Brazil – Caiparihna

With Arms Wide Open

Brazil is instantly recognizable thanks to the Christ the Redeemer (aka Cristo Redentor) statue that sits atop Corcovado Hill, in Rio de Janeiro. This modern wonder of the world is a highlight for any tourist, whether they’re a religious fanatic or a die-hard atheist… okay, it might not be for the atheists out there, but it’s still a cool site that must be seen. Let’s take some time to learn about the creation:

The mountain, Corcovado, means “hunchback” in Portuguese. It was once known as the ‘Mount of Temptation,’ in reference to the Bible, where Jesus was tempted by the devil. The statue and hill reside within the Tijuca Forest National Park. The top of Corcovado Hill can be reached via a number of different routes including climbing 220 steps or a system of escalators, built recently for the elderly and lazy alike. I think we all know which path the Sip Advisor would take! Pa Sip will be happy to know that there’s a railway, built all the way back in 1882, which is said to be the most unique way to traverse the mountain.

Jesus Wants a Hug

Because of its religious implications, the busiest times of the year for locals and tourists flocking to the site are Christmas and Easter. Visitors are advised to view the site in the evening so as to also enjoy the lights of Rio below.

The statue, which stands over 30 meters tall (the second highest religious bust in the world, behind Poland’s Christ the King), was built in France and shipped to Brazil piece by piece (the head alone is comprise of 50 separate parts). It was built using funds donated by the Catholic community of Brazil and was opened to the public in 1932 by Brazilian president Getulio Vargas. The effigy is estimated to have cost $250,000 US.

Built between 1922 and 1931, more than a thousand tons of concrete were used to mold the statue, which was constructed from head to toe. Original plans had Christ holding a cross and a globe, but the wide spread arms look was chosen instead. While most claim this is a symbol of peace, the Sip Advisor sees it as a boastful challenge and it is so on, Jesus. Now I just need to put together a bunch of carpenter jokes and book my trip to Brazil.

Come At Me Bro

Rumours persist that the builder of the statue’s head converted from Judaism to Christianity after working on the sculpture and wrote the names of his family members above the heart of Christ, on the inside and outside of the piece.

Over time, weather has eroded the statue’s fingers, lips and eyebrows with lightning strikes even taking their toll on the figure. It has been struck twice in recent years, leading to restoration projects to repair the damage. When the statue is updated due to erosion, a different colour of stone is needed due to the lack of quantity of the original material. Newer pieces can be identified by their darker tint.

In 2006, while Christ the Redeemer celebrated its 75th birthday, a small chapel was opened at the foot of the iconic statue, to be used for baptisms and weddings. I only wonder how much it costs to get hitched there and how long the waiting list must be.

God High Five

In 2010, the statue was vandalized with graffiti painted on the head and right arm. This act was called “a crime against the nation” by Mayor Eduardo Paes. A $10,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest and Military Police later apprehended 28-year-old wall painter Paulo Souza dos Santos for committing the offense. Was it really worth it, just to scrawl things like “When the cat’s away, the rats will play” on the sculpture? I guess he was really broken up about his missing kitty.

Christ the Redeemer has been featured in countless works, including movies, TV series, music, and video games. While it’s usually simply used to establish the setting as Brazil or more specifically, Rio de Janeiro, it has played a more integral role in some plots. In the disaster film, 2012, the statue even crumbles to bits as the result of an earthquake.

Leap of Faith

In games, famous plumber Luigi must track down one of the spotlights that illuminates the statue in the 1992 Super Nintendo game Mario is Missing. It was stolen by Koopa Troopers, but you have to wonder why the shit disturbers didn’t just steal the actual statue since the spotlight is said to be 35 meters tall, while the statue stands about 38 meters, including base. Personally, if I received the ransom note, I’d be like: “Eh, don’t worry about… we’ll just buy ourselves a new spotlight or close the attraction down at night.” Stupid Koopa Troopers!

Finally, there are copycat statues around the world, inspired by Christ the Redeemer, including versions in Guanajuato, Mexico; Arkansas, United States; Havana, Cuba; Ibiza, Spain; and Almada, Portugal. Before you know it, they’ll be everywhere!

Brazil: Caiparihna

Caipirinha Cocktail

  • Muddled Lime Wedges
  • 1.5 oz Cachaca
  • Pinch of Brown Sugar
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

I remember playing the Carmen Sandiego computer game way back when I was a little sipper and when you traveled to Brazil, the pixelated image that greeted you was the Christ the Redeemer statue. It’s funny what sticks with you (especially when you drink like the Sip Advisor does), but that was actually the inspiration for this post!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The Caiparihna is a signature cocktail for the Cachaca spirit and therefore for the entire country of Brazil. There are other variations of the drink, but this is the traditional recipe. Despite the lack of mixing ingredients, I thought it was pretty good. The Brown Sugar is a nice touch and a must over White Sugar.

Advertisements

June 11 – Lolita

Banned Cinema

Movie history is littered with films that, for one reason or another, governments have banned its constituents from viewing or possessing. I’m a staunch supporter of anti-censorship. In my opinion, the discretion falls on the person themselves to decide what they do or don’t want to see, or, in the case of children, it is the responsibility of their parents to make these choices. That said, here are some notable movies that have been deemed forbidden:

Lolita

The name of today’s cocktail comes from the classic novel by Vladimir Nabokov (those crazy Russkies) that was later adapted into two movies. The story centers on an older man’s lust for a young girl, which brings about obvious concerns over subject matter. Lolita is one of the most controversial works of all time, but it’s also one of the most highly regarded, most likely due to the poetic language of its writing. I just hope the drink is decent!

Lolita

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Leatherface is one badass dude, hacking his way through any unfortunate victim(s) who stumble upon his messed up backwoods family. One of the creepiest parts of this film is right at the start when the viewer is informed that what you’re about to see is based on a true story. Of course, it isn’t, but that thought sticks with you throughout. I don’t understand why this film was banned while other similar entries in the genre flew under the radar. Perhaps, it was just ahead of its time.

Monty Python Films

The movies, Life of Brian and Meaning of Life, from the comedy troupe were banned in a few countries, such as Ireland, because they were considered blasphemous. Of course, the clever team used the bans to their advantage, creating ads that said “So funny it was banned in Norway!”.

Barney’s Great Adventure

Personally I wonder why the entire world couldn’t ban the giant purple dino! Good on Malaysia for realizing that a figment of children’s imagination that tells kids to love and hug each other is sending bad messages to youth. The government found that the film was unacceptable for children and never provided any further details… and why should they?

Barney

Cannibal Holocaust

Where to begin with this film? Most countries banned it due to violence committed on animals, but there were also rumours that actors had legitimately died in the filming and the movie was therefore of the “snuff” variety. While the human deaths were disproven, the animal cruelty was in fact real, which is not cool. The Colombian natives were also treated poorly by director Ruggero Deodato. Credit does have to be given to the makers of this movie for being one of the first “found footage” stories, however.

Last Tango in Paris

Seriously!? A country like Italy banned a movie for strong sexual content??? Didn’t they invent the language of love and all that other junk? Sure there’s a scene that involves the use of butter as lubrication, but come on, who hasn’t reached for the dairy in a pinch?! Italy, I am so disappointed in you.

A Clockwork Orange

Let’s see, why would this movie ever be banned? Could it be the gratuitous violence perpetrated by Alex and company? Could it be the home invasion, crippling and rape of an innocent couple? Not bad enough for you yet? What about the murder of another woman with a giant penis statue? Yeah, that one did it for me, too. Regardless, this cult favourite is actually a intriguing watch. This is yet another adapted screenplay from a novel and perhaps we should just ban all books, so movies don’t have to suffer.

A-Clockwork-Orange

2012

Well, this has got to be one of the craziest bans of a movie I’ve ever seen. Apparently, in North Korea, it was made illegal to show the fictional Apocalypse tale because 2012 marks the 100th birthday of former leader, Kim Il Sung, and North Korean’s had dubbed the year “the year for opening the grand gates to becoming a rising superpower”. Thus, according to the country, a film that says the year 2012 will bring about the “end of days” was too negative a message. Citizens caught with a pirated copy of the film or even viewing the movie are arrested and charged with “grave provocation against the development of the state”.

Saw VI

Saw VI was banned for scenes of gory violence and torture… yeah, because it differs so drastically from movies I through V! I like the Saw series of movies, particularly the first two entries. While I can see why some would hesitate to watch this franchise (and the many that have followed in a similar fashion since), that is their decision to make and not the government’s.

saw

Goldfinger

The James Bond film was banned in Israel after a short run when it was revealed that Gert Fröbe, who played villain Auric Goldfinger, was once a member of Germany’s Nazi Party. The ban was lifted a few months later when a man came forward saying that he and his mother had been hidden and saved from the Nazi Gestapo by Fröbe. This was the planned sequel to Schindler’s List.

Hostel Movies

These horror flicks were banned for depicting the people of Eastern European countries as buyers of human slaves… which is incredibly accurate, but something the Ukrainian government took great offense to. It’s like if Canada took offense to a movie about hockey goons, who love their poutine.

Drink #162: Lolita

Lolita Cocktail

Of all these banned movies, I’ve only seen a handful of them. I’m intrigued to check out the one’s I have yet to view, with Barney’s Great Adventure topping my list. Perhaps I’ll even review it for all my little sippers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The simple recipe largely recreates a Sangria taste and that is totally welcome in my little world! I particularly like how this drink is garnished, especially when you think of the Lolita story.