Unique only to Brazil, Cachaça is pronounced ka-SHA-sa, with the emphasis on the ‘SHA.’ Like Hefeweizen, Fahrvergnugen, and Pinot Grigio, Cachaça is a foreign word easy to mispronounce – at least initially. As a newly adopted discovery, Cachaça is quickly becoming part of our ‘social currency’ lexicon. The same is happening for Cachaça’s cocktail sidekick, Caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil popping up on cocktail menus across the country (pronounced kai-pur-EEN-ya, with the emphasis on the third syllable).
So what is Cachaça anyways? And is it a rum or not?
Cachaça is a Brazilian spirit distilled from fresh sugar cane juice. It is the third most consumed spirit in the world behind only vodka and soju/shochu, the Asian distillates made predominantly from rice. Historians date the initial creation of Cachaça somewhere between 1532 and 1550 in Brazil, predating the date of creation of rum (1651 in Barbados) by more than one hundred years.
Unlike Rum, which is usually made from molasses, Cachaça can only be made from fresh sugar cane juice, and can only be made in Brazil. Brazilian law requires that Cachaça be distilled no higher than 54% alcohol by volume, and bottled between 38% and 48% alcohol by volume. That being said, most exported Cachaça has an alcohol content similar to vodka, tequila, rum, or gin – 40% alcohol by volume (or 80 proof).
So why then the rum question? According to U.S. law, any spirit derived from sugar cane must be labeled as a rum – in Cachaça’s case, ‘Brazilian Rum.’ This nomenclature has been in dispute for some time, with discussion and consideration of separating Cachaça into its own ‘class,’ like tequila, or an ‘appellation’ within a broader class, like cognac and champagne. With the increasing popularity of Cachaça, more and more people are asking for the distinction, especially since the cultural and sensorial differences between rum and Cachaça are so significant.
So what are those sensorial differences? Since Cachaça is made from fresh pressed sugar cane juice, and not molasses (a derivative of sugar cane), it has a fruitier, fresher nose than rum. Its taste is subtly sweet and fresh, and since it comes directly from the crop, Cachaça has distinctive vegetal notes reminiscent of tequila (in fact, many mixologists and sommeliers liken Cachaça more to a tequila than a rum because of the unique vegetal notes in the nose).
How do you use Cachaça? In Brazil, Cachaça is consumed predominantly pure or in a Caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil. Made with muddled lime, the Caipirinha is now becoming a standard cocktail on menus across the country and the world. In addition, as a white spirit, Cachaça has amazing versatility, and is being used by bartenders and mixologists in their own creative concoctions, twists on classics (ie Brazilian Cosmos and Margarita Sambas to frozen drinks (‘batidas’) and bar chef cocktails (think: muddled strawberries with basil…).
So, now that you understand what Cachaça is, how to say it, and how to use it, we invite you to explore this wonderful new world. Is Cachaça the next Tequila? Is the Caipirinha the new Margarita? We have no idea – but we do know this: it’s a wonderful thing.
|Binny's Beverage Depot||1132 S. Jefferson||Chicago, IL||June 6th||4:00PM-7:00PM|
|Binny's Beverage Depot||790 Royal George||Naperville, IL||June 6th||4:00PM-7:00PM|
|Ferry Wine Liquors||158 Ferry St||Newark, NJ||June 7th||5:00PM-7:00PM|
|Wine Country||5016 Hadley Center||South Plainfield, NJ||June 7th||4:00PM-6:00PM|
|Binny's Beverage Depot||213 W. Grand||Chicago, IL||June 7th||11:00AM-2:00PM|
|Bourbon St. Liqours||1802 Rt 31 North||Clinton, NJ||June 7th||11:30AM-1:30PM|
|Bourbon St. Liqours||1243 Rt 22 East||Lenanon, NJ||June 7th||2:00PM-4:00PM|
|Sigels Store||506 S. Industrial Ave||Dallas, TX||June 12th||5:00PM-7:00PM|
|Sigels Store||15003 Inwood Ave||Addison, TX||June 12th||5:00PM-7:00PM|
|Sigels Store||1441 W. Mockingbird||Dallas, TX||June 12th||5:00PM-7:00PM|
|Sigels Store||5757 Greenville Ave||Dallas, TX||June 12th||5:00PM-7:00PM|
|Sigels Store||5636 Lemmon Ave||Dallas, TX||June 12th||5:00PM-7:00PM|
|Sigels Store||3209 N. Fitzhugh||Dallas, TX||June 12th||5:00PM-7:00PM|
|Sigels Store||538 Centennial Blvd||Richardson, TX||June 12th||5:00PM-7:00PM|
|Sigels Store||2325 E. Intrst. 30||Rockwall, TX||June 12th||5:00PM-7:00PM|
|Sigels Store||2800 Routh St||Dallas, TX||June 12th||5:00PM-7:00PM|
|Oakland Store||525 Embarcadero West||Oakland, CA||June 13th||4:00PM-7:00PM|
|Gold Standard||153 Skokie Valey||Highland Park, IL||June 14th||2:00PM-3:00PM|
|Walnut Creek Store||2220 Oak Grove Rd||Walnut Creek, CA||June 14th||12:00PM-3:00PM|
|Crush Wine||153 E 57th St||New York, NY||June 20th||5:30PM-7:30PM|
|Beverages & More||925A Camino de la Reina||San Diego, CA||June 20th||5:00PM-8:00PM|
|Beverages & More||925 A Camine de la Reina||Mission Valley, CA||June 20th||5:00PM-8:00PM|
|Fairfield Grand Opening||1545 Holiday Lane||Fairfield, CA||June 20th||12:00PM-3:00PM|
|Mission Valley||925 A Camine de la Reina||Mission Valley, CA||June 20th||5:00PM-8:00PM|
|Beverages & More||28011 Greenfield Drive||Laguna Niguel, CA||June 21st||4:00PM-7:00PM|
|Beverages & More||2000 N Tustin Street||Orange, CA||June 21st||12:00PM-3:00PM|
|Wittys Buy Rite||478 Olf Bridge Tpk||South River, NJ||June 21st||6:00PM-8:00PM|
|Santa Rosa Store||2090 Santa Rosa Ave||Santa Rosa, CA||June 21st||12:00PM-3:00PM|
|Orange||2000 N Tustin Street||Orange. CA||June 21st||12:00PM-3:00PM|
|Laguna Beach||28011 Greenfield Drive||Laguna Niguel, CA||June 21st||4:00PM-7:00PM|
|Carmel Mountain||11475 Carmel Mountain Road||San Diego, CA||June 21st||2:00PM-5:00PM|
|Salinas Grand Opening||1900 North Davis Rd.||Salinas, CA||June 22nd||11:00AM-2:00PM|
|Beverages & More||4175 Stevens Creek Blvd||Santa Clara, CA||June 27th||4:00PM-7:00PM|
|Santa Clara Store||4175 Stevens Creek Blvd||Santa Clara, CA||June 27th||4:00PM-7:00PM|
|Mega Liquor Store||8680 SW 137th Ct||Miami, FL||June 28th||12:00PM-3:00PM|
|Ferry Wine Liqours||158 Ferry St||Newark, NJ||June 28th||2:00PM-5:00PM|
|San Rafael Store||760 Francisco Blvd. West||San Rafael, CA||June 28th||12:00PM-3:00PM|
|Corona||3642 Grand Oaks||Corona, CA||June 28th||11:00AM-2:00PM|
|Union Square Wines and Spirits||140 4th Ave||New York, NY||June 28th||2:00PM-5:00PM|
|Mega Discount Liquors||9525 Westview Dr||Coral Springs, FL||June 28th||12:00PM-3:00PM|
|Hedy's||500 Mercer St||Highstown, NJ||July 3rd||4:00PM-7:00PM|
|Colma Store||4915 Junipero Serra Blvd||Daly City, CA||July 3rd||4:00PM-7:00PM|
|ABC Liqours||9894 Glades Road||Boca Raton, FL||July 16th||6:00PM-8:00PM|
|Country Wine & Spirits 1||1368 Weston Road||Weston, FL||July 18th||6:00PM-9:00PM|
|Total Wine Boynton Beach||850 North Congress Ave.||Boynton Beach, FL||July 19th||2:00PM-5:00PM|
|Liquor & Wine||4710 S. Flamingo Road||Cooper City, FL||July 19th||3:00PM-6:00PM|
|Northlake Liquors||94 Indian Trace||Weston, FL||August 8th6:00PM-9:00PM|
|Wine King||2439 Rt 34 South||Manasquan, NJ||August 9th||1:00PM-4:00PM|
|Crystal’s Liquors||19491 Sheridan St||Pembroke Pines, FL||August 9th6:00PM-9:00PM|