Typical Brazilian Drinks
Brazil is a vast country with many different drinks in its many regions. The following are the most common drinks found:
Cachaça: The national liquor of Brazil, it is made from distilled sugar cane. Very similar to rum, you can either purchase it aged or unaged, white or gold. Aged cachaça which is considered superior and is generally sipped on its own, can very in flavor, depending on the type of wood used for the barrels. Many different local trees are used in different regions and by different manufacturers.
Caipirinha: This is the most famous drink from Brazil and considered the national cocktail. Made with cachaça, sugar and lime juice, it can either be a refreshing cocktail or a strong one that might leave you regretting your purchase.
Caju Amigo: "The Friendly Cashew" combines two of Brazil's favorite flavors. It is a mixture of cachaça with juice from a cashew nut. Every now and again you can find bars that have a must more entertaining method, which involves chewing a cashew, keeping it in your mouth and then swallowing it with a shot of cachaça.
Cerveja: Beer! Notice that when you are served chopp (tap beer) it will be served with a lot of foam on top. It's not that the bar you're at is trying to rip you off, no, that's just how it's served in Brazil.
Leite de Onça: "Jaguar Milk" again made with cachaça, it is a combined with milk and served cold. It is usually served in a mug without any garnish so it can easily be mistaken for a mug of normal milk (is that why the kids are always so happy in Brazil ;) ).
Chimarrão: The Brazilian version of yerba mate. As in Uruguay and Argentina this special tea is both symbolic and social, and is commonly share among a group of friends through a special ceremony where each person drinks from the same cup. It is considered to have many of the same health benefits as Chinese green tea and has natural caffeine in it. This drink is more common in the South of Brazil.
Tereré: This is a cold version of chimarrão that is enjoyed mainly in the South of Brazil. It is mixed with citrus juice and is a refreshing drink during hot weather.
Agua de coco: Literally meaning coconut water, this drink is often served directly in the coconut itself. Unripe coconuts contain much more liquid than ripe coconuts, as the liquid is absorbed by the flesh of the fruit, so green coconuts are plucked of the trees and opened for a sweet and mild drink. Agua de Coco can easily be found in stands on the street. The photo below is from one of many stands at Parque do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo. They skillfully cut the coconut open in front of you with a small machete. This is to show that the milk inside will be fresh.
Guaraná Antartica: Is the most popular soft drink produced in Brazil with a distinct apple/berry flavour. In some places it is considered an energy drink. To give you an idea of the popularity of Guaraná, it is the official sponsor of the Brazilian national football team (yes, they beat Coca-cola to that title).
See our Typical Brazilian Food guide.
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