Passion Fruit Caipirinha

Bring the Brazilian vibes of Carnaval home with this colorful and tropical flavored cocktail.

Passion Fruit Caipirinha

“I’ve always had a hankering to go to Rio, sir.”

I’ll never forget when the sleek Concorde jet touched down in Rio de Janeiro. Shortly after, a scenic drive past Copacabana Beach in a luxurious Rolls Royce Silver Shadow while being followed by a mysterious woman in her sporty MP Lafer… Then, there was the death-defying fight on top of a cable car with a giant metal-mouthed henchman as it descended Sugar Loaf mountain.

None of this happened to me, of course. I was a ten year-old kid watching the James Bond adventure “Moonraker” for the first time. And whenever I have a “hankering” to go anywhere in the world without leaving my couch, this film whisks me away to these beautiful and colorful locations. Like I stated above, I got to see the Concorde in action, a plane I had only read about or seen pictures of. I watched two fearless stuntmen chase each other, without safety cables, thousands of feet above the city of Rio. And I got to see the legendary Carnaval in action, which looked to me to be Mardi Gras times a thousand.

Movies can provide little mini-vacations when we can’t get away. Cocktails do that, too. Reminiscing about my imagined childhood adventures with Agent 007, I began to wonder what they’re drinking in Brazil. What’s their cocktail of choice? The drink we’ll be whipping up today in our home bar answers that question, a variation on the national drink of the South American country, the Passionfruit Caipirinha.

The Caipirinha itself is a tropical and tangy mixture of limes, sugar, passionfruit and a spirit known as cachaca.

What is Cachaca?

This was the question I asked myself as I picked up a bottle to bring home. It was clear, reasonably priced and looked no different than other spirits like, gin, vodka or a silver rum. Doing a little armchair digging I discovered that cachaca is distilled from sugar cane and can only be produced in Brazil. While consumed outside of that country, it doesn’t maintain the same popularity as it does within. Check these numbers out: in 2007, it was estimated that more than 396,000,000 gallons of cachaca were consumed in Brazil. Compare that to the 3,960,000 gallons that were drunk outside its borders. As far back as twenty years ago, figures indicate that over 1.3 billion litres are produced while only 1% of that amount is exported. In the United States it was sold as Brazilian Rum, but after an agreement between the two countries that label was dropped.

What is the best cachaca to use to make a Passion Fruit Caipirinha?

We learned a little about the spirit, now its time to grab a bottle. In my neck of the woods, Los Angeles, I really only had about five or six brands to choose from, all reasonably priced and all are, of course, from Brazil. Unaged versions of the spirit can take on an earthy, grassy flavor (not in a bad way) and the aged versions tend to take on the flavors of the barrels they’re sitting in. For our cocktail today, I opted for an unaged cachaca, mainly to see how it plays with the other flavors, but also because it was a little easier on my wallet.

Passion Fruit Caipirinha
Servings 1
5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1/3 cup passion fruit pulp
  • 2 ounces cachaça
  • Ice cubes

Instructions

  • In a shaker, combine the superfine sugar and lime wedges. Press down with a muddler without overdoing it.
    Passion Fruit Caipirinha
  • Add the passion fruit pulp and cachaça to the shaker, along with a few ice cubes. Secure the lid well.
    Passion Fruit Caipirinha
  • Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice. Enjoy!
    Passion Fruit Caipirinha

Nutrition

Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 343mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 1034IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg

FAQs & Tips

Passion Fruit Caipirinha Variations and Similar Cocktails

Ready to have a few more adventures with a zesty and delicious cocktail in hand? You can always try making any number of versions of the Caipirinha. Being the national drink of Brazil, there are a multitude of variations you can try out:

One way of easily varying your Caipirinha is by switching out the lime and sugar for any number of tropical juices; pineapple, lemons, mangoes… use your imagination and discover what you like best in your Brazilian drink.

Two other simple takes on the Caipirinha are the Caipirissima, which is mixed with white rum, or the Caipiroska, which use vodka.

  • Passion Fruit Mojito – Twist and Toast’s recipe adds passion fruit to the tart and minty mojito.
  • Passion Fruit Margarita – Add some passion (fruit, that is) to your margarita this summer with Twist and Toast delicious recipe.

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