Whether you are at a fancy resort on Copacabana’s beachfront or in some hostel in Botafogo you need to know the ins and outs of drinking in Rio. This isn’t for the faint livered traveler with the khaki shorts, camera around your neck and sunscreen on your nose. No I’m talking to you the brave explorer with a liver black as night, rock hard stomach not from crunches but greasy street vendor food that doesn’t resemble what it claims to be and Havaianas on your feet, I’m talking to you.
We shall start where else but the national drink of Brazil, the infamous caipirinha (kai-pee-reen-ya). Every tropical coastal place has some fruity tasty drink that not only has an umbrella in it but should be drunk under one. Now I know this sounds like a frilly fufu drink but trust me this drink is predominantly made with a Brazilian rum like liquor named cachaça made from sugar cane. It is also know as pinga which refers to a guys umm banana in some Spanish slang, so when someone asks you to attend the pinga festival make sure you know if you are talking to a Brazilian or Puerto Rican – otherwise you might be surprised at what pops up. So what exactly is a caipirinha, well it is nothing more than sugar cane sugar, cachaça, crushed limes and ice all mixed together – yet creates something so delicious you will have to order a second and third. If the taste isn’t to your liking at first you can always ask for more sugar and adjust it to fit your taste buds. You can also order straight shots of cachaça but there is a difference between the cachaça that goes in your caipirinha and the cachaça that goes into a shot. If you get confused don’t worry the bartender should be able to assist you, and if not find your closest Brazilian and ask for some help and pay them with a celebratory shot as well.