June through August means winter in Brazil, and São Paulo experiences its share of rainy days and chilly nights. There’s nothing better to beat the cold than a good cup of quentão, a hot drink made by boiling equal parts cachaça and water with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and sugar. Some people add fruit such as apples or oranges to the mix — I prefer lime.
Cachaça is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane. Pinga (left) is a lower quality version, but when it comes to making quentão, it gets the job done. Some regions in Brazil also opt to use red wine. Either way, it’s spicy, sweet and delicious.