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The Caipirinha. A classic cocktail to celebrate the legacy of modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi.

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

What else would you celebrate Lina Bo Bardi's Brazilian style of modernism with than a Caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail?

Although she was born in Rome, Lina Bo Bardi is most known for her modernist work in Brazil.

As a woman, an Italian, and a communist, Lina Bo Bardi, remained very much an outsider. Despite this she managed to forge a path to a distinctive style of modernism that put the Brazilian people and their culture at the center. Did you miss the post on Lina Bo Bardi?

The Caipirinha is made from Cachaça, which is made from fermented sugar cane. It is the most popular liquor in Brazil, and in fact it can only be made in Brazil. The distillation of Cachaça, dates back to 1532, when Portuguese colonists first brought sugar production and slavery to Brazil. The liquor was invented by the slaves who worked in the sugar factories and used to be a favorite among low income workers. Now this delicious sweet and smokey spirit is beloved everywhere, but especially in Brazil. As an architect who identified with the working classes and referred to her work as "uma arquitetura pobre" or architecture of the poor, I am certain that Lina Bo Bardi enjoyed many Caipirinhas. I love Cachaça for its subtle, smokey flavor, similar to Mezcal. (In fact, I've subbed in Cachaça, in cocktails when I've run out of Mezcal) My version of the Caipirinha uses brown sugar instead of refined white sugar and a few drops of Angostura bitters. I think the brown sugar brings out the smokey flavor, but it does cloud or yellow the color of the drink. So if you want that perfectly clear cocktail, stick with the refined sugar and skip the bitters. With just limes, sugar and Cachaça, it couldn't be easier to make. But it absolutely must be made with crushed ice. Similar to a julep, it's important for the crushed ice to dilute the Cachaça and cut its intensity. So if you don't already have one, get yourself and ice grinder. Julep season is almost here.


  • Cachaça

  • limes

  • Angostura bitters

  • brown sugar Cut a half of a lime into 4 wedges and mull in an old-fashioned glass. Add a heaping tsp of brown sugar and 3 drops of bitters. Fill the glass with crushed ice. and then fill the glass to 3/4 height with Cachaça. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge. Enjoy!


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