This is a cocktail of differences.
Easy to compare to a mojito, it's not. And with the base spirit of cachaça (pronounced ka-shaw-sa) that's sometimes mistaken for rum, there's even further distinction that needs to be made.
Let's start with cachaça. Like rum, cachaça is a sugarcane spirit. But where rum is typically distilled from the molasses leftover from sugar production, cachaça is actually made directly from sugarcane juice. It's fermented and distilled into a clear, deliciously-boozy spirit. Once made, it can be aged in barrels like rum to enhance the depth and flavor.
In fact, one of our favorite cachaças, Novo Fogo, comes in various forms, aged in barrels for 1 or 2 years and even a variety aged in zebra wood. For this one, we're using the Novo Fogo Chameleon, which is aged for one year in repurposed American oak barrels.
As for this cocktail, the caipirinha, is the national drink of Brazil (where most cachaça comes from) and is not a mojito. First of all, there is no mint. Secondly, you usually do not add seltzer (unless you're trying to water it down a bit...which is not a bad idea).
So, let's make one!
2 oz Novo Fogo Chameleon Cachaça
1/2 of a big, juicy lime (or one little lime)
2 tsp demerara sugar
Cut the lime into cubes and add it, with the sugar, to the bottom of your shaker tin. Muddle to release the juices. Add the cachaça to the glass, cover and shake a bit to help dissolve the sugar. Add the amount of ice you would need to fill your glass to your shaker tin, cover and shake vigorously. Transfer entire contents into your glass.