The mandarin season is reaching its end here in Australia meaning summer is not too far away and in honour of this juicy and delicious fruit I post these two quick and easy recipes. Who doesn’t love an icy and fruity popsicle to leak or a boozy and refreshing cocktail when the weather is starting to get warm?
Over to the other side of the planet, in Brazil during the hot summer days loads of fruits are consumed and used to prepare cold desserts and drinks like fruit popsicles, ice-creams, juices, cocktails and smoothies. They are sold in beach carts, stalls or beach front restaurants. Some of the popular popsicle flavours include dark grape, coconut, lime, mango and mandarin. As for caipirinha, the original one is made with lime, sugar, ice and cachaça. Many of other versions of this drink have been created over the years by replacing lime with other fruits.
When I think about Brazilian summer it’s the image of Rio de Janeiro that comes to my mind , for this reason I dedicate this post to the marvellous city (that’s how Rio is known in Brazil). Since the city is Brazil’s postcard it’s impossible to continue this post without showing some images of Rio. Thanks to my wonderful friends Karen, Larissa, Bia for the images below.
Bia up close and personal with Christ, the Redeemer
Bia praising the panoramic views from Corcovado.
Panoramic Views of Rio by night (photo by Larissa)
Ipanema Beach and the view of the Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers) Moutains – by Karen
Copacabana Beach – by Karen
…and here are 40 facts about this fantastic city:
- It’s also known as “Rio” or “The Marvellous City”.
- It’s the second biggest Brazilian city.
- Founded in 1565, Rio is also one of the oldest cities in Brazil.
- The initial name was São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro.
- Rio de Janeiro means River of January.
- This name was given because it was on the 1st of January 1502 the Portuguese first landed in Rio’s Guanabara Bay, which was thought to be a river.
- The state where Rio de Janeiro is located is also called Rio de Janeiro.
- Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil from 1763 through to 1960.
- As of 2015 Rio’s population is 6.4 million.
- Rio’s GDP is USD 55 billion.
- People born in Rio are called “Cariocas”.
- Rio’s Tijuca forest is the largest urban forest in the world.
- The weather is tropical and the average (yearly) temperature is 25°C.
- Economy: farming (sugar cane, orange, coffee, fish), oil extraction, tourism.
- Rio’s Carnival is the largest parade of this kind in the world
- It is believed that the first ever soccer match in Brazil took place in Rio in 1874.
- In 2014 1.5 million foreign tourists arrived in Brazil through Rio de Janeiro.
- There are a total of 46 beaches in Rio, being Ipanema and Copacabana the most famous ones.
- Some famous Brazilians born in Rio: Heitor Villa-Lobos (the greatest South American classic composer of all time), Di Cavalcanti (world-renowned painter), Tom Jobim (musician and composer, considered one of the creators of Bossa-Nova), Ronaldo (soccer player), Vinicius de Moraes (composer), Oscar Nyiemyer (world-renowned architect and the leading architect of Brazil’s capital Brasília), Fernanda Montenegro (actress known for her Oscar nomination on her leading role in the movie Central Station).
- The samba rhythm as we know today started in the suburbs of Rio in the end of the 19th Century
- The Bossa-Nova music genre started in Rio in the mid-50s. Bossa-Nova is a blend between samba and the American jazz and became popular all over the world with the hit “The Girl from Ipanema”.
- Rio de Janeiro will be the host of the 2016 Olympic Games
- Corcovado is the name of the mountain where the statue of the Christ is located. It sits at 710m height and it’s on top of this mountain and there it is possible to have the most breathtaking views of Rio de Janeiro.
- With 395m height Pão de Açúcar or Sugar Loaf Mountain is a gnaisse-granite rock aged 600 million years. From the top of the mountain it is possible to have 360° panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro’s stunning beaches, mountains and landscape.
- Brazil’s largest TV network has its headquarters in Rio.
- The cable car of the Sugar Loaf landmark was founded in 1912.
- Founded in 1950, the Maracanã soccer stadium has capacity for 78,000 spectators and has 292 restrooms, 60 pubs, 17 lifts and 12 escalators.
- With 30m height atop of the Corcovado Mountain, the statue of Christ the Redeemer is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- During summer, the statue of the Christ gets 20 lightning strikes per month.
- The statue of the Christ was designed by French sculptor Paul Landowski and took 9 years to built.
- The most Brazilian of all meals “feijoada completa” or the complete black bean stew meal comprised of the stew, pan fried kale, Brazilian crumb farofa, was created in the end of the 19th century in a Rio’s restaurant called G. Lobo (or “Globo”) – the restaurant, by the way, doesn’t exist anymore!
- The official anthem of Rio is called “Cidade Maravilhosa”, or the Marvellous City and is a carnival folk song.
- Rio holds the most important New Year’s Eve celebration of Brazil. The huge firework display takes place in Copacabana beach and attracts 2.5 million people every year.
- Ronald “Ronnie” Biggs, the notorious English thief of the Great Train Robbery of 1963, escaped to and found a new home in Rio de Janeiro in 1967, taking advantage that Brazil did not have an extradition agreement with England.
- Favela da Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro is the largest slum of South America.
- Located in Copacabana Beach, Copacabana Palace is the most traditional hotel in Brazil and the one which gets the largest number of newly-weds per weekend in the country.
- Rio has a museum dedicated to Carmen-Miranda, the late Portuguese-Brazilian actress who made fame in Hollywood musicals of the 40s and is mostly known for her tutti-frutti hat.
- The suburb of Santa Teresa, famous for its old tourist tram, is home of many intellectuals, artists and politicians.
- The Chinese View Lookout provides more breathtaking views of Rio and is another great tourist attraction of the city.
- The famous bronze statue of a gentleman sitting on a bench in Copacabana beach is a tribute to one of the greatest Brazilian poets Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
It’s hard to pick, there are so many songs written about Rio, but the classic bossa-nova one called “Rio” seems very appropriate to me! The song talks about Rio’s nature, weather and lifestyle.
140g caster sugar
2 mandarins, plus 1 for garnishing
1 x 2cm piece of ginger, grated
10 mint leaves , plus some for garnishing
Small ice cubes
700ml freshly squeezed mandarin juice
2 cocktail glasses
*Available from large liquor stores or online
- For the syrup, in a saucepan combine sugar and water and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring for 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- To make one Caipirinha, peel and roughly chop 1 mandarin and put into a glass, add ½ of the grated ginger and 5 mint leaves. Using the pestle pound to release the juices of the fruit and to macerate the mint. Add 50 ml of syrup. Top the drink with plenty of ice and then add 50ml of cachaça. Stir well before drinking. Repeat process to make a second drink. Garnish with mint leaves and a slice of mandarin.
- For the popsicle, simply combine syrup and juice, pour in popsicle moulds, add the sticks and freeze for 4 hours or until set.
Makes: 2 caipirinhas and 10-12 popsicles (depending on the size of your moulds)
Receita em Português
Caipirinha de Tangerina, Gengibre e Hortelã e Picolé de Tangerina
Calda de Açúcar:
140g de açúcar refinado
400ml de água
100 ml de calda
2 tangerinas, mais 1 para guarnição
1 x 2cm pedaço de gengibre ralado
10 folhas de hortelã, e algumas folhas para guarnição
Cubos de gelo
100ml de cachaça *
300 ml de calda de açúcar
700 ml suco de tangerina espremida na hora
Moldes de picolé
Palitos de picolé
Socador de caipirinha
2 copos de coquetel
- Para a calda, em uma panela misture o açúcar e a água e deixe ferver em fogo médio, mexendo por 2 minutos até que o açúcar se dissolva. Retire do fogo e deixe esfriar.
- Para fazer uma caipirinha, descasque e corte 1 tangerina e coloque no copo, adicione metade do gengibre ralado e 5 folhas de hortelã. Use o socador para macerar a fruta e a hortelã. Misture 50 ml de calda. Coloque bastante gelo e em seguida, adicione 50 ml de cachaça. Mexa bem antes de beber. Repita o processo para fazer uma segunda bebida. Decore com folhas de hortelã e uma fatia de tangerina.
- Para o picolé, misture a calda e o suco, despeje em moldes de picolé, adicione os palitos e congele por 4 horas ou até ficarem firmes.
Rende: 2 caipirinhas e 10-12 picolés (dependendo do tamanho de seus moldes)