Cachaca is a spirit native to Brazil and is distilled from fresh sugarcane juice. Considered a member of the rum family, it is lighter than other rums which are molasses based. Cachaca has a light, smooth flavor with an aroma that is the essence of fresh sugarcane juice. An ageing process at least a year or more improves the cachaca, creating special aroma components, and softens the flavor of the spirit.
The traditional cachaca cocktail is the caipirinha, a delightful drink made by mixing crushed lime, sugar and cachaca, served over ice. It is the national drink of Brazil and is drunk by everyone from the favela dwellers to the playboys in the clubs of Ipanema.
It's best enjoyed in the evening sunshine on the beach, accompanied by some Bossa Nova or Samba, with a Churrasco barbecue on the go.
Caipirinha (or Caipi for short) is a drink commonly ordered at night clubs in Rio. Its ingredients are lime, sugar, crushed ice, and Cachaca (a distilled spirit made from fresh pressured sugarcane. Much like wine, the flavor of cachaca depends on the Brazilian climate).
Here is how to make Caipirinha:
Cut the lime into thin slices. Place the lime and sugar in a small glass and, with a wood pestle, press only the core of the fruit, without forcing the peel. This prevents the spirits from being sour. Add the Cachaca, mix and fill the glass with crushed ice. Serve in a glass decorated with a slice of lime.
Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil and it's traditionally served on Saturdays. It's basically a big bean stew served in a clay pot and cooked with meat and accompanied by rice and a slice of orange or a garnish of kale. You'll also get some farofa to sprinkle on the stew, which is toasted manioc (cassava) meal.
The national drink of Brazil is the caipirinha, which is made with cachaca (a liquor made from sugarcane) that is served over crushed limes, sugar and ice.