To call someone a cachaceiro in Brazil is to deal a pretty low Portuguese blow. The word translates roughly to “drunkard” and evokes the image of an unkempt alcoholic clutching a plastic bottle of the powerful local liquor known as cachaça. It’s no coincidence that the name of the drink made with cachaça, the caipirinha, comes from the word caipira, roughly meaning “redneck” or “country.” That the national spirit is invoked in insults is emblematic of the poor image the drink has long had, but which has recently been changing. Continue »
Tag Results for 'drinks'
The sap of the spiky maguey plant has long been used by the indigenous peoples of Mexico to prepare pulque, a milk-colored, viscous drink that has roughly the same alcohol content as beer. When they arrived in Mexico, the Spanish were introduced to pulque. Used to imbibing harder stuff, however, the conquistadors experimented with distilling a mash made out of the maguey plant, in the process inventing the beguiling spirit known as mezcal.
Drinking báijiǔ (白酒) always brings us back to our first illicit taste of hard alcohol – a shock to the system, going down fiery and leaving a shudder-inducing aftertaste on the tongue. And just as many first-time drinkers are left wondering where exactly the attraction lies, the same thing is true for baijiu – at least, until the aftereffects start to kick in. Continue »
Once a mostly beer-free country, Spain – traditionally a land of wine drinkers – has recently started to develop a taste for the sudsy beverage, and Catalonians seem to have been the main pioneers behind this growing trend. The number of local craft breweries is increasing and so is the number of beer fans, who are also learning how to brew the drink at home. Put it all together and you have a young and adventurous market that is ready to experiment with tastes and textures to create stellar new beers with a distinct Mediterranean flavor. Continue »
De toda la vida is a Spanish expression that basically means “It’s been around forever,” and it’s a sure thing that the locals in Barcelona’s Gràcia neighborhood will utter those words if you ask them about Bodega Quimet. Opened in the 1950s by the Quimet family, the bodega (not to be confused with Quimet i Quimet, a popular Barcelona tapas bar) was passed down from father to son until 2010, when the younger (but nonetheless old) Quimet retired and brothers Carlos and David Montero bought the venue. Continue »
When Xisca Ferragut left Mallorca (the largest of the Balearic Islands, located in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Spain) and moved to Barcelona, she had no intention of opening a restaurant. Having lost her job back in Mallorca, she had decided to study sign language and become an interpreter. Then her boyfriend, Dionis Ballester, showed up and as the two struggled to find work, they noticed something: there were literally NO Mallorcan restaurants in Barcelona. Continue »
Editor’s note: This post marks the debut of our new advice column, “Ask CB,” where we give readers a chance to pick the brains of our far-flung correspondents. Got a question of your own? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Culinary Backstreets,
I am very confused regarding drinking over in Athens. Do Greeks even drink ouzo anymore? If so, when do they drink it? Also, my friends have told me something called “tsipouro” is more popular these days – what’s that drink all about? Continue »
The sap of the spiky maguey plant has long been used by the indigenous peoples of Mexico to prepare pulque, a milk-colored, viscous drink that has roughly the same alcohol content as beer. When they arrived in Mexico, the Spanish were introduced to pulque. Used to imbibing harder stuff, however, the conquistadors experimented with distilling a mash made out of the maguey plant, in the process inventing the beguiling spirit known as mezcal. Continue »
Can Paixano, the kind of timeless dive that could soon be extinct due to the rise of Western chains, is an obligatory stop for anyone wanting to taste a slice of the real Barcelona. And the bar’s location in Barceloneta, the traditional fishermen’s quarter where the old port meets the beach, provides the perfect setting. Continue »
In many parts of the world, sweet red vermouth is assigned a supporting role on the liquor shelf, a neglected bit player occasionally dusted off to sing a tune or two. In Barcelona, however, the aperitif has played a starring role for ages, so much so that some places even serve the stuff on tap. That’s right. Vermouth. On tap. Continue »