While many of us would love to head south of the equator and experience Rio and the Olympic games from the shores of Copacabana Beach, most of us will have to settle for viewing the action on our big screens. But just because we’re trading our cabanas for couches doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the many flavors Brazil has to offer. We’ve put together an exciting menu of party-friendly, Brazil-inspired dishes to accompany the action in your living room. We’ve even thrown in a few soundtrack selections to enhance the mood. Everybody samba!
Passion Fruit Caipirinha
Makes 1 drink
2 lemons juiced or cut into wedges, reserve 1 slice for garnish
2 teaspoons organic granulated sugar
1½ to 3 ounces Cachaça
2 passion fruits, halved, or 3 ounces passion fruit puree, defrosted
3 ounces lemon soda water, unsweetened
2 lemon ice sticks (see recipe below)
Mix lemon juice and sugar in an old-fashioned glass. (If using lemon wedges, muddle fruit with sugar.) Add Cachaça. Stir to combine. Add passion fruit puree and lemon soda. Stir and then add two lemon ice sticks.
Lemon Ice Sticks
Add the zest of 1 lemon to lemon soda water. Pour into ice trays and freeze.
Brazilian Vinaigrette (Salsa)
(Serve with chicken, beef or fish)
Makes approximately 2¼ cups
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
¼ small red onion, finely diced
3 assorted bell peppers (yellow, green, red), finely diced
2–3 hearts of palm, thinly sliced*
½ cup olive oil, mild
½ cup grape seed oil
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 lemons, juiced
½ teaspoon coarse Terranea sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
cracked black pepper to taste
2–3 piri piri peppers, finely diced (optional)
¼ cup sliced cherry tomatoes
2 fresh oregano sprigs, stemmed, plus extra for garnish
1/3 cup fresh parsley, stemmed and chopped
Mix onions, bell peppers and hearts of palm. Whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Terranea sea salt and pepper. Combine with onion and pepper mixture (can be made a day in advance). Add piri piri pepper if desired. Refrigerate. Add tomatoes, oregano and parsley prior to serving. Adjust seasoning as needed.
*Grill any leftover hearts of palm as a vegetarian option.
Chocolate Espresso Brigadeiros (Truffles)
Makes approximately 10–12
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for rolling truffles
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1–2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon Terranea sea salt
1 deseeded vanilla bean
fancy chocolate vermicelli sprinkles
10–12 decorative paper or foil candy cups
10–12 coffee beans, plain or chocolate covered, to decorate truffles
Add butter to a heavy-bottom or non-stick saucepan and rub throughout the interior. Add sweetened condensed milk and sift in cocoa powder and espresso powder. Add salt and vanilla; mix completely.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or nonstick whisk, until mixture thickens and starts to contract away from the sides of the saucepan. After several minutes, the mixture at the bottom of the saucepot will appear to scald, stiffen up and hold firm for a few seconds when a spoon is dragged through. Continue to stir and be careful not to burn mixture.
Remove from heat and let it come to a safe temperature. Chill under refrigeration until the mixture can be rolled into balls. With buttered hands, roll into balls and then roll balls in sprinkles. Place in candy cups and top with a single coffee bean. Brigadeiros can be stored at room temperature for up to two days.
A classic that bridges Brazilian and American artistry and introduced us to “The Girl from Ipanema.” The 1964 jazz/bossa nova album by American saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto features composer and pianist Antônio Carlos Jobim and helped fuel the bossa nova craze in the United States and internationally. It also became the first Grammy Award-winning album from non-American artists. I challenge you to resist Astrud Giberto’s celestial vocals on “Corcovado” (“Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars”).
Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil ‘66
Another great American and Brazilian collaboration, this first album by Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66 was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2011. In reference to the signature song, “Mas Que Nada,” Mendes said in 2014, “It was the first time that a song in Portuguese was a hit in America and all over the world.”
Daughter of João Gilberto and singer Miúcha, Bebel Gilberto ushered in a new generation of bossa nova fans with her 2000 album and electronic stylings. The perfect choice for a gold medal ceremony dance party.
If you want to experience the Rio Games at Terranea Resort, we invite you to swing by Nelson’s and check out the action on our big screen TVs. We’ll be broadcasting your favorite events every day.
Written & photographed by Kara Mickelson