Skinny Caipirinhas

Skinny Caipirinhas

With the Rio Olympics coming to a close, it’s time to celebrate with Brazil’s national drink – Caipirinhas! Jack and I have some fond Caipirinha memories – we actually spent our honeymoon in South America and our first stop was Rio. On our first night we had dinner at a great restaurant in Ipanema, the name of which I can’t remember (before the blog I was terrible at taking travel notes). The waiter insisted that we have the “national drink of Brazil.” He explained to us what Cachaça was and we felt like we were experiencing a truly special exotic drink. That is, until we got back home to the US to realize that Caipirinhas are on every cocktail menu everywhere. Oh well. Common or not, we still like ’em.

This is a lightened up version – I cut back on the amount of liquor (and sugar) and topped off our cocktails with Topo Chico, my sparkling water of choice.

And now for a little trip down memory lane:

The epic view from Christ the Redeemer, or as Jack liked to call him: Concrete Jesus. A cloud had just moved and everyone put their cameras up to capture the view.

Rio Rio

You can’t tell from the size of this photo, but this was Jack’s favorite t-shirt that says “Save a cow, eat a vegetarian.”


We took our trip just after Rio had been selected for the Olympics and this sandcastle monument on Copacabana beach was the only sign of it at the time:


Skinny Caipirinhas

Serves: 1 drink
  • ½ lime, sliced into wedges
  • 1½ teaspoons cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Cachaça (sugar cane liquor)
  • lots of crushed ice
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup Topo Chico, or another sparkling water
  1. Squeeze the juice of the lime wedges into a rocks glass. Drop the lime slices and sugar into the glass. Use a cocktail muddler (or the back of a spoon) to muddle the sugar and the lime.
  2. Fill the glass to the brim with crushed ice. Add the Cachaça and fill the rest of the glass with Topo Chico or a sparkling water of your choice. Stir and enjoy!
There isn't a great substitution for the Cachaça, however rum would be the next best liquor to use here.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Lauren from

    I love a good caipirinha! I also like mine more on the tart side, so this sounds like the perfect recipe for me!

  2. Rae from

    Thanks for this awesome recipe – not only is this perfect timing with the Olympics but its sounds like the perfect summer drink as well – crazy but I don’t actually think I have ever had a Caipirinha before!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.