Brasilian Cocktails at Academia da Cachaça in Rio

The Caipirinha is now a well known cocktail here in the
US, and the “national” drink of Brazil has introduced
cachaça to the American palate and bar.

Brazil is rich with flavors, tastes, and perspectives that
have been blended with cachaça in an amazing array of
cocktails unknown in the US. Exotic fruits like açaí (ah-
sah-ee), graviola (soursop), acerola , cajú (ka-zhu,
cashew), maracujá (mara-ku-zha, passion fruit), agua de
coco (coconut water), caldo de cana (cane juice) and
flavors like cinnamon, honey, milk and amazing
concoctions like pau do índio (can be translated as stick
or club or male appendage of the “Indian”) a type of
drinkable bitters made from cachaça infused with many
herbs, spices, and barks.

The batida (bah-chee-dah) is loosely translated as
“beaten”: a cocktail that is either shaken hard or served
as a frozen blender drink. They are almost always made
with cachaça, fruit, milk, sugar and ice as a base mixture.

The place for the batida is not usually the hotel or fine
bar, but rather a barraca (ba-ha-ka, a tent and mobile
bar and/or restaurant) on the beach where you can
order sodas, beer, beach chairs, iced coconuts etc…and
of course a batida made from scratch.

Barraca and mixologist!

Each barraca on a beach has a place of business that
surrounds them for a good acre or so. It is their
territory, so to speak. Walk up to the barraca and ask for
a batida de maracujá or a caipi-uva (a Caipirinha made
with fresh grapes) or ask what kinds of fruits they have
and they can make one from any of them.

Usually a batida will be more like a milkshake and
putting the “caipi” in front of any fruit will get you a
cocktail without the milk, in more familiar Caipirinha

1 Ripe Passion Fruit
1 ½ oz cachaça
¼ can of sweetened condensed milk (leite moça)

Passion fruit is ripe when its skin is wrinkled and looking
almost like it is going bad. The intense aromas are
released immediately upon cutting.

Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop out the inside.
(Passion fruit is very tart and needs to be sweetened for
consumption). Add to shaker with ice and shake and
pour contents into a highball or double Old Fashioned.
Another common method would be to use a blender and
make it a frozen drink or to just blend the ingredients
and pour them over ice. On the beach it would be served
in a plastic cup of whatever type they could get, but just
as delicious! To make this a Caipirinha de maracujá, just
use sugar or simple syrup to taste instead of the
condensed milk. The black seeds of the maracujá make
this a beautifully appealing drink.

During Carnavál in the Salvadór or Porto Seguro in the
state of Bahia (bah-ee-ah), there are rows upon rows of
street barracas on each corner or sidewalk. They are
literally right next to each other competing for dinheiro
(money!) and to be the best cocktail at Carnavál and will
make batidas and other drinks around the clock to the

One favorite fruit is the Acerola (ah-se-rola). Acerola is
not common in the US outside of Puerto Rico and is
otherwise known as a Barbados cherry or West Indian
cherry. It has one of the highest contents of vitamin C
any fruit. All the fruit in Brazil can be made into a non-
alcoholic smoothie or drinkable fruit “water”. Just walk
up to a lanchonete (lan-cho-neh-chi…a twisting of the
word luncheonette) and say “uma acerola, por favor”!

But you can easily make the acerola into a Caipirinha de
acerola or batida de acerola.

Simply create the necessary combination of cachaça,
sugar, acerola, milk, or sweetened condensed milk,
minus the extra sugar.

Brazil is made up of many different regions and cultures.
The northeast of Brazil is the land of forró (foe-hoe, a
very energetic polka-esque style dance) and frêvo (fray-
voo, another dance style famous during Carnivál in
Pernambuco). Samba takes a backseat to frêvo and forró
in the hot northeast in the big cities of Recife (he-see-
fay), Maceió, Natál and Fortaleza.

Carnavál in Olinda is one of the best in Brazil. Olinda is a
colonial Portuguese town in Pernambuco near to Recife.
The city is cut off to all automobile traffic during
carnival. An all night excursion up and down its
cobblestone streets dancing and drinking will eventually
lead you to a very interesting drink called Pau do índio.

A homemade concoction that is sold as an aphrodisiac
and stimulant during carnival and made up of cachaça
and 32 herbs and other ingredients, Pau do índio is black
in color and is vaguely reminiscent of Jagermeister.
Little “bodegas”, or cantinas, serve it by the shot to
passing partiers.

A famous cocktail of the northeast is the Capeta (imp or
little devil). At least it is famous in Brazil. A mixture of
cachaça, sweetened condensed milk, guaraná (gwar-a-
na), cinnamon, honey, and Nesquik. The guarana (a
berry from the amazon) is a stimulant containing
caffeine and is easily attainable in the US now and is also
the base for a very popular soft drink by the same name
in Brazil,!

2 oz Cachaça
2 tblsp. Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tblsp. Honey
1 tblsp. Powdered Guarana
1 tblsp Nesquik
½ tsp. Cinnamon

Put ingredients into blender and froth it up! Pour into a
rocks glass and enjoy.

Two somewhat unusual cocktail ingredients used in
Brazil are the fruit of the cashew (cajú) and peanuts
(amendoím). The cashew nut grows on the end of a large
fruit. Cashew juice is very tart, but is still reminiscent of
the cashew nut. In larger US cities, concentrated cashew
juice, as well as other concentrated juices, can be found
at stores that cater to Brazilian expats. But nothing is
beats fresh which is almost always used throughout

Cajú (cashew fruit)

1 ½ oz Cachaça
1 oz Cashew Juice
1 oz Simple syrup

Shake and strain on ice in rocks glass

The batida of peanuts may sound odd, but it is delicious.
Peanuts are a favorite snack in Brazil. I substituted
peanut butter for peanuts. It is hard to find peanut
butter in Brazil, but when available, it is used in this

BATIDA DE AMENDOIM (ah-men-doe-een)(peanuts)
1 ½ oz Cachaça
1 oz Peanut Butter (or ground, roasted peanuts)
1 ½ oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 oz Milk
½ oz Nescau or Toddy (toe-jee) (types of Nesquik in

This is better made in a large batch, because the milk
must be heated to mix the peanut butter and the other
ingredients, so multiply this by the quantity of drinks
you need.

Heat the milk in a sauce pan and add all ingredients
except the cacao and cachaça to blender and mix.

This mixture should be cooled when it can then be
mixed with the spirits, shaken and served on ice, made
into a batida smoothie, or stored in the refrigerator for
use later.

There are literally thousands of combinations and
flavors in Brazil that the US has not really been exposed
to. A wonderful trend in Brazil is the use of artisanal

Hundreds of different small batched, aged, infused and
high quality cachaças are being used in cocktails or just
for sipping. The culture of cachaça is mature in Brazil
and a great frontier of capricious and creative new
cocktails and cachaças are waiting to be explored by
others in the US and around the world.

One important note of emphasis is that Brazilians always
use fresh fruits and juices in everything they make. At
home, on the beach, in the bar, fresh fruit and juice is the
only way. They are plentiful and available all year round
and Brazilians make use of all of them. Any other way
would not even be considered. The fruit is cheaper than
any pre-made mix anyway….a no brainer!

br/abertura/index.htm Acadamia da Cachaça, menu
and recipes and events Cachaça and
Company… Lists of artisanal cachaças and recipes


  1. Cool cocktail recipes! I didn’t know that cajú came from cashew – I will have to give that one a try. I would also like to try the peanut one. Cool blog.

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