Brazilian coffee is a lot stronger than what most people in the U.S. are used to drinking. It has a sweet flavor and has hints of caramel that are enhanced by the large amounts of liquid sweetener that many people add before drinking. The serving size for cafezinho (sweet, strong coffee) is relatively small in most cases and is comparable to an espresso shot. Seen here are Kirby Preroff and Lee Morck about to enjoy a cafezinho after dinner.
Fruit drinks are very common and are served almost everywhere. Some of the different juices include orange juice (suco da laranja), mango juice (suco da manga), guava juice (suco da goiaba), passion fruit juice (suco da maracujá), açaí juice and many others. Açaí (pronounced ah sah ee) is an exotic tropical juice from the açaí berry and has become an international beverage that has many health benefits. These are often drunk with breakfast and can also be used in many different cocktails. Along with fruit juices, many people drink coconut milk right from the coconut. Venders sell this drink everywhere. Seen here are examples of a drink made with açaí and the other is an example of the coconut drink.
Alcohol plays a large role in the leisure activities in Brazil. Venders line the rim of the beaches and plazas selling a wide variety of different beverages. The official drink of Brazil was the most popular with our travel group. This of course is the caipirinha. Caipirinhas are made by taking several scoops of sugar (açucar), ice (gelo), lime (fruto da lima) and cachaça and mixing it all together to make a very delicious cocktail. Cachaça is a brandy liquor made from fermented and distilled sugar cane juice. Variations of this drink can be called Capfruita. These are caipirinhas that use other fruits such as oranges and passion fruit instead of lime. Beer (cerveja) is also very common in the areas of Brazil we visited. Almost every brand is a light pilsner style similar to the big three (Coors, Budweiser and Miller) of the United States. It is important to point out though that in my entire time in Brazil I did not see one American beer. Every brand of beer available was a Brazilian brewed beer. Several examples of these include Sol, Skol, Nova Schin and Bohemia. These are only a few of the dozen or so brands I encountered. Beer is much more accepted in public than in the United States. Pictured here are two of the brands. The first is Skol which was usually seen in 12 oz. and 16 oz. cans, as well as 22 oz. bottles. The second was a premium beer of Brazil known as Bohemia. Brazilians like their beer almost past the point of freezing. On several occasions, I was given a beer that was basically a slurpee.
Brazilians enjoy soda a great deal along with the beverages already mentioned. Soda in Brazil is a little different than what we drink in the United States. As told to me by Professor Jefferson, Brazilian sodas contain real sugar as opposed to the corn syrup that is used in American soda. The two most popular brands that we encountered were Coca-cola and a beverage called "Guaraná." Glass bottles are very common when ordering a coke at a restaurant. Guaraná is a sweet carbonated beverage flavored by extract of reddish brown, caffeine-laced Guaraná berries. Its fruity taste is comparable to a mix of ginger ale, Sprite, and an entire pack of Life Savers. Pictured here are examples of a glass Coca-cola bottle and a can of Guaraná.
Darius - "The drinks I enjoyed the most in Brazil were called Guaraná and H2OH. Guaraná is a soft drink that has a different type of taste to it. I don’t think that we have anything like it in the United States or maybe I haven’t looked hard enough to find it. H2OH is flavored carbonated water or at least that is what I was told. To me it tasted like flavored Sprite. I tried three flavors - apple, orange and lime."
Victoria - "The fruit drinks were so good!! Many of them are made with the açaí berry mixed with other fruits! They are the most refreshing thing you can drink on a hot day in Brazil!"
Ed - "The beverages were in my opinion not much different except for this fruit soda known as Guaraná. That soda was the best fruit soda I have ever had. That was a shocker because I don't drink soda, but I drank that a few times while in Brazil."
Jesse - "I fell in love with the Brazilian soft drink Guaraná. The taste was unlike any other soft drink I have ever tasted. It was so good I can only remember one time when I did not request it for dinner or for one of my random snack times. Before I left I felt the urge to buy just one more to take back home and share with my friends. Sadly, that Guaraná didn't last longer than 10 minutes in my hand. It was gone before I knew it."