Last week I talked about reliving travel through food. Taste is a powerful memory trigger and that almost explains why, about a week after my return from Argentina/Brasil I found myself showing up for drinks at a friend’s place in Newtown not with a 6-pack of beer but rather, sipping a pineapple filled with rum.

I’m not in any way implying that people in Northern Brasil show up to people’s houses with a pineapple dangling from their chops, far from it (and also, if they did, they’d use cachaça, not rum). But I couldn’t really get my head around not drinking a caipirinha and drinking it out of a pineapple, although touristy and tacky, was my favourite way to do it. This explains why Senhor R and I found ourselves hacking away at a pineapple one Sunday night to make a cup for our rum caipirinha. Sticky.

What follows is a recipe of sorts for how to turn a pineapple into a drinkable, alcoholic treat.

Caipirinha no Abacaxi
1 pineapple
3-4 dessert spoons of caster sugar
6 ice cubes
2 limes, quartered
Cachaça, or, failing that, rum
A couple of toothpicks

If the leaves of the pineapple are still attached, remove them. Chop the top off the pineapple and save it for a lid. With a long, sharp knife, cut around the inside of the pineapple almost to the bottom, leaving about a half inch border. Then cut a cross through the centre of the flesh that you hope to remove. Hack away at this with knives and spoons until you win.

In a glass or shaker, smash the hell out of the ice, sugar and limes, either with something blunt or by shaking the shaker until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into the pineapple and cover with cachaça, stir and taste. Add more sugar if needed.

Whack in a straw. Attach the lid with a couple of toothpicks. If you’re drinking your caipirinha on the beach, no worries but if you’re somewhere you don’t wanna get too sticky and your pineapple is quite ripe, you might want to put it on a plate or cling wrap it.

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