POPULAR: Latina’s bartender gets busy making Brazil’s “national drink”, the caipirinha. [Photo by Xu Xiaomin / Shanghai Star]
When it comes to beverages, nothing is more popular than the cocktail Caipirinha, available everywhere in Brazil from market stalls to fine dining restaurants. Dubbed the national drink of Brazil, the mojito-like cocktail features lime, sugar and distilled sugarcane liquor called cachaça. It is usually served in an old-style glass and tailored to different tastes with an extra slice of kiwi, mango, or passion fruit.
Legend has it that the sweet-sour drink was first made as a home remedy for colds early in the 20th century, and now it has gained popularity even outside South America.
The drink is not yet in vogue in Shanghai, but recipes for a homemade glass are abundant online, and it is easy to replace the cachaça with more readily available alcohol, like rum or vodka.
As the largest supplier of coffee in the world, Brazil also boasts a vast production of coffee beans. It is such a ubiquitous drink there that at many restaurants and eateries in the country, a cup of coffee is offered free after the meal, like a glass of water.
Although Brazil is distinguished more by the quantity than the quality of the beans it grows, certain varieties have scored high marks among coffee-lovers around the world.
The Bourbon, for example, a transplant introduced by the French, is widely loved and brewed. Starbucks has recently included it at some of its outlets around the world.
It is smooth and round, with a hint of caramel balanced with a touch of crisp acidity. The most impressive sip we had in Shanghai is at a small cafe called Huayuanli.
(Inside the Garden) 42 Wanping Road, Xuhui district