Have you been tuning into the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro? If not, you’re missing quite the event. Even more so, you’re missing out on an excellent reason to expand your cocktail repertoire with some excellent Brazilian creations you may have never had.
Here are four libations that are perfect for sipping while watching the Olympics, no matter which country you’re rooting for. Given the location of this year’s games, we decided to keep our focus on cocktails made with cachaça, a sugar-cane based spirit similar to rum. It’s Brazil’s most widely produced alcoholic beverage, and while it once hard to find outside the country, its growing popularity has increased its availability worldwide.
We’d be remiss not to include Brazil’s national cocktail on this list. Made from cachaça, sugar, and lime juice, it’s a light and refreshing sip that’s perfect for the summer. You can also mix it up by adding in tropic fruits like mango or pineapple, or switching out the cachaça for vodka or rum. See recipe
Capeta, which translates to “devil” in Portuguese, is the name of a popular cocktail which is frequently drunk during Carnival. It’s a sweet and creamy concoction made with cachaça, condensed milk, cinnamon, honey, and guarana powder — the last of which is an ingredient made from topical berries that can be found at most health food stores. A bit of cocoa powder is often added to make it even more delicious. See recipe
Hungover? Try the Bloody Carioca, which is Brazil’s answer to the Bloody Mary. This rendition replaces vodka with cachaça, then adds the juice from tomatoes, passion fruit, and lemon. It’s finished off with all the traditional trappings, including celery salt, hot sauce, and Worcestershire, creating a cocktail that’s sweet, spicy, and perfectly tangy. See recipe
If you’re a shot type of person, branch out from tequila with a Caju Amigo. This simple recipe combines two of the country’s favorite flavors: cachaça and cashews. Mix equal parts of the spirit with chilled cashew fruit juice and serve it up straight. Though it may sound weird, the milky, nutty, sugary combo is actually quite nice. Channel your inner Brazilian and chew a slice of cashew right before taking the shot. See recipe