What is Cachaça?
By Brazilian law, Cachaça is defined as a beverage with an alcohol content of 38-54% by volume, made from the distillation of fermented sugarcane juice. It’s made exclusively in Brazil and has gained popularity internationally in recent years.
History of Cachaça
Cachaça has been around for over 400 years, and is even older than rum. It was first given to Brazilian slaves, to both dull their pain and give them energy. How awful.
Eventually, Brazil’s wealthy came to appreciate the spirit as well, and cachaça became one of the country’s most popular products.
Difference between Cachaça and Rum
Both rum and cachaça are made from sugar, but rum is made from sugarcane by-products, like molasses, whereas cachaça is made straight from the sugarcane itself. However, cachaça is a bit more tart than rum.
In the United States, Cachaça is recognized as a type of rum and distinctive Brazilian product after an agreement was signed in 2013 with Brazil.
Types of Cachaça
Cachaça, like rum, has two varieties: unaged (white) and aged (gold). White cachaça is usually bottled immediately after distillation and tends to be cheaper. It’s what’s usually used to prepare caipirinhas and other beverages in which cachaça is an ingredient.
Dark cachaça, usually seen as the “premium” variety, is aged in wood barrels and is meant to be drunk straight.
How to Drink Cachaça
If you know me, you know one of my all-time favorite cocktails is the Caipirinha, which also happens to be the national cocktail of Brazil. To me, it’s better than a margarita. Sorry, tequila.
- 2 ounces of Cachaça
- Half a lime, cut into 4 wedges
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
Muddle the wedges in a rocks glass with sugar. Add Cachaça and top with ice. Stir and serve.