A few weeks ago Anthony left a comment recommending the English Caipirinha as an excellent cocktail that makes use of berries. Anthony’s recipe wasn’t all that precise, but the drink sounded potentially interesting so tonight I had a bit of a play to see what worked best. After an initial attempt that was rather heavy on the gin and a little light on the berries, I ended up with a pretty tasty recipe.
The only problem I had was the name. If you’re going to do something as drastic as remove the Cachaça, I don’t think you can still call the drink a Caipirinha, just as I don’t think you should really call a Vodka Martini a Martini (oh the controversy!). Anyway, the Caipirinha is named from the Portuguese “caipira”, which refers to someone from the countryside. Here in Britain we often refer to such people, somewhat derogatively, as bumpkins – which sounds like a much better name to me…
- 2 shots gin
- ½ a lime
- 4 fresh blackberries
- ¼ shot sugar syrup
- 2 dashes peach bitters
- Muddle blackberries and lime in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass. Add other ingredients and stir well with ice. Garnish with blackberries and raspberries.
The Bumpkin has a wonderfully fresh, summery taste which makes it a cocktail I will definitely be returning to in the warmer months. When using a good juniper-heavy gin like Tanqueray it provides an interesting base which ensures that fruit doesn’t entirely dominate the drink. Given it’s lighter flavours this is a great drink for people that don’t like traditional, strong, cocktails – my boyfriend who normally won’t go near gin happily quaffed down several of these.
In an attempt to add a little more depth to the profile of the original English Caipirinha recipe Anthony provided, I tried adding various bitters while making the second round of these drinks. Orange bitters didn’t quite work out, but a dash or two of Fee Brothers Peach bitters really added an extra dimension, although their sweetness meant the amount of sugar needed to be reduced a little. If you don’t have peach bitters use the above recipe, but increase the amount of sugar syrup to ½ a shot.
Cheers to Anthony for sharing the English Caipirinha with us – do let me know what you think of my tinkering if you get a chance to try it…
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