Caipirinha

10 medium to large limes, washed and quartered
2 1/2 cups (20 ounces) cachaca
1 cup (8 ounces) pure cane syrup or 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) Mock Cane Syrup (recipe follows)

If making the Mock Cane Syrup, do it first, following instructions below. Squeeze juice from the lime quarters into a pitcher that holds at least 50 ounces; drop squeezed fruit into pitcher, as well. Don't knock yourself out to extract all lime juice; a brief squeeze will do.

Add the cachaca, cane syrup and 1/3 cup water; stir briskly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Fill 12-ounce double old-fashioned glasses almost full with crushed ice. Add 3 to 4 squeezed lime quarters to each glass; top with drink mixture. Serve with straws, if desired. Makes 10 (4-ounce) servings.

MOCK CANE SYRUP: In a small saucepan, heat 3/4 cup (6 ounces) water just until simmering. Remove from heat and add 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar, 1/3 cup superfine sugar and 1 teaspoon dark molasses, stirring until dissolved. If making this at the last minute and don't have time to let it cool: combine 1/4 cup of the water with the brown sugar. Heat until water bubbles, remove from heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Add remaining 1/2 cup cold water, superfine sugar and molasses; stir to dissolve sugar.

— Recipe from "The Ultimate Guide to Pitcher Drinks: Cool Cocktails for a Crowd," by Sharon Tyler Herbst.


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