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Muddle or Shake?

Posted by Reese on 2009-02-25 @ 08:57pm

The question has plagued mankind since the development of the Caipirinha.  Should one muddle the cocktail or shake?  It’s the kind of question fights have been started over.  Well, I couldn’t let this dilemma go unsolved any longer.  So I mixed up a Caipirinha show down for the benefit of all of us.

Muddle or Shake?

Caipirinha (Shaken)
2 oz Cachaça (Leblon)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup
Caipirinha (Muddled)
1/2 Lime cut in Wedges
2 tsp Sugar
2 oz Cachaça (Leblon)

The verdict is a bit of a hard one.  Both of these varients have their pluses and minuses.  Certainly both are very tasty and I definitely wouldn’t turn either down.


Pro – Very simple to mix in batches ahead of time or in large quantities
Pro – Tremendously drinkable
Con – Sourness of the lime covered by simple syrup
Con – Subtleties of the cachaça are lost


Pro – Classic recipe
Pro – Bitterness from peel and oils adds to flavor
Pro – Much more complex flavor
Pro – More interesting presentation
Pro – Cachaça flavor comes through more
Con – Longer prep
Con – Requires muddler
Con – Need fresh limes

Okay, those last two cons for the muddled recipe are both a stretch.  You can use damn near anything blunt as a muddler and I’d certainly hope you were buying fresh limes for this drink anyway.  So, the final verdict?  Make the muddled version unless you’re either making them by the pitcher full or mixing tons and tons of them for a party.

Still worried that you can’t make this drink due to a lack of muddler?  Fear not.  The good folks at Leblon Cachaça will happily send you a muddler for only the cost of shipping ($2.00).  I used mine to make the drink you see pictured above.  You can pick yours up right here.