A caipirinha is a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça, sugar and citrus fruit. It is so popular in Brazil, that it is widely regarded as the country’s national cocktail! There is good reason for this, as cachaça is a spirit similar to rum that is produced exclusively in Brazil. The cocktail is bright and refreshing, perfect for a hot Brazilian summer day. It is typically made by muddling lime and sugar together at the bottom of a glass, then adding cachaça and ice to top it off.
It is easy to put a spin on the cocktail by making it with other citrus fruits, and kumquats are a great fruit to work with when they are in season. The kumquats – which have an orange flavor on their own – are easy to muddle, releasing both the tart juice from inside the fruit and the sweet oils from the peel. I added honey and ginger into the cocktail to bring in some sweetness and spice, as well as a little splash of lime juice to brighten up the citrus flavor even more. The cocktail strikes the right balance between sweet and refreshing – and it has a great look to it from all the fruit in the glass.
When you choose kumquats, choose fruits that are plum and firm, as they will have the most juice. Kumquats are small and dry out quickly as they age, meaning that older fruit won’t be as flavorful as fresh-picked. Since kumquats are only in season for a few months out of the year, be sure to enjoy them while you can. They may a winter fruit, but this cocktail will get you ready for summer!
4 large, ripe kumquats
1/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz honey syrup*
1/2 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
2 oz cachaça
Cut kumquats in half and remove any seeds. Place fruit in an old fashioned glass and muddle to release their juices, using a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon.
Add in honey syrup and ginger liqueur and stir to combine. Add cachaça, then fill the glass with ice.
Serve immediately. Repeat for subsequent cocktails.
*Honey syrup is made by dissolving 1 part honey in 1 part water. You can make a small amount (1 tbsp each) or a large amount (8 oz each), depending on how much you need. The syrup can be used for all kinds of cocktails and iced beverages, including lemonade and iced tea. The syrup will keep for at least 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.