Best 20 Brazilian Drinks
Brazil is a beautiful country with a fantastic cuisine, gorgeous beaches, vibrant cities, and the list goes on and on. Home to the Amazon jungle, Pele, and Rio, Brazil attracts over 6 million international tourists every year.
Drum roll for the list of the most popular drinks in Brazil.
The number one source of suffering for Brazilians traveling abroad is the moment they crave for a Guaraná and realize that, for some inexplicable reason, the rest of world doesn’t drink it. Guaraná is a small bright red fruit with a black dot in the middle, eerily similar to an eye staring at you.
It is native to the Amazon rainforest and is most popular served in the form of a soda, but is also drunk as a juice in some northern regions. The unique exotic flavor of Guaraná is extremely refreshing. Try it at your own risk, though, because you might also end up craving it when you go back home.
2. Café (Coffee)
As a country whose entire economy was based on coffee for nearly a century, having a large cup of coffee at breakfast, a coffee break after lunch, and even a small cup in the evening is an unchangeable part of most Brazilians’ everyday life.
Brazilians like their coffee hot almost to boiling point and can’t hide their bewilderment when a foreigner asks why they just mixed milk into it. “Café com leite”, or coffee with milk, is highly popular in Brazil, even drunk by kids, because of it’s sweeter taste.
Brazilians also have trouble drinking most of the cheap coffee that is served abroad, and refuse to call a Starbucks brew “ real coffee”.
3. Água de Coco (Coconut Water)
Sold on numerous stalls every 20 meters by the beach, in most parks, and every market, cold coconut water is one of the favorite drinks for Brazilians. After a day swimming at the beach or an hour jogging through a park, nothing is more welcome than an ice cold, highly nutritious, sweet coconut water straight out of a ripe green coconut, sipped with a straw.
It is also very common to ask the stall owner to open up the coconut after drinking all it’s content, so you can eat the white colored coconut meat with a spoon.
4. Caldo de Cana (Sugarcane Juice)
Sweeter than any manmade drink, the natural juice extracted by squeezing the sugarcane is loved by Brazilians. It is served on stalls at schools and universities and is a really cheap option for an invigorating drink on a hot day.
Despite being extremely sweet, its sweetness isn’t overwhelming and it is easy to drink large amounts. But be careful because you can’t overestimate the sugar content in a small cup of sugarcane juice.
Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha, is a simple yet delicious drink that is very easy to make. It is made by pouring a generous amount of cachaça, a strong drink made of distilled sugarcane, over sliced limes and mixing well. Then a teaspoon of sugar and some ice is added and it’s ready to go.
The sour taste of the limes blends perfectly with the cachaça, and the sugar masks the taste of the alcohol so well that you could forget it is 80 proof. By the time you realize it, you’re already a happy drunk, so, well…
Açai is a super food with an incredible energy density. It is a favorite drink for after taking part in high intensity activities ,like going to the gym, spending a day at the beach, or playing a game of soccer.
It is served ice cold and has a consistency that varies from a liquid that can be drunk from a glass to a purple paste that is eaten with a spoon, usually accompanied by bits of banana and granola, turning it into an obscenely high energy meal of up to 1,000 calories!
Açai has a notable bitter taste that might be too much for some first timers without adding a bit of sugar. But when the temperature goes up, there is nothing better than a cold bowl of açai to cool you down.
7. Suco de Cupuaçu (Cupuaçu Juice)
The cupuaçu is a strong flavored fruit native to the Amazon rainforest with a very distinct acid taste. While too sour to be enjoyed as a fruit, it is the entire country’s number one fruit when used in sweet recipes.
The juice made out of the cupuaçu pulp has an yellowish color and is usually served with a generous amount of sugar to balance it’s exotic sour taste.
Chimarrão is most popular in the southern regions of Brazil where it was created. It is served in a uniquely-shaped gourd called a “cuia”, specially made to serve the drink. It is made by pouring hot water into a cuia filled with fresh mate leaves and sipped through a metal straw that also acts as a filter.
It is popular in the coldest regions of the country and has the sour taste of mate.
9. Axé de Fala
A drink made of cachaça and including a huge variety of herbs, kept a trade secret by each producer, and cloves, cinnamon, honey, and guaraná powder. It is most popular in Brazil’s northeast region during week-long Carnival festivities.
Because of its vast amount of tasty ingredients, Axe de fala is usually made from low quality cachaça, masking the taste of the alcohol with different sweets. Be careful when drinking it, though, as you can get drunk very fast; it was made with this purpose in mind.
10. Suco de Graviola (Soursop Juice)
The soursop looks similar to its cousin the sugar apple, but is many times larger and has a unique tropical taste. It is a fruit native to the Amazon rainforest. The juice made from its pulp is white, thick, and almost creamy. Don’t let its whiteness fool you into thinking it has a bland flavor.
It’s a delicious, refreshing drink that is sour but with a hint of sweetness, even without adding sugar. It’s extremely popular in the hottest northern regions of Brazil because it is so refreshing to drink during summer.
A non alcoholic drink extremely popular in the northeast region of the country, Cajuína is made from clarified and sterilized cashew juice. Its amber-like color comes from the natural caramelization of the sugars of the cashew fruit.
It was introduced to the other regions of the country after a song by Caetano Veloso named after this amazing drink became a national hit.
12. Quentão (very literally translated as Very Hot)
Quentão is usually served during the Festa junina festival, a celebration of the coming winter. Brazilians are very sensitive to low temperatures, and as soon as the thermometers start showing anything bellow 60°F, it is time to prepare a good quentão. It is basically a strong cachaça, heated and seasoned with sugar, lemon, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
The perfect blend of the strong tasting alcohol with the vast mixture of different sweet flavors is an experience in itself. The fact that it is served hot during the coldest season only adds to the conflictual nature of its flavor, that should be slowly savored. The result is, simply put, an unforgettable experience.
Catuaba is the name of an alcoholic beverage made with a blend of many different tropical barks from the Amazon rainforest.
It is sold in a plastic bottle and looks similar to wine with it’s dark purple color. But be careful not to confuse it with wine as Catuaba has strong aphrodisiac properties and can really catch you off guard if taken in excess. Because of these properties, it is an extremely popular drink for university parties and Carnival.
14. Chá de Ayhuasca (Ayhuasca Tea)
Also know as “Chá de santo Daime”, ayhuasca tea is made from Amazonian vines and bushes that have strong hallucinogen effects. The recipe was passed on orally by the Shamans of Amazon indigenous tribes across centuries.
Despite it’s strong hallucinogen properties, similar to the chemical DMT, it is rarely used for recreation. Because of its heritage, to this day this tea is linked to various spiritual ceremonies as the tea is said to have the power to rid those who drink it of bad energies and spirits.
15. Vitamina de Banana (literally translated as Banana Vitamin)
Vitamina de banana is made by mixing ripe bananas, milk, and sugar in a blender. It is called a vitamin because drinking large amounts at once is believed to reinvigorate you.
It is usually made for people recovering from mild illnesses and, because of that, it’s hated by most children. Not because of its delicious taste, though, but because it is forced into them.
16. Cerveja Baden Baden
One of the best hand-crafted beers in Brazil, the Baden Baden brewery in Campos de Jordão is famous for the myriad unique flavors of their beers.
Beers made from passion fruit, cilantro, orange, cinnamon, berries, chocolate, and regular, high quality malt give those who drink it an amazing sensory experience. They cost about 5 times the price of regular beer, but are a great deal for special occasions.
Its curious name is a literal translation of “cock tail”, as in the tail of a rooster. It is a drink made of 2/3 cachaça and 1/3 Italian vermouth. The bittersweet flavor of the vermouth harmonizes perfectly with the cachaça, resulting in a extremely strong, sweet flavored drink.
18. Batida de Maracujá
A drink made with a can of sweetened condensed milk, cachaça, and concentrated passion fruit juice results in a beautiful bright orange cocktail, the sweetest you will ever have in Brazil. With hints of the acidic passion fruit, you don’t feel you are drinking alcohol at all, even though half of the cocktail is the strong cachaça.
19. Mate Leão
The commercial iced mate tea sold in a soda can is a favorite refreshing drink to buy from wandering vendors when sunbathing on sandy beaches.
When a Brazilian goes to the beach, if they don’t hear the continuous cry of numerous vendors screaming “Buy some mate, ice cold mate-leão!” at the top of their lungs, they might assume something is wrong with the world.
This is a drink made of cachaça, a couple of limes, tummeric, a pinch of black salt and jabuticaba – a jam made from purple berries native to Brazil’s dry mid-west that has a sweet, addictive flavor. Its unique, exquisite flavor is both sweet and salty at the same time, and harmonizes perfectly with the earthly flavor of the cachaça.
Read up next our list of the most popular foods you need to try out on your next trip to Brazil.