The most famous of all Brazilian drinks is no doubt the Caipirinha. Brazil is also home to a wide variety of other cocktails, each influenced in their own way by the country’s culture and tradition. Enjoy this exploration of my favorite hidden gems: wonderful drink recipes from Brazil.
A tribute to cachaça: Batida
The Batida is a Brazilian fruit and milk based cocktail most often sold in the kiosks next to the coast. In Portuguese “batida” means “milkshake” or “shaken.” The drink is traditionally made with cachaça, the national liquor of Brazil, and a variety of different fruits.
Delicious strawberry batidas
Photo by Bocadorada/Flickr
Cachaça is a sweet type of rum distilled from sugar cane. Make sure you go for premium cachaça for a superior tasting cocktail!
Here is a gorgeous recipe for a pineapple-lemon batida:
Total time: 3 mins
Yield: 1 drink
- 50 ml cachaça
- 75 ml Pineapple Juice
- 12 1/2 ml Lemon Juice
- 5 ml Sugar Syrup
Blend or shake with ice
Note: The fruit juice can be substituted with coconut milk. The most common fruits used are passion fruit, coconut and lemon
This cocktail is made in diverse ways, with a variety of different fruits! One popular variation is created by adding sour cream or condensed milk to the cocktail. The drink is furthermore also often made with vodka instead of Cachaça. In São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, it is tradition to serve batidas with feijoada, a typical Brazilian dish.
Homemade goodness: Aluá
Aluá is a home-made fermented drink that has been enjoyed by Brazilians for hundreds of years. This typical Brazilian drink is prepared using different recipes, depending on the region of Brazil you are in. The beverage is most popular in the country’s northeastern states, such as Bahia and Pernambuco.
To prepare the drink, one would commonly mix the peel of two pineapples in two liters of water and add brown sugar, grated ginger, and cloves. The pineapple skin is kept in the water mixture for about 24 hours, to give it a chance to ferment. The beverage becomes more alcoholic the longer you let the pineapple skin ferment. Once you are ready to drink it, strain the mixture and discard of the pineapple.
Aluá can however also be made by fermenting grains and other types of fruits. Here is an alternate recipe for red corn and ginger Aluá:
Recipe – Corn and Ginger Aluá (Aluá de Milho Vermelho)
Total time: 24 hours
Yield: 1 jug
- 1 pound dried corn kernels (soaked overnight)
- 1 ginger root, 3 inches long, grated and peeled
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 quarts fresh water
- Using a food processor, process the ginger and corn together in batches
- Inside a large glass jar, place the corn, ginger, and sugar and add 2 quarts of water
- Cover the jar with a clean dry dish-towel
- Leave jar to ferment (outside refrigerator) for at least 24 hours
- Sample after initial 24 hours (the alcohol percentage will rise with more time)
- Drain the mixture using a sieve and cheesecloth, and discard of the corn
- Store the beverage in the fridge, or serve with ice
Note: Don’t forget that the beverage will continue to ferment unless you refrigerate it!
The alcohol content in this drink is generally kept low, at around 3%. It is best to drink at early stages of the fermentation to avoid dangerously high alcohol levels. In the Brazilian heat, the alcohol generally ferments quickly, while in colder climates fermentation takes more time.
Go for silk stockings
Meia de seda, literally translating to “silk stockings,” is another typical Brazilian cocktail. This cocktail is especially recommended for those with an extremely sweet tooth. This milk-based drink is very rich and creamy and has a festive feel. Just like the other Brazilian cocktails, there are slight variations in the recipe. Most commonly it is made as follows:
Meia de seda Recipe
Total time: 5 mins
Yield: 1 drink
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk (not the same as evaporated milk!)
- 100 ml creme de cacao liquor
- 5 tablespoons rum
- 1 tsp sugar and cinnamon
Place all the ingredients together in blender and mix. Serve very cold.
Note: The rum can be substituted by cognac or gin
The cacao liquor used for this drink is made from cocoa beans that were fermented, dried, roasted and finally taken out of their skins.
Celebrate a little South American culture and raise your glasses to Brazil!
Latin America for Less is a group of travel experts who live, work, eat, and breathe all things South America. Their inspiration stems from a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity that make this continent so special.