Caipirinha, the Brazilian cocktail that was created to cure the Spanish flu

Coronavirus is not the first pandemic that mankind has had to face throughout history. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Spanish flu struck many countries, including Brazil. It was then that one of the most famous beverages from the South American country emerged. Learn all the details of the Caipirinha, the Brazilian cocktail that was created to cure the Spanish flu.

Caipirinha against the flu

Caipirinha, the Brazilian cocktail that was created to cure the Spanish Flu

Caipirinha, the Brazilian cocktail that was created to cure the Spanish flu was seen as a very powerful remedy to fight this disease.

Before the drink was prepared as it is known today, it was made with garlic, lemon and honey. It was used to cure the common flu. However, everything changed in 1918 when the Spanish flu began to spread through Brazil. Then, they looked for a homemade solution that had a better and greater therapeutic effect. This led them to start using cachaça, a beverage that was already being used for such purposes at that time.

It should be noted that cachaça is the sugarcane brandy produced in Brazil.

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According to Professor Jairo Martins da Silva, a specialist in the study of cachaça, recipes for home remedies made from fruits, herbs and alcohol were part of the recipe books of popular medicine in those years. The most interesting thing of all is that doctors were not against the use of these.

Martins da Silva has commented that “During the Spanish flu period it was a widely used remedy, so much so that even today lemon, honey and garlic are widely used to stop colds”.

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The name of the drink

In addition to the shocking fact that Caipirinha was used to cure the Spanish flu, the origin of its name should be pointed out. It is inspired by the people who lived in the rural areas of São Paulo. The peasants there are known as “caipiras”. So, as these were the ones who invented the cocktail they coined this name.

“When the Spanish flu ended, more or less in 1920, it began to be called Caipirinha, a name that was consolidated in February 1922 during the Modern Art Week,” the specialist pointed out.

Approximately two years after the end of the pandemic, honey was replaced by sugar in the recipe. Garlic was also replaced, in this case by ice, given the country’s warm climate.

Cachaça, the heart of the drink

A Caipirinha cannot be understood without cachaça.
. This distilled drink is the most widely drunk in Brazil. Worldwide, it is the third most popular.

There are currently six types of cachaça. These are: stored, pure, aged, sugared, premium and extra premium. However, given that there are some 40 types of storage and aging wood, it is considered that there are more than 150 types of this alcoholic beverage.

As a curious fact, Germany buys 25% of the cachaça that Brazil exports.

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