It’s cold outside.

Despite what Mr. Groundhog said about spring being in the air, it seems that winter continues to grip Washington, DC with its cold, cruel fingers.

Been absolutely frigid lately. The kind of cold that presses against your head until even your brain feels frost-bitten. I was outside on a tour all day yesterday, and kept stuttering as my lips were completely numb, making it difficult to pronounce, well, anything.

One of my motivations for going to Brazil for 3 months this past November was to avoid winter in the northern hemisphere.

I was born on Maui, so naturally I came out of the womb cursing cold weather.  My travel choices are usually guided by my desire to achieve an endless summer. Yet, right now there seems to be no escaping the inevitable chill.

However, rather than complain about the predicted snow storm set to hit the capital tomorrow, I’ve decided to embrace it. How, you may ask? By locking myself indoors and whipping up a few of the Brazilian cocktails I learned while bartending in Natal. That’s right, everyone. Let’s turn up the heat, bump some Bob Marley, and pretend it’s summertime as the snow falls outside.

Brazilian Cocktail Recipes


The most popular of all Brazilian cocktails, the Caipirinha is a light and refreshing summer drink. The original recipe calls for limes, but any fruit can be used. Some of my favorites include passion fruit, mango, pineapple, and watermelon.


  • 3 lime wedges, halved. (Be sure to remove the white part running down the center, otherwise the drink will be bitter).
  • 2 spoonfuls of sugar (followed by a singsong tune by Mary Poppins)
  • A martini shaker capful of crushed ice
  • 7 seconds of alcohol. (Traditionally, the Brazilian liquor Cachaca is used, but you can also use vodka or a light rum).

Slice up your limes and drop them in a martini shaker. Add the sugar (I don’t like my drinks too sweet so I usually opt for 1.5 spoonfuls). Crush limes and sugar with all your might. Add ice. Pour alcohol over ice. Choose your speed wisely. Shake, shake, shake. Then serve.

Note: The former will produce a single serving, but you can always choose to make a Bucket o’ Capirinha instead. Yeahhh Beckyyy.


Very similar to the Caipirinha, Brazilian Daiquiris (pronounced die-keer-rhee) are made with lime juice and rum rather than limes and cachaca. Don’t expect the sort of Daiquiri found at tropical resorts. These cocktails are shaken, not blended, and there is no dairy involved.


  •  3 Tbsp of fresh squeezed lime juice.
  • 2 spoonfuls of sugar.
  • A martini shaker capful of crushed ice.
  • 7 seconds of light rum.

Squeeze lime juice and pour in martini shaker. Add sugar. Add ice. Add rum. Again, choose pouring speed wisely. Shake until your forearms burn and your fingers feel like icicles. Serve. Feel free to add a fancily cut lime so you look even cooler.

A passion fruit Caipirinha sporting a pretty lime garnish.


Batidas are blended cocktails of fruit and condensed milk. Usually made with cachaca, you can also use vodka or a light rum. Fruits that work well for this drink include strawberries, mangos, pineapple, and bananas. Not quite as sweet as the caipirinha, this creamy concoction is a personal favorite.

  • 1 cup fruit, pureed (either fresh or frozen fruit).
  • 3 Tbsp condensed milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 7 seconds of alcohol

Put all ingredients in the blender and let em’ go.

Hope these summer drinks warm your soul this winter. Enjoy!