Brazilian Drinks

You may be forgiven for thinking that the caipirinha is the only Brazilian drink worth noting. A serious error my friend.
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The Brazilian CaipirinhaThe caipirinha is merely that drink (albeit delicious) common to most nations that has saddled itself with the national flag in an attempt to gain superiority over its fellow beverages. As the Irish are assumed connoisseurs of Guinness, the Scots are champions of whiskey, and the Spanish are forever knocking back barrels of sangria, so the Brazilians are supposedly spending their days flaunting their beautiful bodies on Ipanema beach lazily sipping caipirinhas.
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The first challenger to the caipirinhas throne is the Alúa (also called Arúa), a fragrant and refreshing cocktail from indigenous origins most commonly found in the northern states of Bahia, Ceará, and Pernambuco, among others. The Alúa combines fermented pineapple peel soaked with ginger, brown sugar, and cloves, which is then strained and served over ice.
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PorodinhaThe second challenger arrives in the shape of a tin cup. Modest in nature, the Porradinha is a favourite among students, bums, and ordinary individuals that find pleasure in the simpler, cheaper, things in life. A Porradinha is basically straight cachaҫa and sprite, or some other fizzy drink, mixed together in a tin cup and then roughly banged off a hard surface before hastily gulped back in one. The bite of the alcohol, the fizz of the bubbles, and the loud bang of your tin cup, and all the other tin cups at your table, attack the senses simultaneously – sending a jab of adrenaline straight to your head. A highly recommended experience.
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Beer AdOur third entrant is the Submarino, a rather macho-sounding drink that manages to emasculate a good beer with a shot of juniper berry liquor by the name of Steinhäger. The Submarino drinker is usually a raffishly dressed pensioner with a taste for the finer eccentricities in life. Apparently this drink was an invention of the first German immigrants to Brazil, who used to knock back the two parts separately yet simultaneously, without a straw. A difficult but impressive feat I imagine.
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The Friendly Cashew sneaks in as our fourth challenger. A Caju Amigo brings together cachaҫa and Cashew juice. A juice I had no idea existed for the past 24 years but which is actually really tasty. And not at all like a juiced cashew nut. Almost like orange juice. With a hint of nut.
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The Bombeirinho, Capeta, and Leite de Onca, are three variations on the Brazilian girly cocktail. All very sweet, all involve some form of dairy (condensed milk seems to be the popular choice here), and all usually come garnished with some sort of sparkly umbrella and an unnaturally carved slice of orange. Sometimes some fruit makes its way into the mix, sometimes pure sugar and vodka are all that’s needed, sometimes, if the bartender is feeling extra frivolous, a sprinkling of chocolate powder is wafted over the top like a layer of accumulated dust. Rather cloying for some tastes, definitely not a good idea for diabetics, dentists, and dieters.
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The Batida is the cousin of the caipirinha, or rather the forebear of the caipirinha as this drink, mainly found in beach stalls, is a blend of cachaҫa, sugar, ice, and a fruit of your choice. Thus a Batida with lime is a also known as a caipirinha. Not nearly as exciting as a Porradinha in my opinion.
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Bear ChopeThe Guaraná Antarctica is the national soft drink of brazil, the Irn Bru of Ipanema, the Coca Cola of Copocabana, the Colombiana of Ceilândia and so on. The Guaraná’s namesake is an Amazonian fruit that contains twice the caffeine of coffee beans although the actual softdrink itself contains only a small amount of this explosive fruit. It tastes kind of like apple mixed with bubble gum, very sweet as is the preference of the brazilian people it seems. Due to Guaraná’s naturally high caffeine content and gym-bunnies, bodybuilders, and dieters often include it as a staple of their diet – a great appetite suppresser.
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Worthy Mentions:
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Meia de seda  – an old fashioned sweet cocktail made with cacao liquer, cinnamon, and gin.
Chimarrão – the Brazilian version of Yerba Mate. A special symbolic tea.
Acai – a sort of slush made from the acai berry ( a super food!)
Rabo de Galo – A manly man’s macho drink, like a Long Island Iced Tea but skip the coke. Tasty.
Maria Mole – A shot of cognac and a shot of contini, popular as the drink to start a ‘black-out’ night out.
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  • #50

    In reply to: # 49

    Also worth mentioning some variations of Caipirinha: Caipivodka (with Vodka) and my favourite : Caipisaqué, with guess what?... Sake!

  • #49

    We will soon add 2 articles about fruit juices and Acai which are also a big part of the Brazilian culture and something not to be missed when you come here.

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