Rosengarten Classic. Originally Published: ROSENGARTEN REPORT, May 2002.
It has gone on about five years now, since that fateful trip to Rio: I just can’t get the caipirinha out of my mind. I can barely get it out of my bloodstream. I so love that tingly mix of cachaça (pronounced kuh-SHA-suh, a Brazilian spirit not unlike white rum), muddled lime pieces, sugar and ice, I will drink it in any season, any mood, any bar, any glass.
But as the warm-weather season approaches, I’ve been thinking one very specific thought: giving this venerable cocktail a new role as tingly sorbet, to be served as an intermezzo or as a dessert at some wild South American dinner party (in my backyard, of course.)
After a few tweaks in the kitchen, I realized that I had on my hands one of the most delicious, refreshing sorbets that I’ve ever tasted on any continent. And it’s magnificently easy to make, provided you have an ice-cream-making machine. If you don’t, simply place the sorbet mixture in a wide pan in the freezer and, as it starts to freeze, scrape the crystals with a fork until you’ve got…caipirinha granita!
makes approximately 1 pint
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
finely grated zest of 4 limes
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 6 limes)
5 tablespoons cachaca
1. Make simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a 1 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes more. Set aside to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the cooled syrup with the lime zest and juice. Strain the juice if you prefer a finer texture, or leave in the pulp. Stir in the cachaca. Cover with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator for an hour.
3. Freeze in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions.