/ The Culinary Travel Guide
Culinary Travel — By Susan McKee on June 22, 2010 at 12:47 am
Filed under: Brazil, cocktail, drink, featuredarticle

A Caipirinha is a Toast to Brazil

Armazem Viera in Santa Catarina, BrazilThere’s no distilled spirit that’s more Brazilian than cachaça (close to 400 million gallons are produced annually in that South American country). Like rum, it’s distilled from sugar cane, but it has a distinct taste and is usually served muddled into a distinctly Brazilian cocktail: caipirinha.

Cachaça connoisseurs prefer to have it aged. The older the cachaça, the more expensive (think: 8 years, minimum; 16 years or more is even better). Purists insist that cachaça distilled from sugar cane juice (garapa) is superior to rum, which is made as a byproduct of producing sugar (melaço in Portuguese, which translates to molasses in English).

One of the best brands of cachaça — Armazém Vieira — is produced in Florianòpolis (map), capital city of the southern Brazilian province of Santa Catarina. When I was there, I set my sights on checking it out – all in the name of research, of course!

Armazém Vieira translates from the Portuguese as “old warehouse”, and, indeed, the brand is headquartered in an historic marine warehouse (map) built in 1840 on the island of Santa Catarina (the island gave the province its name). Here, at Rua Aldo Alves, 15, Florianòpolis, cachaça made only from garapa is barreled and bottled – but there’s also a bar for atmospheric imbibing (the whole building was restored in 1985).

It’s right on the way to the airport for your trip back to the states. Just remember to put that bottle you bought safely into your suitcase before checking in for your flight (mine? I bought some Armazém Vieira Rubi, aged 8 years; enclosed in bubble-wrap, stuffed in a zip-top plastic bag and wrapped again in layers of soft clothing, it made the trip north intact).

I’ve been mixing classic caipirinhas in honor of the Brazilian soccer team competing in the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The classic is made from 2 parts cachaça, 1 part lime juice and one teaspoon sugar, mixed and poured over ice. A common Brazilian variation, called the Batida (“shaken”), substitutes another fruit juice for the lime, most commonly either passion fruit or coconut milk.

What: Armazém Vieira

Where: Rua Aldo Alves, 15, Florianòpolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil

(Photo by Susan McKee)

Related places:
  1. A
    Florian?polis - SC
    Florian?polis - SC, Brazil
    View Details and Book
  2. B
    Armaz?m Vieira
    Rua Aldo Alves, 15, Florian?polis - SC, 88045-600, Brasil
    View Details and Book
Tags: Brazil, cocktail, drink, featuredarticle


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