The world of cocktails is vast and varied, but there are few more popular than the caipirinha and margarita. Whether it's a hot Miami day or an afternoon in Cabo, these two drinks can be found anywhere.
But which one is better? Is it the Brazilian Cachaça-based drink with a splash of sugar to make it sweet? Or is it the Mexican tequila-based drink served with salt on the rim that is known for its tart lime flavors?
In this blog post, we'll explore both drinks and figure out which one you should order when you're looking for your next cocktail!
What's in each drink?
Both the caipirinha and margarita are delicious mixed drinks that feature lime juice as a key ingredient, but that's really where the similarities end.
The caipirinha is a famous Brazilian cocktail made with Cachaça, lime, sugar, and ice. Cachaça is a Brazilian spirit made from sugarcane juice and can be distilled in a number of different ways, which is why it has such a unique flavor compared to other spirits.
The margarita, on the other hand, is made with tequila, lime, triple sec or other orange-flavored liqueur, and salt. Tequila originated in Mexico and is made from agave, which is what gives the margarita its unique flavor.
I'll include a recipe card for each cocktail at the end.
Which drink is more refreshing?
The caipirinha is (in my opinion) more refreshing than the margarita. The flavors are sweet, light, and cool, whereas the margarita can sometimes be a little too tart. If you're looking for a refreshing drink on a hot day, the caipirinha is the way to go!
That said, I do love a frozen margarita in the summer too. You can add different frozen fruits to make it more refreshing and customize it to your own taste. Strawberry, peach, and pineapple all taste great in a frozen margarita!
Which drink has a stronger flavor?
The margarita has a stronger flavor than the caipirinha. The lime for the margarita is rubbed directly onto the glass for the salted rim, whereas in the caipirinha you can add as much (or little) sugar to the lime juice to your taste.
If you like strong, contrasting flavors, then definitely get yourself a margarita. But if you prefer a sweeter, milder taste, the caipirinha is best.
Which drink has more alcohol?
I will first mention that these are both mixed drinks. That means the actual strength is totally up to the bartender, so there's no definitive answer here.
With that in mind, I would say that the tequila in a margarita gives it a stronger alcohol flavor than Cachaça does in a caipirinha. The reason for this is because the sugar in the caipirinha masks some of the alcohol flavor. If you're looking for a drink with a more powerful punch, go for the margarita.
Which is better for a party?
If you're looking to make a large pitcher for a group, I think the margarita is the way to go. You can easily just use a pre-made margarita mix for a super easy way to make a large batch that everyone will enjoy.
With a caipirinha, it's difficult to get the sweetness right when making it in large quantities, unless you use simple syrup instead of sugar (which is also an option). There's no reason you can't make this work, but it would be a little more unusual as a party offering.
Which is easier to make?
The caipirinha is probably a little easier to make than the margarita. All you need is Cachaça, lime, sugar, and ice. As long as you can find Cachaça locally, you're good to go.
For a margarita, you need tequila, lime, triple sec, and salt. You also need a glass with a salted rim for an authentic margarita, which can be difficult to do at home. You need just the right amount of salt on the rim to make it taste good, without making it too salty (or letting any salt fall into the drink!).
Which is the better cocktail?
At the end of the day, both cocktails are delicious in their own right, and it ultimately comes down to what you prefer in a drink.
If you love strong, flavorful drinks with a sour vibe, go for the margarita. But if you're looking for something light and refreshing (and on the sweeter side), the caipirinha is the way to go.
Here are some recipes below to help make your decision easier. Try them both and see which you like better!
First up, the caipirinha:
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 Lime
- 2 1/2 oz Cachaca
How to make it
- Place lime and sugar into old fashioned glass and muddle (mash the two ingredients together using a muddler or a wooden spoon).
- Fill the glass with ice and add the Cachaça.
Now it's time for a margarita:
- 1 1/2 oz Tequila
- 1/2 oz Triple sec
- 1 oz Lime juice
How to make it
- Rub the rim of the glass with the lime slice to make the salt stick to it.
- Take care to moisten only the outer rim and sprinkle the salt on it.
- The salt should present to the lips of the imbiber and never mix into the cocktail.
- Shake the other ingredients with ice, then carefully pour into the glass.
I hope you enjoy trying these two delicious cocktails out at home!