News & Reviews » Reviews

New York Post – “Summer’s sexiest are icy, spicy, and sweet”

Cynthia Kilian

Caviar and Banana, 12 E. 22nd St., between Broadway and Park Avenue South; (212) 353-0500

How can you improve on a caipirinha? By shaking it up with boutique cachaça and a nip of jalapeño.

I had to be coaxed to try this specialty of Jeffrey Chodorow’s Brazilian eatery. But the generous pour hooked me from the first sip.

Its melange of lime chunks, ice cubes and jalapeño rings nicely, balancing the barely sweet tartness.

Beleza Pura® super premium cachaca provides the hint of the smokiness, and the pepper tempered by a touch of sweetness lends a stealthy zap of lip-tingling heat.

Counter the drink’s kick with a flaky, thin-crusted Brazilian pizza topped with air-dried beef, white cheese and truffle oil.

SIP TIP: The waitstaff dancing to perky Brazilian music makes it feel like a party.

Flavor & The Menu - “Thirsty for Latin Liquors”

Flavor and the Menu

Flavor and the Menu: Page 1
Flavor and the Menu: Page 2

Beleza Berry Party Pitcher

  • 1 bottle Beleza Pura® Super Premium Cachaça
  • 6 cups of fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime or orange juice
  • ½ cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Transfer contents to a 2-quart pitcher and chill in the fridge. Serve over ice, garnish with a fresh berry.

Serves 12-15

“Premiere Brazil! Cutting-Edge Contemporary Brazilian Films”

July 1, 2005 12:00 am to July 10, 2005 12:00 am

The Museum of Modern Art
Roy + Niuta Titus Theaters
, 11 W 53 Street
New York
call 212 708 9480
for ticket info

Premiere Brazil!, The Museum of Modern Art’s third annual film exhibition whose title is drawn from a sidebar of the Festival do Rio/ Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival presents the most original and outstanding new films from a country that is becoming as well-known for its accomplishments on the screen as in music and on the soccer field.
Premiere Brazil!/New York casts a wide net with respect to genre and style but all the films are prime examples of the newly revitalized energy pulsating through the Brazilian film industry on all levels-production, distribution, and financing. All films are either world, U.S. or New York premieres.The exhibition was organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film and Media, The Museum of Modern Art; and Ilda Santiago, Director, The Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival.

Premiere Brazil/New York
Is made possible by
George Gund III and Lara Lee

Support also provided by Varig Brazilian Airlines, Beleza Pura® Premium Cachaça, and The Consulate General of Brazil in New York.
Special Thanks: Churrascuria Plataforma, S.O.B.s, Brasserio Caviar and Banana, and Trace Magazine


Friday, July 1

7:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). 2004. Brazil. Written and directed by Lúcia Murat. With Caco Ciocler, Flavio Bauraqui.
This film about two friends, in present-day a senator and a powerful drug dealer, begins with their childhood in the 1950s and follows their shared time in prison in the 1970s. The movie provides a fascinating portrait-marked by popular music and recent political history-of the relationship between Rio de Janeiro`s middle class and its favelas. 103 min.

Saturday, July 2

2:00 p.m. Entreatos (Intermissions). 2004. Brazil. Directed by João Moreira Salles. Salles and his crew followed Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the months leading up to his presidential election in the fall of 2002. Granted astonishing access, the filmmakers uncover behind-the-scenes details, including Lula’s unguarded conversations and private moments. 107 min.

4:15 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.

6:30 p.m. Alô Alô Carnaval. 1936. Brazil. Directed by Adhemar Gonzaga, Wallace Downey. With Carmen Miranda, Aurora Miranda, Jayme Costa.
Carmen Miranda’s only Brazilian film, and the one that made her famous. Screened to mark the 50th anniversary of her death, this musical displays what came to define the actress: lively, clever eyes, a sexy look, and a beautiful voice. And who can forget those costumes! 96 min.

8:30 p.m. Cabra-cega (Playing in the Dark). 2004. Brazil. Directed by Toni Venturi. With Leonardo Medeiros, Debora Duboc, Michel Bercovitch.
A political thriller depicting Brazil in the 1970s as a violent dictatorship opposed by a handful of idealistic but doomed revolutionaries, one of whom is holed up in a claustrophobic apartment. 102 min.

Sunday, July 3

1:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m. Cinema, aspirinas e urubus (Cinema, Aspirin, and Vultures). 2004. Directed by Marcelo Gomes. With Peter Ketnath, João Miguel.
Two men, one escaping war, the other poverty, embark on a road trip in 1942 selling the twin forces of cinema (for dreaming) and aspirin (for pain) throughout the desolate landscapes and tiny hamlets of northeast Brazil. The powerful imagery of this Brazilian Western evokes a lost time and innocence. 105 min. 102 min.

5:00 p.m. Peões (Metalworkers). 2004. Brazil. Directed by Eduardo Coutinho. Interviews with workers who participated in the 1979-80 strikes in the metallurgic region called ABC in the State of São Paulo. The union was led by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the man who was to become president of Brazil in 2002, and the film offers a fascinating document of the movement, its leaders, and the origins of political commitment. 85 min.

Monday, July 4

3:30 p.m. Vida de menina (Diary of a Provincial Girl). 2004. Brazil. Directed by Helena Solberg. With Ludmila Dayer, Daniela Escobar, Dalton Vigh.
Based on a popular book translated into English by Elizabeth Bishop, this film reveals the universe of Helena Morley as she grows up in the remote mining town of Diamantina and the story of a country that grows up with her at a time when slavery has just been abolished and Brazil has been declared a republic. 101 min.

6:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m. Estamira. 2004. Brazil. Written, photographed, and directed by Marcos Prado. An evocative portrait of Estamira, who at sixty-three years of age began treatment at a public clinic for schizophrenia. The filmmaker followed this charismatic, philosophical woman for three years at the enormous garbage landfill where she had made her life and headed a small community of outcasts for over twenty years. 121 min.

Wednesday, July 6

8:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 7

6:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m. Entreatos (Intermissions). See Saturday, July 2, 2:00 p.m.

Friday, July 8

6:00 p.m. Peões (Metalworkers). See Sunday, July 3, 5:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m. Quase dois irmãos (Almost Brothers). See Friday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 9

2:30 p.m. Cinema, aspirinas e urubus (Cinema, Aspirin, and Vultures). See Sunday, July 3, 3:00 p.m.

4:30 p.m. Alô Alô Carnaval. See Saturday, July 2, 6:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m. Pelé eterno (Pelé Forever). 2004. Directed by Anibal Massaini.
The life of the universally admired and beloved soccer genius, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, aka Pelé, is revisited through testimonials by old colleagues, friends, and celebrities. Scenes of the main events of Pelé’s life and career are interspersed with footage of his most improbable soccer goals. 120 min.

8:45 p.m. Cabra-cega (Playing in the Dark). See Saturday, July 2, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 10

1:00 p.m. Pelé eterno (Pelé Forever). See Saturday, July 9, 6:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m. Vida de menina (Diary of a Provincial Girl). See Monday, July 4, 3:30 p.m.

5:30 p.m. Estamira. See Monday, July 4, 8:00 p.m.


By Dale DeGroff, Author & Master Mixologist

  • 1 ½ oz Beleza Pura® Super Premium Cachaça
  • 3 small pieces orange w/ rind
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 1 tsp honey

Muddle the fruit, mint and honey in a non-breakable mixing glass, add Beleza Pura® and ice. Shake well and pour entire contents back into rock glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint and orange slice.

Note: if too sweet, add a little lime

Beleza Sunrise

  • 2 oz Beleza Pura® Super Premium Cachaça
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • 1 tsp confectioner sugar
  • Splash of Chambord

Combine Beleza Pura, orange juice, and sugar in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Finish with a splash of Chambord.

Forbes FYI: Brazilian Whacks

“How good is good in Cachaça, the elemental Brazilian run that launched an Amazon of caipirinhas? Olie Berlic, formerly a sommelier at New York’s Gotham Bar and Grill, made it his mission to find out. Three years and 800 Cachaças later, he returned home (to Greenwich, Connecticut, of all places) to launch his Excalibur line of small-batch, artisan-made and aged Cachaças: Some (Armazen and GRM) he scouted out in various folkloric corners of the country, and one, Beleza Pura, Berlic developed himself. Www.belezabrazil.comA very refined start on his line is the Rochinha (ho-CHEEN-yah) five-year-old ($38-there is also a 12-year-old at $80), a single-barrel, 82-proof beauty that mingles a sweet, spicy fruitiness with an overlay of wood smoke. Exotic without being bizarre, the Rochinha will put the bossa in your nova sipped over ice with a splashy of soda, or send a caipirinha (”little country girl”) very uptown. Here’s another thought:

2 1/2 ounces Rochinha five-year-old Cachaça
2 tablespoons Cointreau
1 tablespoon Rose’s lime juice
1 orange peel (optional)

Mix the Rochinha, Cointreau and Rose’s in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Swirl and pour (neat) into a martini glass, and add the rakish orange peel for tropical color.”

“Samba + Soleil 2005″

June 14, 2005 7:00 pm to June 15, 2005 12:00 am

The Boat House in Central Park
New York
$175 at door, $150 adv

In celebration of Volunteers of America’s groundbreaking efforts to assist homeless people and others in need.Join us for an unforgettable night!
VIP gift-bags by Armani Casa
acclaimed Brazilian band, Grupo Saviero
delicious Brazilian-style foods
Beleza Caipirinha cocktails, wine & beer
silent auction (trips, dinners, sports & theater tickets, spa packages!)
carnival dancers
and other fabulous surprises!

Made possible by our generous sponsors:

Manhattan Mortgage
Citi Habitats
Amstel Light
Excalibur Enterprise
Solaris Winery

Cheers – “Latin Living”

Patricia Woods

Every year, more U.S. restaurants look south for inspiration and business.

Everyone knows, anecdotally, that Hispanics of all sorts make up a growing portion of the country’s population, but real numbers are astonishing: In 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that America’s Hispanic population (South Americans, Central Americans and Caribbeaners) grew by 13 percent to 39.9 million people, making it the fastest growing segment and largest minority group in our culture.

As the dining public tries out new types of cuisine, whether it is Brazilian churrasco or Peruvian ceviche, they’re likely to forego the usual Martini and inquire about traditional South American beverages.

Cachaça: Made from fermented sugar cane, this is the national spirit of Brazil and is the key ingredient in a Caipirhina. It’s said to have been created 400 years ago by plantation owners who gave the beverage to slaves in order to increase their productivity. Over time, more refined, distilled cachaças were developed. Brazil produces one billion liters of cachaça a year, and there are more than 4,000 different brands, mostly selling for about $1 per bottle. Only a few cachaças, like Pitu and Ypioca, are widely available in the U.S., but a new importer, Excalibur, is bringing in Beleza Pura® as well as single barrel and aged varieties GRM and Rochinha.

Caipirinha: Meaning “little peasant girl,” this Brazilian drink is made by muddling sugar and lime juice with cachaça and ice.

Cigar Aficionado – “Cachaça Samba”

Jack Bettridge

Pop Quiz:

cachaça is:

A) The national drink of the Brazilian peasantry;
B) Rum’s coarse and fiery cousin;
C) The main ingredient in the trendy cocktail Caipirinha, which is basically a Daiquiri;
D) Hard to pronounce.

The easy answer is all of the above, but things can never be that simple.

The answer A is mainly true. What we know as cachaça was invented in Brazil in the sixteenth century, a spirit distilled from fermented sugar cane juice. Yes, for centuries it was made for consumption by natives and slaves; however, as good things tend to do, cachaça has defied gravity and begun to trickle up the social scale, helped not a little by the number of fine super-aged and purified examples that have recently been marketed.

The answer B is fairly close. On the face of it, cachaça would seem to be a cousin of rum or arguably more closely related, a subset. It’s made from sugar and distilled, both of which is true of rum. The defining difference usually touted is that cachaça is made from the cane’s first pressing, not from the derivative molasses. That would seem to separate them, except that while most rums are made from molasses, some come from pure cane, for example Ten Cane and Mount Gay Barbados Sugar Cane Brandy. The Brazilians don’t really appreciate the comparison and are attempting to annex the name solely for sugar cane product of Brazil, much as Tequila designates agave liquor only from that Mexican district.

But the Portuguese word cachaça doesn’t actually indicate sugar at all. Rather it is a catch-all term for brandy. In the mother country, cachaça is made from grapes. The cane type is also sometimes called aguardente de cana, or strong, coarse brandy of sugar cane (other slang terms are even less flattering, such as arrebenta peito, or chest smasher). But as for being coarse and fiery: again the Brazilian national spirit has made great strides towards connoisseurship and its previously volatile alcohol levels have been brought down precipitously.

The Caipirinha.
As for C: yes, cachaça is the main ingredient in the Caipirinha; yes, that drink is a very trendy international cocktail, appearing in bars in places as far-flung as Croatia; and, yes, it does seem suspiciously like a Daiquiri. Both drinks are made with lime, sugar and a distillate of sugar. But consider this: a Caipirinha is made with lots of granular sugar, not a sparing dose of simple syrup as in Daiquiri; when making a Caipirinha, chunks of lime are muddled right in the glass, instead of being strained as a juice; and for that purpose there is a pestle made specifically for the drink. (Look below for a Caipirinha recipe, and, for a study of the Daiquiri when mixed using superpremium rums, see the Good Life Guide in the upcoming August 2005 issue of Cigar Aficionado.)

And D, cachaça isn’t really that hard to pronounce. It’s just that it’s often mispronounced as though it were a Latin ballroom dance consisting of two steps followed by a shuffle. Three ‘C’s appear in the word and they are all pronounced differently. The first is a hard ‘C’ as in “cat.” The second is blended with H and creates the atypical ’sh’ sound, as “chagrin.” The third is not actually a C, but a C with cedilla (the squiggly diacritical mark that sometimes hangs from C). It makes a sort of mix of ‘S’ and ‘Z’, as in “façade”. Now resist the temptation to say “One, two, cha-cha-cha” and repeat after me: ka-SHAH-sa.

Now that we can say it, we can drink it. The friendly folks at Excalibur Enterprise provided us with a number tastes from its own Beleza Pura® through a selection of aged cachaças from small producers, which it also imports. Founder Olie Berlic is on a crusade to enlighten the public about the spirit, which he likens to Tequila in that it was a low-quality drink that has undergone a steep elevation of late.

Our impressions follow:

Beleza Pura, or pure beauty, is a clear cachaça with essentially no aging (it rests in stainless steel tanks for two months as the selected spirits marry). On the nose, it is grassy with a hint of fusel oil. On the palate, it’s fiery and essentially clean and bright, except for a wisp of smoke. Drink in a Caipirinha. (80 proof, $27.99, 750 ml)

GRM Small-Batch Artesian is a two-year-old made in a copper pot still and aged local wood (tropical oak, umburana and jequitiba-rose trees). The color is yellow with slight olive. The nose is floral and sugary nose, turning to ginger, honey, tea leaves and graham cracker on the palate. The finish is slightly bitter. Sip it or mix. (82 proof, $69.99, 750 ml)

Armazem Vieira Rubi Solera Aged is pot stilled and aged in local aririba wood for eight years. The color is light yellow with slight lime. On the nose it shows honey, citrus, green olives and some fusel oil. The palate is fresh with salad greens and lime. The finish is very sweet. Excellent partner to a cigar. (80 proof, $47.99, 750 ml)

Rochinha Single Barrel is a little schizophrenic in its labeling — calling itself both an “aged artesian cachaça” and a “Brazilian rum” — but what’s in the bottle is simply good. Again pot stilled, it is aged in oak. We tasted the 12-year-old (there’s also a five). The nose is intensely sweet like cake frosting with eggnog, spices, and vanilla, bordering on maple. The palate is honey, spices, flowers and perfume. The finish is long, sweet and sparkling. Brings out nutty flavors on a cigar. Sip. (80 proof, $79.99, 750 ml)

1 lime
2 ounces of cachaça
Granular sugar to taste
Ice cubes

Wash the lime and slice it into eight pieces. Place slices in large rocks glass. Add sugar and muddle the pieces (pulp side up) with a pestle. Add cachaça and ice. Shake or stir.

You are currently browsing the Beleza Pura Cachaca weblog archives for June, 2005.