Those colorful martinis that sport froufrou garnishes resembling Carmen Miranda's headdress have a reputation for being sweet, but also deceptively strong. Bust those tarted up, parrot-colored martinis have nothing on the caipirinha. Think of the caipirinha as the rowdy, Brazalian cousin of the mojito. it's make with cachaca, a potent sugar cane rum. The 80-proof rum is tempered with sugar and lime juice to create a drink that goes down easy but packs a double-fisted punch.
"It's not far behind the mojito in popularity," says ZuZu! bartender Jon Marko. "Like the mojito, it's basically variations on a gimlet. So it's pretty much all booze and sugar."
Unlike the mojito, a caipirinha is one of the easiest drinks to make, so it's quality tends to be consistent at watering holes around town. The drink is also available at 33 Restaurant, Cuchi Cuchi, and Bomboa, although marko not-so-humbly says he often hears that the caipirinha at ZuZu! is the best in the city. Given its strong powers of seduction, we suggest taste testing in moderation.