This drink is only popular in the south of Brazil, especially in Rio Grande do Sul. Chimarrão is a sugarless tea made with bitter mate (pronounced “mah-tay”, drunk out of gourd. The tradition of drinking chimarrão dates back to the 16th century, when the Spanish and Portuguese colonized Argentina and the south of Brazil.
The Gaúchos (inhabitants of Rio Grande do Sul) place the leaves in the gourd and add warm water of approximately 65 degrees Celsius. The mate is drunk through a metal pipe. In a group setting, people enjoy something that is called a “circle of Chimarrão”, where the gourd is passed around for everyone to drink.
Anybody can join to taste the mate, however it isn’t proper to leave halfway through the circle, drink only a little or decline a sip. Chimarrão is an excellent cleanser for the body and a great way to stay warm on cold days, common in the south of Brazil.