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.

June 1 – Procrastinator

Distraction Guaranteed

The vast and wondrous internet is about more than just free porn and Facebook follies. There is unlimited entertainment out there on the wild, wild web, which a procrastinator such as myself can fall into for hours at a time! Here is some suggested viewing:

Epic Meal Time

These Canadian boys sure know how to do food right. Their videos begin with the team gathering various ingredients (usually from fast food restaurants like KFC, McDonalds and Burger King) before they unite to make a meal of epic proportions… hence the name. The EMT crew love their bacon (who doesn’t!) and they also feature Jack Daniel’s Whiskey in a bunch of their recipes. Sip Advisor Favourite: Fast Food Sushi  – so many sauces!

Everyday Drinkers

I really like this guy and his videos on how to make a number of different cocktails. His laid back and common man approach puts you at ease and he shows that everyone is capable of making these multi-ingredient drinks, regardless of mixology acumen. My bar collection is pretty sweet, but the Common Man cocktail slinger has a stock of liquors that would make anyone envious. Sip Advisor Favourite: Too hard to narrow down, just check out the guy’s work!

LOLCats

It’s common knowledge that I’m a cat guy and have featured them favourably and heavily on this site. The LOLCats mix fun images of kitties messing around with any number of hilarious jokes. The quality ranges from mediocre to downright brilliant, but you won’t be disappointed after a visit to this site. Sip Advisor Favourite: Probably the “I Can Has Cheezburger” series.

Angry Video Game Nerd

What’s best about the Angry Video Game Nerd’s videos is that they take you back to a simpler time in your life, when your little world revolved around Nintendo (and other systems) and your difficulties in beating various games from its library. The guy is also pretty funny in his review of difficult or craptacular games. For anyone who enjoys watching others play at the arcade, these videos are for you. Sip Advisor Favourite: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – difficult, but classic game…

Between Two Ferns

Hosted by Zach Galifianakis, these interviews (if you can call a host ignoring and degrading his guest an interview) are good for a few laughs. Some of Hollywood’s top names have visited Galifinakis’s little set, including Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Bradley Cooper, Conan O’Brien, and many more. In typical Galifianakis style, you never really know what he’s going to say, but you know it will be awkwardly funny. Sip Advisor Favourite: Bruce Willis because of the line from Galifianakis, “Did you know that some actors turn down roles?”

Addicting Games

This site got me through a large portion of my college years, messing around and trying different games. While I’m an ardent fan of the match three genre, there are many other casual games I enjoy giving a whirl. Sip Advisor Favourites: Cursed Treasure, for the tower defense fans out there and, of course, Kitten Cannon, where you launch a kitten out of a cannon and see how far it will fly. (No animals were harmed in the making of this post).

Botch-A-Mania

For the wrestling fans out there, you have to check out the Botch-A-Mania videos on YouTube. They let you relive some of professional wrestling greatest screw-ups (affectionately known in the industry as botches). Some of these are so funny you’ll be rolling on the floor, laughing your ass off. For bonus wrestling fun, check out WrestleCrap for the craziest in squared circle coverage. Sip Advisor Favourite: Probably when Booker T dropped an N-bomb on Hulk Hogan!

Drink #152: Procrastinator

June 1

  • Rim glass with Caramel Syrup and Skor Bits
  • 0.75 oz Frangelico
  • 0.75 oz Honey Whiskey

Of course, you could also spend countless hours on this site, enjoying all the Sip Advisor has to offer. Thanks to the fine folks above, I’ve wasted numerous hours of my life. While Mrs. Sip might wish things were different, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
You can also make a Procrastination Martini with Gin, Dry Vermouth, Limoncello and Green Chartreuse, but I preferred the shooter recipe. This is a pretty strong shot, but it tastes good. I had trouble constructing the Skor Bit rim, having to resort to Caramel Syrup as an adhesive to make those suckers stick. Any chance I have to use Honey Whiskey is one I’m going to take!