Cachaça is an indigenous Brazilian spirit made from fermented and distilled sugar cane juice.
Alcoholic drinks are often named after the place where it was originally or which made it famous. Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne are named after the French regions that produce them. Tequila, made from blue agave, is named after the city of Tequila in Mexico.
Cachaça does not derive its name from any place in Brazil. And yet, it has been described as “the essence of Brazil in a bottle.”
There’s unaged cachaça (white) and aged cachaça (gold) varieties, the unaged being cheaper than the aged (isn’t that often the case?). Cachaça has a very high alcohol content (can you read “40%” on the label in the photo?).
Unlike rum which is made from molasses, cachaça has no bitter taste at all.
The best way I can describe cachaça is sneaky, like limoncello, because it’s sweet and you think you’re just drinking something mild when, in fact, you’re consuming quite a lot of alcohol. And when mixed with fruits and fruit juices, a cocktail drink with cachaça almost tastes like a non-alcoholic drink.
Updated from a post originally published in April 22, 2017