A mixture that took over world and became an icon of the "Brazilian way of life", the Caipirinha is turning 100 in 2018!
The drink has been officially recognized as a Cultural Heritage Asset since 2003, when Brazil's federal government signed a decree to safeguard the drinks recipe and its main ingredient: the cachaça.
Historians still can not agree to the origins of the drink. The most probable hypothesis believes the mixture was invented in São Paulo's state countryside, whose naturals are (somewhat pejoratively) known as "caipiras", therefore lending the designation to it. At first "prescribed" to help cure the Spanish Flu, the recipe called for honey, lime and garlic; though, as to speed up its "therapeutic" value, someone decided to add some cachaça to the mix. Garlic was dropped along the way, honey was replaced by sugar, and the caipirinha got its final form!
Others, such as the Confraria Paulista da Cachaça ("São Paulo's Cachaça Brotherhood"), believe the Caipirinha was created by the state's sugar cane growers, as a way to promote of the consumption their product (sugar AND cachaça), in lieu of imported wine and scotches. As caipirinhas are consumed in parties from every class, they were clearly successful if that was their objective.
In the end, its true origin does not matter that much, the fact is that caipirinha is a truly Brazilian drink and is loved in every corner of the country! Saúde!
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