"Mmm Delightful!": A Guide to Beverages in Bahia
Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
"Mmm Delightful!": A Guide to Beverages in Bahia Salvador da Bahia Reviews
Oct 01, 2006
This soda looks like ginger ale and comes in green cans and bottles so I assumed that's what is was until I tried it one day at the beach. To my surprise it was fruity and tasted somewhat similar to a Ghanaian soda called Muscatella. It contains guarana fruit extract. Guarana comes from the Amazon has a lot of caffeine. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I'm not a soda fan and I really liked it. The first time one of my roommates tried it she said, "Mmm, delightful!" When you order Guarana, you have to put the accent on the last syllable or the waiter might not know what you're talking about. Also if the waiter says something funny to you after you've ordered it, they're probably referring to the brand (usually Kuat (kwatch) or Antartica) and asking if it's okay.
I usually just had strong brewed coffee made by the cooks at our house. Whenever I ordered coffee from a cafe or restaurant I usually got cafe com leite and it was always really good. It seems like a popular style of coffee is the cafezinho- strong with lots of sugar.
Agua de Coco:
This is coconut water, preferrably straight from the coconut and sipped with a straw. A lot of people seem to be unaware of the fact that what comes directly out of a fresh coconut is not super sweet and milky. For some, coconut water is an acquired taste. If you like it, you can't beat a chilled coconut on the beach. It's great when they chop it open afterwards so you can scoop out the insides.
Suco de Cana:
This is sugarcane juice. The taste is reminiscent of coconut water, but with a sugarcane flavor. I tried this from a stand at a soccer game and I don't remember seeing it anywhere else.
Fresh blended juices are abundant and very good. At every meal our cooks put out mystery juices and it was always fun to try and figure out what they were. Favorites were strawberry, passion fruit and pineapple. Papaya and watermelon juice seemed to be the least favorite.
Any discussion about Brazilian cocktails must begin with cachaca, Brazil's ubiquitous poison of choice. It is made with fermented and distilled sugarcane juice. People often call it Brazilian rum, but I find that it has a more distinct and potent flavor than rum from the Caribbean. Sometimes you might a find different flavors of infused cachaca, I'm not sure if there is an official name for this. I found that citrus flavors weren't as good and more muted flavors like coconut and pineapple were the best.
This is the national beverage of Brazil. This is made by muddling lime and sugar and then adding ice and cachaca. Simple, satisfying and destructive!
Roskas, Rissimas, etc:
These are variations of caipirinhas. If you want it with vodka instead of cachaca, it's a caipiroska and with rum it's a caipirissima. Some places even offer sake- capisake. You can mix this up with whatever other fruits they have available. Pineapple=abacaxi so a pineapple and vodka drink would be an abacaxiroska. Learn the names of fruits for restaurants or if you're at an outdoor stand, you can point to what you want.
These are cocktails made with a blend of cachaca and fruit. A lot of people will substitute the cachaca for vodka. They'll often add sweetened condensed milk to batidas- you probably won't want to have too many of those in one night!
Beer is what most people seem to be drinking. At futebol games you will find a ton of cheap beer, usually Skol. It also usually what the people with coolers in Pelourinho are selling. It's not good, but the worst beer I had there is still better than the cheap beers here (i.e. Budweiser, Natural Ice, Keystone and whatever other gross things people drink in college). I wasn't too impressed with the beer, but Bohemia was one brand that was better than some of the others.
This is what they call a "Carnival drink" in Salvador. It's made with vodka, chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, guarana powder and ground peanuts. This is a thick drink. You probably won't be able to finish this if your stomach is full. I'm guessing during Carnival it's like a meal, caffeine and alcohol all in one to keep you going through the party!
If you want rum and coke ask for a "Cuba Libre". If you want a screwdriver ask for a "Hi Fi". In general, beverages are cheap and mixed drinks are strong!
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