This traditional Brazilian drink prepared with cachaça gets even better (I didn't know it was possible, honestly!) when it's made with a very sweet tangerine, also called mexerica in São Paulo. I had one in Fortaleza, Ceará, and almost flipped!
1/2 very sweet tangerine
2 ounces of cachaça
Sugar to taste
Peel the tangerine and put it in the glass. Sprinkle with the sugar and crush the pieces with a pestle. (We have a long, wooden one from Brazil, made specifically for this purpose) Add the cachaça and stir to mix. Add the ice and stir again. It's delicious and potent!
You can also make a pitcher of caipirinha. Figure out how many people and multiply amounts. If you can't find cachaça where you live, use a good vodka. The drink will then be called caipiroshka. No vodka? Use white rum and you will have a caipiríssima. But it won't taste the same!
The city of Paraty gave its name to the drink: parati is a synonym for cachaça. Other words for it include: pinga, caninha, branquinha, and malvada. There are tours of distillers in the state of Minas Gerais, much in the same way as you'd tour vineyards in Sonoma Valley or in France, with the added bonus of their famous regional cuisine. Cachaça has also inspired many famous Brazilian songs, "Moda da Pinga" and the famous carnaval song "Cachaça" are my favorites.You can use cachaça to flambé bananas and other food; add it to hot chocolate and even to coffee; marinate pork loin and pork chops, etc.