Where to find the best caipirinhas in Rio

Bar do Mineiro

Up in the boho artist quarter of Santa Teresa — accessed via a rattly tram — this cheery boteco (bar) champions food and drink from the neighbouring state of Minas Gerais. And Minas Gerais is the home of cachaça, so go figure: the caipirinhas are fantastic. Order one before admiring monochrome photos of olden-days Rio.

Academia da Cachaça

The key ingredient in caipirinhas is the sugarcane spirit of cachaça, so where better to try the cocktail than at the Academia da Cachaça’s bar in posh Leblon? Choosing from more than 100 cachaças, mixologists can serve caipirinhas the classic way, or replace lime with passionfruit, pineapple or lima, a kind of bittersweet orange.

Copacabana Palace Piano Bar

Rio’s most iconic hotel, plum in the centre of Copacabana’s crescent-shaped beach, is the art deco ​Belmond Copacabana Palace. 

Non-guests are welcome to join celebrities and politicians at its low-lit, all-day Piano Bar, where expert bartenders mix up caipirinhas as jazz musicians softly tickle the ivories.

Galeto Sat’s

A more affordable Copacabana restaurant dating from 1962, Galeto Sat’s signature caipirinha is ready-made for balmy days. It uses zesty lemon, coconutty cachaça from Paraty, a traditional production region for the spirit, and that most Brazilian of fruits, cashew. And it’ll cost you under a fiver.

Gavea Beach Club

This seaside kiosk in south Rio might look incredibly simple at first glance but don’t be discouraged. Alongside well-reviewed steak and lobster dishes, it serves superior caipirinhas with a range of fresh fruit. The views — over São Conrado Beach and the sea, towards distant mountains — are especially romantic at sunset.


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