The legendary Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Copacabana is more famous for its long, curving beach than for its quality nightlife, but the neighborhood is now shrugging off its reputation for strip joints and tourist traps and attracting a hipped-up breed of night owl to venues such as Fosfobox, while glamorous society types gather for drinks at Pergula, the poolside bar and restaurant at Copacabana Palace hotel. You don't need to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy a drink here, but dress to impress if you want to feel at home among the well-heeled clientele - and be prepared to pay high prices for your food and drink.
Copacabana is the location for the most legendary New Year's celebration on the planet, and is also famous for the lively gay club Le Boy - a stalwart of Rio's colorful LGBT scene. For an early evening or late night drink, meanwhile, it's hard to beat a caipirinha with an ocean backdrop, and there are scores of bars to choose from along the beach front. These range from simple bars with plastic tables and chairs to upmarket wine bars, meaning that there is something to suit every taste and pocket. For something altogether more casual, head to the legendary Bip Bip. This simple hole-in-the-wall bar plays host to some of the best musicians in the city at its live jam sessions.
Eating and drinking go hand in hand in Rio, and many informal Copacabana restaurants double as bars - don't be afraid to just ask for the drinks menu, and soak up the alcohol with a few petiscos (light munchies) rather than a main meal.