In my quest to try new restaurants around Rio de Janeiro, I’ve decided to start a new series called “Carioca Foodie!” Last week I suddenly realized I only have less than three months left here in Rio, and I want to make the most of that experience. Ever since Carnaval ended, my friends and I have been in this lazy mood, uninterested in trying new things or exploring new places. But now that I feel pressed for time, I have new found energy to explore!
Yesterday we tried out Academia da Cachaça, a well known cachaçaria in Leblon for its creative drinks and good cachaça. After having multiple awful caipirinhas in Lapa, I was determined to have some good drinks. The menu had everything from simple caipirinhas made with lime to fancier bar creations with thing like honey, cinnamon, passion fruit or coconut. The first drink I had was the Fina Flora which was made with pineapple, orange and peach juices mixed with cachaça. The drink came in a tall glass with the various colors separated making it look like a beautiful tequila sunrise. It was deliciously fruity, and not overwhelmingly sweet or too strong; yet, by the end of it, I could already feel a little tipsy.
The second drink I had was the Brasil ao Cubo which came with cubes of lime, lemon, passion fruit and jabuticaba (a brasilian type of grape) and cachaça Cristalina. When the drink was first served, the cubes of fruit mixed with the clear cachaça looked gorgeous! However, it smelled extremely strong because it was just cachaça and unmelted fruit. I waited a bit, and mixed in the fruit before tasting; but once I did, it was really delicious. The mix of fruits made a really unique flavor, and the cachaca was so much better than the normal 51 that I am served. Just in case you are unfamiliar, 51 is the cheapest form of cachaca you can find in stores. It costs about R$8 per bottle, which is equivalent to less than USD$4. Anything at the price is bound to taste awful, no matter how much sugar and lime you mix in it. Thankfully, this drink was made with better stuff, because although a little on the strong side, it was still easy to drink.
These two drinks were enough to get me sufficiently tipsy. We also tried some of the snacks available. Although extremely overpriced for the quantity and quality, it was still good to munch on something while we drank. The Pastelzinho Mixto, which had shrimp and cheese empanada snacks, was quite good. The shrimp ones had full pieces of shrimp and the cheese ones had a lot of flavor. My other friends got bolinhos de quiejo (fried balls of cheese) and escondidinhos (shephard pie-like dish), which were apparently pretty good too. Still, the prices were too much for the quantity. The other drinks that my friends got were delicious as well! I highly recommend the ones I got as well as the Capeta and Brasileirinho! I wouldn’t quite recommend the plain caipirinhas with lime or maracuja because they aren’t the best; but it seemed like you couldn’t go wrong with the “bar creations” section.
Overall, the drinks were pretty good. Although the restaurant was a little pricey, it was still nice to feel fancy and buy creative drinks. Every once in a while you have to treat yourself! 😉