The 2012 London Summer Olympics are down to the Closing Ceremonies (which are underway in London as I write this post, but won’t be aired on tv for a few hours here). All 302 victory ceremonies have taken place, with the last gold medal of these Games being awarded to Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania in the modern pentathalon. At the close of these Olympics, Team USA lead the overall medal count, winning 104 medals with forty-six of them gold. China followed with thirty-eight gold medals (eighty-seven medals in total), and Great Britain followed China with sixty-five total medals (twenty-nine of them gold).
As these Games come to a close, there will be a nod to the next Summer Olympics, which will be hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Following tradition, tonight’s Closing Ceremonies will see the mayor of Great Britain hand over the Olympic flag to the mayor of Rio, and Rio’s Olympic Organizing Committee has designed approximately eight minutes of tonight’s festivities to show the world what they can look forward to in Rio. The Rio Games will be the first held in South America, and only the third held in the southern hemisphere (the only time this has been done other than two previous Games in Australia). Windsurfing will be removed from the 2016 Games and replaced by kitesurfing. In addition, rugby sevens and golf will be added to the events, replacing baseball and softball (which were removed in 2005).
I figured it was only fitting to celebrate Rio and the end of this series with a drink. Enter the caipirinha, a drink made with cachaca, lime, sugar and ice. Cachaca is possibly the most popular distilled beverage in Brazil, and is mainly produced there. It is made from fermented sugarcane juice and shares attributes in common with rum (except rum is typically made from molasses). The caipirinha is simple to make, if you can get your hands on the cachaca. Only about one per-cent of what is made in Brazil is exported from Brazil, and most of that typically goes to Germany. Lane found a bottle at Stew Leonard’s as they were featuring drinks from around the world in honor of the Olympics. A well-stocked liquor store should carry it, or there’s the option of mail order. If none of these are an option, rum can be substituted, but the drink won’t be exactly the same. The recipe below is for one drink. It’s easy to make a pitcher full for a crowd, just multiply how many drinks you’ll need and follow the same instructions.
- 1 lime
- 2 oz. cachaca
- ice (crushed is preferable, I used cubes)
- 2 tsp. sugar
Cut the lime into eight wedges.
Place four of the wedges into a rocks glass, pulp side up, and sprinkle the sugar over them.
Using a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon, smash the limes and sugar together for about fifteen seconds.
Fill the glass with ice.
Pour the cachaca over the ice and drink cold.
Makes 1 serving.