A Glenfiddich Guide to Rio de Janeiro

17 June 2014

By Cristiano Protti
Glenfiddich Ambassador, Brazil

Because Brazil is hosting the World Cup this month, it’s one of this year’s truly global hotspots and hundreds of thousands of people from all around the world are expected to visit this beautiful city over the coming weeks. So, we asked our Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador for Brazil, Christiano Protti, to put together a guide to some of the top gastronomic venues and whisky bars in one of the host cities, Rio de Janeiro.

Whether you’re in Brazil to experience the real thing or you’re just soaking up the World Cup atmosphere from the comfort of your own home, take a note of Christiano’s tips and find out a little more about this beautiful city’s hidden gems in a country where Glenfiddich is the best selling single malt Scotch whisky. Enjoy…

Rio is a city of colours, sounds and smells that delight the senses. It is also Brazil's most popular destination and a cultural hotspot - the perfect place to host the biggest football competition in the world and entertain nations from across the globe.

Sandwiched between a tropical rainforest and a magnificent beach-laden coastline, Rio is a city of incomparable natural beauty and breathtaking views. It is home to some of the world’s most iconic and well-known sights such as the Maracanã soccer stadium, the Sugar loaf and the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Rio’s “Carioca” lifestyle is famous throughout the world - an unpretentious, relaxed and charming approach to life that is hard to match in any other metropolitan city in the world.

Therefore, it’s always important to sit back, relax and avoid an agenda with sharp scheduled times whilst in the “Cidade Maravilhosa”- because your “Carioca” friends will never get there on time!

Casual and cool

For a refreshing drink before, during or after the football, try Astor (Avenida Vieira Souto, 110, Ipanema, tel (21) 2523-0085). This beach front bar and restaurant in Ipanema has a refreshingly casual environment and gathers the coolest people in Rio de Janeiro who can enjoy a range of great drinks and snacks. Definitely don’t leave Astor without ordering the Besteirinha, a delicious breaded steak canapé that goes perfectly with a distinctively fresh and fruity Glenfiddich 12 Year Old on the rocks.
Inside tip: if you want to enjoy the fruity aromas and flavors of Glenffidich in real Brazilian style at Astor, or at any other bar, you should try adding natural coconut water to your drink (which is widely available in Brazil) as it works as a natural isotonic and adds a fresh sweet touch to your experience with the world’s most awarded single malt.

Here’s how to order:
-One Glenfiddich and a glass of coconut water, please?
-Um Glenfiddich e um copo com água de côco, por favor?

See and be seen


If you are in the mood to see and be seen, Londra is the perfect place to go (Avenida Vieira Souto, 80, Ipanema, tel (21) 3202-4000). This trendy bar is part of the Fasano luxury boutique hotel group with sumptuous hotels in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Punta Del Este – a true heaven for fashionistas, Brazilian dandies and enlightened travelers. I suggest arriving no later than 11:30pm, unless you have a reservation. If you are with a group of friends, get a bottle of our exquisitely elegant and full-bodied Glenfiddch 15 Year Old to enjoy with the sound of some excellent rock & roll, contemporary pop and house music.


Off the beaten track

For an alternative to the well-trodden path of the Copacabana-Ipanema-Leblon circuit, it’s worth going to the Paris Bar (Rua Praia do Flamengo, 34, tel. (21) 2551-1278), in Casa Julieta de Serpa, in the Flamengo neighborhood. It’s a great place to taste the classic and innovative drinks of award winning mixologist, Alex Mesquita. The retro atmosphere, that resembles the Bar Hemingway of the Ritz Hotel in Paris, is the perfect match for a classic Godfather, a mix of Glenfiddich 15 Year Old, almond liqueur and the tropical touch of lime and orange bitter drops.

Famous steaks

If you want to find the best barbecue in town, try the traditional Esplanada Grill (Rua Barao da Torre 600, Ipanema, tel. (21) 2239-6028), which also happens to boast one of the most complete whisky bars in the city. The extraordinary rib eye cut accompanied by the luxurious spicy notes of a Glenfiddich 18 Year Old is a real treat on the palate.

No visit to Rio would be complete without experiencing the sumptuous luxury of that eternal classic, the Copacabana Palace Hotel. In addition to the historic Cipriani restaurant, one of Rio´s most exclusive dining experiences, the hotel has recently opened a new Asian fusion restaurant named Mee (Avenida Atlantica, 1702, Copacabana, tel (21) 2548-7070), currently the talk of the town. With varied influences from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Japan, this is a unique opportunity to embark on a gastronomic journey by ordering from a multicultural tasting menu, harmonized with a trilogy of Glenfiddch 12, 15 and 18 Year Old, for a broad range of flavors and aromas.

Enjoy the “Cidade Maravilhosa”!. Saúde…Cheers! Let me know on twitter or instagram if you are in Rio.

By Christiano Protti

Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador, Brazil.