Caipirinha and Caipiroska: Only their bartender can tell them apart

Twins. So weird right?

You know it, we all know it. And we’re fascinated by it. And the more you read about twins, the freakier it gets.


Like that twinning syndrome called “heteropaternal superfecundation”. This is where fraternal twins – the non-identical ones – are produced as a result of another excellent term “separate copulatory events” and have two different fathers.

Not as unusual as you might think.

Imagine what a wanker Hercules would have been at a dinner party

Apparently “even” Hercules, son of Alcmene and Zeus, shared a womb with Iphicles, son of a mortal father whose name I know but choose to remember instead as Darrin Stevens (which should have been “Darren” BTW).

Two Darrins (sic) – apparently the first one had chronic back problems and that’s why they swapped him out


Anyway, these twins wouldn’t look any more alike than standard siblings, so not entirely relevant to the cocktail world.

But there is a cocktail in the list of IBA classics that has a twin – a cocktail that looks like it, has almost the exact same make-up and shared heritage, but unlike its sibling, hasn’t been overlooked by those jerks at the IBA.

Think of it as the cocktail kingdom’s Sly to the Frank.

Frank Stallone.jpg
Let’s face it, the “thumbs up” is never a sign of a career in full flight (even next to the guy who made Tango and Cash)

So to right this wrong, this week we’re looking at the Caipirinha at the same time as its sister cocktail, the Caipiroska aka the Caprioska.

That the Caiprininha is the older sibling should matter not to us.

Loving cocktails is like loving your children, you don’t halve the love you’ve given to your firstborn when you have another (although, I suspect my parents were tempted when their cute-as-a-button girl child came along after 18 months of just that boy child).

Nope. You make like Jackie Stallone and you double your love.

Jackie Stallone
If in doubt, always ask yourself “What would Jackie Stallone do?”

Unless that cocktail is made of Midori and then the whole family metaphor falls over and you just have to cut that shit out of your life and never look back.

So, the Caiprinha.

It’s made of cachaça, which is fun to say. Cachaça is a fermented sugarcane juice from Brazil. Cachaça is different from rum, because that’s usually made from refinery by-products like molasses. Cachaça, on the other hand, is alcohol produced fermentation of the fresh sugarcane juice which is then distilled.

That’s a bit boring and I think we’ve also topped out on the fun-ness of saying cachaça now.

Anyway, it’s the main ingredient in Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha.

To make it, muddle some fresh lime – aim for about half a lime per cocktail, cut into four wedges – and two teaspoons of sugar in a glass, add ice (not crushed) and pour on 50mLs of your alcohol (cachaça, in case you missed it).


And drinking to someone’s health when you raise a Caipirinha may be historically accurate since there are reports of it being the bastard marketing child of a drink previously made with lemon, garlic, honey and aguardente in Alentejo, Portugal. This was 1918 and the cocktail was served up as a remedy for Spanish flu (which you’ll remember resulted in the deaths of about 5% of the world’s population so let’s call it a “failure” as a remedy).

The cachaça version may come out of Piracicaba in Sao Paulo State where landowning farmers wanted to showcase their product so they made a cocktail. They gave said cocktail a name which roughly translates as “hillbilly”, so remember that next time you’re paying $25 for one.




Anyway, swap out the cachaça for vodka, and you have the Caipiroska, or Caprioska (it seems both names are right but Caipiroska might be a bit righter).

Here are two $25 hillbillies I enjoyed in the name of research.


Bonus points for reusable straws


I used to heavily favour the vodka version and thought I wasn’t a fan of the Caiprinha so much, but on recent taste-testing, have discovered my tastes to have shifted somewhat and I prefer the original.

They look the same, taste very different.

Potato/potato, have what you enjoy.

Perhaps though, rather than the twin metaphor, a Doppelganger reference is more appropriate.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that this is a German word. Before it came into common use in English, apparently we used the word “fetch” for the same purpose.

How great is that?

Granted it’s not entirely appropriate since it refers to “the apparition of a person living” and we’re talking cocktails, but I think it still vindicates Gretchen Wieners.

Sidebar Your Honour:  HERE’S a great article  on how to make a saying stick if you’re super-keen.

Drink either of these suckers carefully though. Both siblings taste like a summer’s day and go down really, really easily. There are even rumours of possible past involvement in separate copulatory events.

But who can remember?



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