A caipiroska is an alcoholic cocktail with vodka as the base ingredient.

Say it with me: CAPE-ear-OSS-car.

Caipiroskas originated in Brazil as a sister drink to the caipirinha, a cool, refreshing summer drink with an alcoholic undertone. The traditional white rum of a caipirinha is replaced with vodka in a caipiroska.

Simple caipiroskas are a shaken cocktail made with lime juice and sugar syrup. The drink may be served in a highball glass with ice and slices of muddled lime, or strained into a shot glass to be consumed as a shooter.

The trick's in the variation. Passionfruit, strawberry or watermelon are popular flavours, accented with chunks of fruit and a few sprigs of mint. White peach and vanilla creates a smooth taste, while strawberry, cocoa bean and vanilla is a more contempory flavour. The mixtures can be quite exotic: honeynut and raspberry caipiroskas are made with honeycomb-infused vodka, raspberries and freshly-roasted hazelnuts.

Simple Lime Caipiroska

1 large lime
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1½ tablespoons sugar syrup
2 nips (60ml) vodka
Slice the lime lengthwise into several pieces. Crush the lime and the sugar in a highball glass with a small wooden pestle or spoon until some of the juice is released.

Add the sugar syrup to the glass, then fill it to the brim with ice. Pour the vodka over the ice, tip the lot into a cocktail shaker and shake enthusiastically. Serve the lot in a clean glass (ice, lime and all) or strain into a shot glass.


Any nut flavours or fruits can be added to the simple standard: remove the lime from the recipie, add a new fruit and get to work. Remember that the vodka and ice will provide a cool, calm and collected kick. Aim for a light, fresh flavour to complement the sharpness of the alcohol. Since the vodka and ice provide a clear backdrop, think about the mixture of colours in your ingredients.

Visit the Everything Bartender for a list of delicious cocktails.

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