Friday, March 1, 2013

Liquor May be Quicker, but in Brasil, it's always Beer Time

Since it's Friday, I thought I'd celebrate by saying TGIF and giving you a little lesson on the libations found in Southern Brasil.

A famous drink in Brasil is called the caipirinha (kai-pee-reen-ya). The ingredients are lots of lime, lots of sugar, and lots of cachaca (ka-sha-sah), which is a liquor made out of sugar cane juice. (today's video is of a Brit making a caipirinha--hope I don't offend any Brasilian friends, but in order for us Americans to understand how the drink is made, it's better to learn in English). This drink will knock you on your arse, so be careful. Some Brasilians prefer to drink their lime and sugar with vodka, in which case it becomes a caipiroska (kai-pee-ross-ka). Almost as wicked as the caipirinha, unless the cachaca is a local home brew, then watch out. This is hands down, the best drink in the summertime. Brasilians will order one caipirinha at dinner and pass it around so everyone can take a sip before eating. It's a great way to start the meal.

Wine exists in Brasil and they have some nice wines from the center of Santa Catarina state. You can find a very good producer of wine on the drive from Jaragua do Sul to Barra Velha called Sinuelo. They have the traditional sweet red wine from the muscadine grape, which I do not prefer, but they also have some very good dry red and white wines. Some of the better restaurants in larger cities such as Curitiba (Coo-ri-chi-bah) will offer wines from Argentina and Chile, both of which are a bit superior to Brasilian wines.

As for beer (cerveja--sir-veh-zha), it comes very cold and in very big bottles--600 ml. Brasilians will get quite annoyed if their beer is not cold, cold, cold. In fact, the beer coolers in Brasil have a display on the outside of the door indicating the inside temperature of the cooler so everyone can see that the beer inside is cold. Everyone drinks beer in Brasil from kids to seniors. No wonder the Oktoberfest in Blumenau is the second largest in the world, coming in slightly behind Germany's. See my post on Blumenau if you want to check out exactly how big that festival is.

TGIF everyone! Tchau.

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