Photo: Alexandre Rotenberg/Shutterstock

15 Signs You Learned to Drink in Brazil

by Marcela Faé Sep 10, 2015

1. You can spot a newbie by the way they drink their cachaça.

A good cachaça is not made to drink as a shot, like most hard liquors. You can drink an amazing vodka shot and be accepted by Russian society; you can drink a good tequila shot and be accepted by Mexican society; but, if you’re served a good, high-quality cachaça, you cannot drink it all at once. Cachaça is meant to be enjoyed from the first sip to the last drop.

2. You never go to a boteco for “just one beer.”

And even when you say you are, you still end up drinking six or even ten beers with your friends anyway.

3. You know that one beer before lunch keeps you thinking straight.

This is the catch phrase from one of the most iconic songs from the Brazilian singer Chico Science. And you’ve busted out in song with every other Brazilian at the bar, singing: “Uma cerveja antes do almoço é muito bom para ficar pensando melhor…

4. You’ve ended up pagando o pato at least once in your life.

Brazil’s way of sharing beer comes at a price: that last person always gets left with the bill.

5. You miss the small “copo americano” that Brazilians drink their beer out of on hot summer days.

6. You hold the secret magic of the caipirinha.

I really don’t know why, but — usually — gringos cannot succeed in this business. You’ve got to be a born Brazilian to understand the hidden magic behind our perfect summer drink.

7. You know that a traditional and cheap boteco will never have “boteco” in its name.

Instead it’ll be called something like “Real Bar e Lanches.” And you know that if it does say ‘boteco,’ it’s most likely a fancy and posh bar trying to imitate the real thing.

8. You’re very picky about cheap beer.

Even though we all know that they taste the same. If somebody poured some Skol in your glass, and told you that it was Brahma, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

9. You lament the smoking ban.

We all celebrate the fact that our clothes and hair smell better, but banning smoking outside of bars has caused sitting on the street and enjoying a gelada to lose a bit of its traditional charm.

10. You’re speechless whenever you travel to a new country and can’t drink outside.

What do you mean I’m not allowed to drink here? I’m right in front of the bar and I want to sit outside. It’s a wonderful summer night!

11. You know how to appreciate the Brazilian craft-beer scene.

I’ll admit that Brazil has some of the worst mass produced beers I’ve ever tasted. They are more water than beer, you can’t even drink it if it isn’t below 0 degrees and you’re pretty much always going to get a hangover.

But our craft beer scene is one of the best in the world. Morada, Colorado, Bodebrown, Schornstein, Eisenbahn — there are so many great ones.

12. You question every German or British person who thinks it’s ok to drink lukewarm beer.

Beer for Brazilians is served below the water’s freezing point, and more often than not, if you’re not careful, you’ll ended up having a block of ice instead a glass of beer.

13. And you know how to properly deal with -8.C beer bottles.

You know that you have to grab with the tip of your fingers on the very top and never — I mean NEVER — in the middle. If you don’t know how to do it after one or two ruined beers, we’ll judge you.

14. You always share your beer with your friends.

Germany has 500ml beer bottles, England has the pint and Americans have the big cans. Brazilians have a 600ml beer that will arrive at your table in a thermo-protective case. And from this bottle, everybody will serve the necessary amount for 10~15 min of beer, about 150ml each.

15. You’ve learned how to hold a conversation on football.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not into sports, football always comes up while drinking. So you’re always prepared.

Discover Matador