- BEST FOR: Foodies.
- WHERE: Starting in São Paulo and going to small towns in the state of Minas Gerais.
- WHEN: All year round.
- HOW LONG: At least 5 days.
The history of Brazil as told through cachaça (sugarcane rum). From São Paulo to the north of Minas Gerais.
Minas Gerais is as varied as Brazil itself, and its name—being in the plural—says it all. Minas, many mines. As a byword for the Minas culture, the production of world-class artisan cachaça in the stills of the state, above all its northern landscapes. Getting to know these places is to familiarize yourself with the typical flavor of a soil, a cut of wood, a people. How the liquor is made is a result of an aesthetic of survival, marked by scarcity, in a region of Brazil characterized by geographical and economic transition. Proximity to these places and people is a true lesson in ingenuity, sustainability, and the creative economy.
Stories you’ll be able to tell when you get back:
There is a whole world beyond Brazil’s well-known caipirinha! This is a story of how a beverage can help you understand a country and its variety of cultures, about Brazilian names/words on the labels and their meanings, about the ingenious devices created in order to produce cachaça, about the flavors and landscapes of Brazil.
Discover one particular cachaça in each city you go through. Visit distilleries and stills in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Montes Claros and Salinas. In Salinas, held to be the birthplace of cachaça, visit the Museum of Distilled Beverages of Brazil.
- Caipirinha and Cachaça tasting.
- Cooking with cachaça in Belo Horizonte.
- Visit to Inhotim, in the town of Brumadinho, Minas Gerais.
- An informal evening of conversation, and music (songs for the 10-string viola) with masters of local culture in Montes Claros, Minas Gerais.
- The experience of producing your own cachaça in Vale Verde.
- Learning how to make carne de sol and carne serenada (two regional sun-dried meats) in Salinas, Minas Gerais.