Get into the spirit of exotic summer cocktails

Cachaca for wine column

Cachaca for wine column

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As the weather improves, our focus turns to summer holidays and thoughts of sipping exotic cocktails on far-flung beaches .

At Barrels & Bottles we have just the thing: if you have ever visited Brazil you will more than likely have tried a caipirinha . This is Brazil’s national cocktail and is popular with locals and tourists alike. It is also a firm favorite in Portugal with the countries sharing strong links.

A caipirinha is made with a white spirit produced in Brazil called cachaça. This is sometimes known as Brazilian rum, yet there is a distinct difference in production which creates a very different flavor to rum.

Essentially, rum is made with molasses, a by-product from sugar refineries that boil the cane juice to extract as much sugar crystal as possible. Cachaça is made from fresh sugar cane juice that is fermented and distilled .

The flavor is reminiscent of a good tequila, yet drunk in the very different and much more refreshing form of a caipirinha. Below is my recipe which is simple and perfect for the summer:

Ingredients: 8 limes, 8 tbsp caster sugar, 400 ml cachaça, 4 large handfuls crushed ice.

Method: cut the limes into wedges. Add to a large jug with the sugar and bash well with the end of a rolling pin to release the juices.

Add the cachaça and mix well, then divide between 4 tall glasses. Fill each glass up to the top with crushed ice and enjoy!

If you have never tried cachaça, get in the Latin spirit and give it a go. This may just give you the inspiration to visit the Copacabana this year.

To help you get in the beach party mood, we are offering Telegraph reader bottles of cachaça at £7.99 for a 50cl bottle; this usually retails for £18.99.

You can also take advantage of this offer on our website, www.barrelsandbottles.co.uk, by entering the code NEWS195, or telephone 01246 453399.