Our warmed Brazilian Spiced Cider is perfect for entertaining during the winter months, as an outdoor take-along, or for weekend relaxing with The Sunday Brazilian Brunch.
It’s our version of Brazil’s traditional Quintao, so here’s how to do it, along with the story behind this one-of-a-kind sipper, plus a perfectly-paired song, too!
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Canela, cravo, noz-moscada e anis. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and anise. Having a good handle on your Portuguese was essential if you were a merchant trading in the spice centers of Asia in the 1500’s.
In fact, you couldn’t have made this warm, wintery sipping treat without it.
Earthy or aromatic, these spices and others were prized across the kingdoms of Europe. Finding spice routes to India was a driving force behind the voyages of Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Portugal’s Pedro Álvares Cabral.
And that’s where Brazil enters the story.
Eight years after Columbus landed in the Bahamas, Cabral as blown off course while searching for a way around Africa to reach the spice centers of India. He ended up on east coast of modern-day Brazil, pausing long enough to claim the land for the Portuguese Empire, and then he returned to the mission at hand.
Rio de Janeiro became the center of the Portuguese Empire during Napoleon’s invasion in 1807 and becasue the Royal Court was forced to flee Lisbon, they brought their spices with them. Apples were abundant, and cachaça had been a staple in Brazil for about 150 years.
At that particular point in time, the Royal Court probably would have appreciated a mug of warmed Brazilian Spiced Cider. And you will, too.
Warmed Brazilian Spiced Cider with Cachaca
Here’s what you’ll need:
64 ounces of Apple Cider (not apple juice, please)
4 cinnamon sticks
4 anise stars
12 whole peppercorns
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 apple, sliced
1 orange, sliced
The zest from half an orange
Fresh ginger, thinly-sliced to taste
¾ cup of pressed brown sugar, to taste
1 cup of cachaça, long pour
Here’s what to do:
- Warm the apple cider to a simmer over low/medium heat, but do not let it boil.
2. Add your spices, then the fruit and ginger, and then the zest while stirring occasionally.
3. Add the brown sugar, stirring until it is fully dissolved.
4. Time for a test taste: Does it need more brown sugar? Add more if needed.
5. Lower the heat and let your warmed Brazilian Spiced Cider simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. When ready to serve, use a fine-mesh strainer to retain the fruit and spices (if desired), tehn stir in the cachaça (to taste) and enjoy!
Our recipie for warmed Brazilian Spiced Cider pairs sweetly with this song: