Alcoholic beverages of Brazil

  • 1906

Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugar cane rum), sugar and lime. Cachaça is Brazil's most common distilled alcoholic beverage. While both rum and cachaça are made from sugarcane-derived products, most rum is made from molasses. Specifically with cachaça, the alcohol results from the fermentation of sugarcane juice that is afterwards distilled.

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The strength of cachaça can be hidden in cocktails like the famous caipirinha, where it is mixed with sugar, lime juice and ice. Using vodka instead of cachaça is nicknamed caipiroska or caipivodka; with white rum, it's a caipiríssima; and with sake it's a sakerinha (not in every region).

Another interesting concoction is called capeta ("devil"), made with cachaça, condensed milk, cinnamon, guarana powder (a mild stimulant), and other ingredients, varying by region.

If you enjoy fine brandy or grappa, try an aged cachaça. Deep and complex, this golden-coloured spirit is nothing like the ubiquitous clear liquor more commonly seen.

While imported alcohol is very expensive, many international brands are produced under license in Brazil, making them widely available, and fairly cheap. You can buy booze in the tax-free after landing at brazilian airports, but it is more expensive than buying it outside the airports.

The legal drinking age is 18.