Didn’t make it to Rio to watch the Olympics in person? Neither did we. Fortunately, L.A. is full of great spots to sip Brazilian spirits and ring in the Games. Here are five places to get you started.
Ryan Wainwright, director of bar programs for Bombet Hospitality Group, went all out for the Olympics, creating a whole "Chasing the Medals" cocktail menu at Terrine. If you go for Gold, you'll get a Caipirinha with cachaça and a whole lime. Silver translates to a Brazilian sort of Manhattan called a Rabo-de-galo, with aged cachaça, a house traditional vermouth blend and chuncho bitters. Bronze recipients get a shot and a beer starring cachaça aged in Limousin oak. Bonus: As Wainwright also oversees the bar programs at Viviane and Faith & Flower, both spots also will sport Olympic touches like caipirinhas and batidas.
8265 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 746-5130, terrinela.com.
To pair caipirinhas with solid Brazilian food, Bossa Nova is where it's at. Not only is the restaurant cozy and unpretentious, it stays open until 4 a.m., if you're looking to keep the Olympic party going. Soak up all of that cachaça with grilled meats, fried yucca and other Brazilian delicacies from the massive menu.
7181 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 436-7999, bossanovafood.com.
Perhaps the polar opposite of Bossa Nova, the Bazaar by José Andrés may be more Vegas than Rio, but it serves a truly innovative take on a caipirinha. The only demonstration of molecular mixology on this list, the LN2 caipirinha is made with cachaça, fresh lime and sugar, frozen tableside with liquid nitrogen.
1111 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; (310) 246-5555, sbe.com.
It's no surprise that a place touting its cross-culture craft cocktails would have a nod to Brazil in time for the Olympics. Head bartender Dee Ann Quinones put together the Olympian’s Fuel Fizz with cachaça infused with dehydrated banana, cream of coconut, egg white and yuzu lime juice.
300 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown; (213) 262-9291, westbounddtla.com.
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Post up in the bar and lounge at Baltaire to catch the Olympic festivities projected on a big screen. The Brentwood steakhouse has the perfect refreshing cocktail on its summer menu for the occasion. The Cabral features Cachaça 51, kumquat, celery juice and lime, and plays nicely with the savory bar snacks.
11647 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; (424) 273-1660, baltaire.com.
Taste on Melrose
Toast to Brazilian legend Pelé's health while watching the Opening Ceremony in Taste of Melrose's Atrium bar. Two TVs will be broadcasting the event while guests sample goods from the brand-new Olympics-themed menu by mixologist Mark Fantasia. The caipirinha Nascimento, named after soccer superstar Pelé (his full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento), brings together tropical and fresh flavors like mint and mango to the cachaça classic.
8454 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (323) 852-6888, ilovetaste.com.
The Spare Room
Catch the 2016 Games kickoff at L.A.'s chic, modern gaming parlor, the Spare Room. Beverage director Yael Vengroff is behind the No Brainer, a cachaça cocktail with a spicy touch, combining lime, cinnamon, kumquat halves, cachaça and armagnac.
7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 769-7296, spareroomhollywood.com.