By Danielle French

Caipirinha: A Little Sunshine from Brazil

For anyone currently living in Southern Ontario, and specifically in the Kawarthas region, it will come as no surprise to you that this last week here at the farm has felt more like Fall than Summer – let alone August!

It seems that after our most recent Buenos Aires Summer Heat event that the ‘summer heat’ promptly left. It has been windy, rainy and downright cold. So cold in fact that we have had several fires going in the house to keep warm. I don’t think this is what any of us had in mind for August weather, especially Laura and Fernando, who had their wedding day booked for August for more than a year. They currently reside in Brazil, but were married at the farm this last weekend in what was arguably the worst weather of the season so far. It didn’t just rain, it poured.

I have to admit though that some of my favourite weddings have taken place in the worst weather, and this wedding was no exception. Flowers were brought inside to be placed on the bar, chairs were lined to create an aisle, and heaters were brought in for warmth. More importantly though, guests arrived and filled the barn with a different kind of warmth as the love and excitement for their friends was palpable. As the rain pelted the tin roof outside, family and friends were gathered safe and protected indoors and nothing could ruin the magic they were about to witness and the evening they would soon partake in.

As a wedding venue with an outdoor ceremony space, I regularly receive questions about what happens if it rains. I always answer regarding the logistics, but over time I have developed a few theories based on what I have witnessed on rainy wedding days. The first is that the way a couple views poor weather on their wedding day is a good predictor for how they will overcome future obstacles. I have no proof of this from their later marriages of course, but have always felt that if you are able to laugh and embrace the unpredictability of life together, letting your love for one another shine through at the end of the day regardless of outside circumstances, well how can that be a bad thing?

There is also something about rainy days that seems to bring guests together. Women who have spent hours getting ready laugh with one another as they run through the rain to get to the washrooms while men lend others who are chilled their suit jackets. There seems to be a sense of ‘well, there’s nothing we can do and we’re all in this together.’ That rang true this past weekend when after an extraordinarily loud crash of thunder, guests clapped for Mother Nature and erupted into laughter. Another thing that brings guests together is inevitably sharing a few drinks, and what better way to bring a little sunshine to a rainy day than with the national cocktail of Brazil!

Laura and Fernando wanted their Canadian friends to be able to sample a little taste of their home so requested this for their specialty cocktail. Always looking to learn something new, we were more than thrilled about this! Fernando even came to the farm to give us a little lesson on how to make a proper Caipirinha (and how to pronounce it! Pronounced kai-peh-reen-ya).

A few key things we learned about making this drink:
1) use granulated sugar, not simple syrup
2) NEVER shake the cachaça
3) not all cachaças are created equal.

So the next time you find yourself indoors on a rainy day, find a little bit of sunshine and treat yourself to a piece of Brazil by making your own Caipirinha!

– lime – sugar – cachaça

Muddle half a lime with a spoonful of sugar in a cocktail glass. Add crushed ice and 1.5 ounces of cachaça. Serve.

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