Brazil's Cooling Alternative To All That Coffee

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The beat and temperature are high here as Carnaval approaches on February 24. 90-degree evenings are electrified with the pounding of dancing feet and drums drumming out this year's samba routines and rhythms. 

By day, the beaches are packed with brightly colored umbrellas, towels, surfers, students, and tourists. 

When the sequined dancers and bikini-clad bathers stop to quench their thirst, Brazil's fruit juice bars call.

In Brazil, the tall, frothy glasses of summer are filled with sucos, the freshly squeezed juices of the country's cornucopia of fruits, including mango, papaya, pineapple, guava, and others.

 At a time when healthy eating is becoming more of a priority, juice bars are tropical pioneers, providing naturally sweet alternatives to cola or coffee.

Copa Rio, located in Rio de Janeiro's Centro neighborhood, was selling fruity elixirs thirty years ago. 

The small, open-air bars that display neatly arranged oranges, peaches, melons, and mangoes are not new to the Brazilian restaurant and café circuit.

Anibal Vieira Alves, a fresh visitor from Portugal, remembers being surprised by Brazil's abundance of tropical fruits. 

 In 1969, after mastering the fruit juice trade at Copa Rio, he founded Le Bon Jus, the first suco stop in Rio's seaside southern zone, Zona Sul.

Many Brazilians swear that fresh, cold, light, and naturally sweet cashew juice is unrivaled in the heat of the South American summer.