Heading to Brazil? Lucky you! It’s the land of carnivals, samba music and…cocktails. We’ve rounded up the top seven Brazilian cocktails that you have to try, from nutty concoctions, through to fermented pineapple wines. Here are our top picks:
The Caipirinha is Brazil’s national drink and a classic beverage that can be found on cocktail menus around the world. The drink is made from cachaça (Brazil’s national liquor that’s made from fermented sugar cane), fresh lime juice, sugar and crushed ice. The drink is thought to have originated in Portugal in the early 20th century and was used as a remedy for people suffering from the Spanish flu. Today it’s still used as a remedy and many Brazilians believe it can help ward of common colds. The drink comes in several different varieties and the cachaça can be replaced with different alcohols, such as vodka, wine or Japanese rice wine.
Capeta means ‘devil’ in Portuguese, and it’s easy to see why this drink gets its name. We would describe it as devilishly tasty. The drink is a combination of cachaça, with cinnamon, honey, berries from the Amazon and condensed milk. It’s an indulgent drink that’s popular in the northeastern part of the country. It can also be prepared with vodka, instead of cachaça.
Aluá is a delicious, pineapple wine drink that’s popular in states such as Bahia and Pernambuco. It can be served as an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage — but we think it tastes better as a boozy drink. It’s a concoction of pineapple peel, brown sugar, ginger and cloves. The pineapple peel is placed into water, and the longer it’s left to ferment in water, the more alcoholic it becomes.
The Batida cocktail is a milkshake-like drink that’s made from cachaça, coconut milk and sugar. It’s then blended with ice creating a creamy beverage. Fruits and fruit juices can also be added to create a variety of different flavours, with the most popular being strawberry or mango. We think it tastes best in its original coconut form, however!
5. Bossa Nova
Named after Brazil’s smooth, jazz-like music, the Bossa Nova cocktail is made from gin mixed with quince jelly, lemon juice, sugar syrup and thin slices of cucumber. It’s a refreshing drink that is best enjoyed while listening to some Bossa Nova music, for a real Brazilian experience.
6. Caju Amigo
Caju Amigo, which translates to the ‘friendly cashew’, may sound like a bizarre drink, but it’s actually really delicious. It’s a two-ingredient beverage made from cachaça and juice from cashew nuts, which are mixed together and served in a glass. Some bars replace the cashew juice with a whole cashew nut, which is placed on the tongue and swallowed together with a whole shot of cachaça.
If you’re in Rio and work up an appetite after a few Caju Amigos, check out Eat Rio Food Tours, offering a snippet of local life and cuisine.
7. Colada Brazil
The Colada Brazil is the country’s own take on the piña colada. The beverage is made from a mix of cachaça, white rum, pineapple juice, and coconut cream, or milk. It might not sound all that different to a normal piña colada, but the addition of cachaça really makes a big difference to its flavor.