Sweet, tart and strong, the caipirinha is mixed with the Brazilian spirit cachaça. Cachaça is similar to rum but made from sugarcane rather than molasses. "It's more sophisticated than rum because it's more pure," says Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, patriotically.
The slave trade left a strong African imprint on Brazilian cuisine, which is why Marcus Samuelsson chose to serve this classic Brazilian cocktail at his African-themed party. In his version, however, he muddles cranberries along with the usual lime and replaces the Brazilian spirit cachaca (made from sugarcane juice) with Scandinavian aquavit (an infused spirit).