A Guide to Cachaca

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Summer is the perfect time to experiment with different liquors to create the perfect drink for sipping in the hot sun. When people think of summer refreshments, cocktails made with tequila or rum tend to come to mind. This summer, however, you’ll want to add another refreshing liquor to your stock. This liquor is cachaca. Cachaca is known as the spirit of Brazil and will make a great addition to your home selection.

What Is Cachaca?

Just as tequila is unique to Mexico, cachaca can only be produced in Brazil by law. It is a spicy, sweet, and fruity clear liquor that is distilled from fermented sugarcane juice. There are over 3,000 legal distillers that produce cachaca, but it is also produced across the country by smaller, family-owned distillers. Many historians credit cachaca as Latin America’s first distilled beverage.

When cachaca first started making waves in the U.S., it was easier for marketers to sell it as a Brazilian rum. This ultimately ended up creating more confusion because cachaca’s flavor profile and distilling process are significantly different. It wasn’t until 2013 that the Brazilian and U.S. governments agreed that cachaca would be clearly labeled for what it is, dropping the word rum.

Cachaca vs. Rum

Rum is typically created using sugar by-products such as molasses. Rum is also aged in sherry or bourbon barrels. Rum is known to have a sweeter taste on the tongue, which is why it makes for a great summer cocktail base. Cachaca, on the other hand, is made with freshly-pressed sugar cane juice. Cachaca is either rested in a steel vat and bottled immediately or stored in barrels made with wood native to Brazil such as Brazil nut, zebrawood, Brazilian amburana, balsam, teak, and more. Flavor can vary, depending on the distilling process and if the cachaca was stored in wooden barrels.

Types of Cachaca

Cachaca is classified by color. There are two main types of classification:

  • Also referred to as white, silver, classic, or traditional, this type of cachaca is unaged and rested in a steel vat before bottling. If it is stored in a wooden barrel, the storing process doesn’t affect the color, and it doesn’t exceed one year.
  • This cachaca is yellow in appearance due to the aging process. To fall under this category, the cachaca has to be aged for at least one year.

How to Enjoy Cachaca

There are several different ways to enjoy cachaca. If you are purchasing a top-shelf option, these are best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. It also makes for an excellent shot when you want something simple that can go down smooth. You can also try the caipirinha, which is the country’s national drink. All you need is cachaca, lime, and sugar. If the flavor is too intense, you can add a light layer of soda water or sprite.

Give It a Try

Cachaca is a refreshing, unique liquor that is sure to impress. At Payless Liquors, we are proud to carry this brand. Ask for it by name next time you stop in or use our convenient pickup form.

 

 

 

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