingredients or Fewer

Blackberry Caipirinha

by:
June  2, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

This blackberry caipirinha has a bold hue and complex fruity flavor for a cocktail that’s sure to brighten your happy hour. In the drink’s native land of Brazil, infused caipirinhas traditionally involve a generous dose of passion fruit, pineapple, strawberry, or another easy-to-muddle local seasonal fruit that pairs with freshly squeezed lime juice and cachaça. Any ripe berries you run into at the farmers market will work especially well—their juice-to-pulp ratio is ideal for this application.

Cachaça, Brazil’s national spirit, is distilled from fermented sugarcane juice as opposed to molasses—a by-product of the sugar refining process that’s distilled into rum—and clocks in at a respectable 80 proof. Cachaça’s flavor profile is sweeter, fruitier, and cleaner than rum, and every bit as suited for a fruity hot weather cocktail. You can use either branca (unaged) or amarela (aged in indiginous Brazilian wood for at least one year) in your caipirinha. If you enjoy barrel-aged spirits like bourbon and tequila, cachaça amarela will be a welcome new addition to your home bar. Fresh out of rum and no time to run out to a specialty wine and spirits shop for a bottle of cachaça? Worry not—you can easily substitute vodka and make this vibrant cocktail into a caipiroska without losing any of the drink’s wonderful tropical vibe.

Keep in mind that this blackberry caipirinha requires a good, fierce muddling to extract all the flavor from the berries and lime wedges, but the juice in this case is especially worth the squeeze. If you don’t have a wood, plastic, or stainless steel muddler, use a sturdy wooden spoon, mortar and pestle, French rolling pin, or even an ordinary dowel (but make sure your alternative muddler is very clean before you start). If you want to do it the fancy way, crush the berries thoroughly with a tablespoon or so of cold water, then strain out the seeds through a fine mesh sieve before proceeding with the drink.

If you like, run a little water or a squeezed lime wedge around the rim of the rocks glass using your finger, then dip it into a shallow plate of granulated sugar before you pour in the cocktail to give it a pretty edge and a welcome touch of extra sweetness. —MissGinsu

Test Kitchen Notes

A classic caipirinha is made with cachaça, sugar, and fresh lime juice. MissGinsu's version doesn't stray far: She adds fresh blackberries, which dye the drink a deep purple. It's bright and a little austere. This recipe calls for one teaspoon of sugar, but you may want to add more to taste if your blackberries are particularly tart. Add any extra sugar after the drink’s initial shaking, then shake it again to fully dissolve the added sugar. If you can't find cachaça, you can use white rum. —The Editors

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Serves 1
Ingredients
  • 8 blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 3 wedges
  • 2 ounces cachaça
  • 3/4 cup ice cubes
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. In a shaker or pint glass, thoroughly muddle the blackberries and sugar with two of the lime wedges.
  2. Add the cachaça and ice, then cover tightly and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds to dissolve the remaining sugar.
  3. Remove and discard the crushed lime wedges. Pour the cocktail into a rocks glass (rimmed with sugar, if you like), and garnish with the remaining lime wedge.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smaug
    Smaug
  • Ann Hupe
    Ann Hupe
  • Emilia
    Emilia
  • mtlabor
    mtlabor
  • wssmom
    wssmom

15 Reviews

Smaug February 18, 2021
I would say that blackberries are straying a good long way from the original, as is substituting white rum. The caipirinhas (also "batida de limao") that I had in Brazil were a very distinctive (and wonderful) flavor; this seems more like one of the modern "variations" on the traditional daiquiri
 
Ann H. November 11, 2017
Uh... I'd just keep it to cachaça. It tastes totally different than rum as it is not a molasses-based spirit. As for different brands, here's Wikipedia's list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_brands_of_Cacha%C3%A7a

I love caipirinhas! The secret is to muddle, muddle, muddle those lime pieces! Pick limes with plenty of lime oil in its zest. Avoid anything that looks dried-out.
 
Ann H. November 11, 2017
Uh... I'd just keep it to cachaça. It tastes totally different than rum as it is not a molasses-based spirit. As for different brands, here's Wikipedia's list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_brands_of_Cacha%C3%A7a

I love caipirinhas! The secret is to muddle, muddle, muddle those lime pieces! Pick limes with plenty of lime oil in its zest. Avoid anything that looks dried-out.
 
Stephanie G. July 15, 2017
This is a favorite drink recipe. I have enjoyed this recipe for years; ever since it was published in the first cookbook.
 
rachel June 19, 2016
What brand cachaca did you use? I have only seen 51?
 
Emma B. October 26, 2014
We make these all of the time, I pick blackberries when they are in season and keep them in bags in the freezer. I make other things with them too but mainly we make these, they are delicious! The most popular cocktail that we serve at our regular brunches.
 
Emilia July 3, 2013
Although I'm Brazilian (born in the US) I'm not a purist: this sounds wonderful! I wonder if blackberries (my favorites) wouldn't work too... Mmmm...
 
Emilia October 26, 2014
I meant to write "blueberries"! :-)
 
fitsxarts July 1, 2011
super delicious and not too sweet. added some mint and muddled that too. a keeper!
 
mtlabor June 29, 2011
What a beautiful drink! Sounds like the perfect thirst quencher =) Might even try this with our plentiful blueberries!
 
wssmom June 29, 2011
Just made it this evening -- delightful!
 
Dabblings June 22, 2011
I just made this. Drinking it as I type. I love it! Thanks so much for sharing :)
 
cheese1227 August 14, 2010
Just made this! It is the thing I've picked to savor for today. Thank you for sharing the recipe!
 
sygyzy July 21, 2010
Great cocktail, made it last night for our Bite Club dinner. Check it out:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sygyzy/4815393937/in/set-72157624552342058/
 
Author Comment
MissGinsu July 11, 2010
What a delight to see this recipe return to the foreground during peak-season for berries!

I just picked up some raspberries at the market today, and I haven't made this recipe since last year, so it might be just the ticket on a steamy Sunday afternoon.

But here's the problem... you guys did such a fab job with the photography on all these cocktails, I'm hard-pressed to choose just one. :)