Pineapple Caipirinha

by Chef

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend a wonderful event hosted by world-renowned mixologist Armando Rosario — a man whose credentials include being dubbed “Best Bartender in America” (Cheers magazine), leading a statewide chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild as president. He’s also a National Cocktail Competition Champion and a certified cachaça expert. At this event Mr. Rosario, while pointing out the beautiful setting and scenery of our little city, let the whole room know that although he wasn’t sure who was responsible for the cocktail list at our restaurant, it was clear to him that said person would be a fool to not have a Caipirinha on the menu. Being of sound mind, and hoping to spare myself some embarrassment of course, I made absolutely zero attempts to let him know that it was me, but as soon as the meeting ended, I was already working on reprinting menus. After all, he was right! The Caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil, and although its name is derived from the word caipira, which basically equates to “hillbilly,” this beverage is all class. As with most cocktails that have been around for a bit, there are many legends as to the origin of the Caipirinha. The most popular involves the idea that the concoction was designed to combat symptoms of the Spanish flu. Whether or not it’s a “cure-all” for the ailing, I’m not sure, but this libation definitely fights the symptoms of 100-degree weather. The recipe calls for cachaca, the juice from a whole lime (minus the bitter pith), and sugar … that’s it! Maybe that’s why Armando suggested the drink so quickly; it’s perfect for our weather, easy to make, and delicious. His motto is “Make it fresh … keep it simple.” I guess if you follow rules one and two, the tasty part comes naturally. Cachaca is a spirit native to Brazil, like the Caipirinha. A few years back cachaca would have been rare to come across, but these days with the resurgence of formerly forgotten spirits, it’s quite easy to find. The main difference between cachaca and rum is that cachaca, other than always hailing from Brazil, is made from fermented sugarcane juice, while the majority of rums out there are derived from molasses. The result is a more full flavored, yet still smooth and balanced spirit that goes perfectly with lime, a little sugar, and ice. With the season whirling by, the yearly transition to fall is waiting for us right around the corner, but until then, if you need help beating the heat, just stop by any of our restaurants and try this summertime sipper. At Jackson’s we’ll even make you one with pineapple. Hope to see you soon!


Pineapple Caipirinha
2 ounces cachaca
1 lime
1 ounce simple syrup
2 medium-size chunks of pineapple




Cut lime in half, then quarter and remove center pith. Muddle all four lime quarters, pineapple chunks, and simple syrup in bottom of mixing tin. Add cachaca and ice, then shake vigorously and pour contents (do not strain) into rocks glass. No garnish required.