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Original recipe yields 1 servings
As a Brazilian myself, I prepare Caipirinha in a slightly different way: the ingredients are still the same (although you can substitute the cachaça for dark rum - it will then be called "Caipirissima"). You should crush the sliced lime (unpeeled, please!) and the sugar in a glass, mix in the cachaça (or rum) and a few ice cubes. As for the comments on using either limes or lemons, I can assure you that what is sold in the US as lime is exactly what Brazilians call "limão Tahiti". So, go with the lime!
Being a Brazilian myself, I must say that our original recipe for Caipirinha takes lemon (Tahiti lemon), not lime. One more hint: I know this could be hard for you to find in the USA, but try using the artesanal Cachaça, not the industrial one. If you have more than a few drinks, the industrial Cachaça (Velho Barreiro, Ypioca, 51) will probably give you a headache and a hangover the next day. A good quality Cachaça (artesanal), won't! Cheers from Brazil!!!
This drink is stunning, and believe me being brazilian myself I can assure you that caipirinha is made with lime and not lemon!!! Shame on the brazilians who said it's made with lemon :(