WE AT THE Bottle Gang are big fans of the "that which does not kill you makes you stronger" school of cocktail making. We like our martinis with gin, we like our whiskey straight up, and--for God's sake--we like Campari. But sometimes you just want something delicious. That doesn't mean you have to drink crap, though, good people.
According to Mittie Hellmich's superlative "Ultimate Bar Book," the caipirinha, a Brazilian drink, takes its name from Portugese for "country bumpkin" or "little peasant girl," in a nod towards the economical approach of making the drink in the container you're going to drink it out of. Your basic caipirinha contains just a couple of key ingredients:
4 lime wedges
2 teaspoons sugar
2 oz. cachaça
Now, cachaça is a Brazilian rum made from sugar cane, and in our experience is next to impossible to find. You can feel free to substitute Mount Gay Sugar Cane Rum, or even just Mount Gay Rum. You put the lime wedges in a rocks glass, add the sugar, and muddle them wedges. We highly recommend tracking down a pestle for this purpose, since it makes things easier. You just crush the limes and the sugar until they're good and pulpy. To make the raspberry variety, just add a couple raspberries at this point and muddle them in there too.
Add some ice to the top, your rum and stir. Then photograph and enjoy. You have the satisfaction of drinking something fruity and sweet, plus the satisfaction of drinking an actual Brazilian drink with some history and heft to it, and not some pansy drink. By which we mean a drink made with pansies. (McPHERSON)