What is Cachaca (and how do you say it??)
Cachaça (pronounced kah-SHAH-sa) is a spirit made in Brazil. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as “Brazilian Rum”, but there are important distinctions in their processes that make them different. Culturally speaking, Brazil is very proud of its national spirit!
Cachaça can be made only in Brazil from fresh sugar cane juice. Rum by contrast can be made anywhere and is typically made from molasses (a byproduct from sugar production).
Cachaça has a distinct flavor profile, tend to be lighter and fruitier vs rum’s spicier flavors. Similar to rums, there are lighter and darker versions of Cachaça. For instance, ones that appear to be clear have either not been aged in wood or have been aged in types of wood that do not impart color to the spirit. Darker versions have been aged instead in any of several types of Brazilian wood barrels that lend color to the spirit.
The most popular cocktail that calls for Cachaça is the Caipirinha (kai-pee-REEN-yuh). Here’s a recipe to get you started!
Caipirinha (makes one cocktail):
2 ounces cachaça
4-6 lime wedges
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (*Raw sugar is ok to use instead but it has a very different flavor)
Muddle the lime with the sugar in an old-fashioned glass. Add ice and cachaça and stir well.
Aubrie Talarico is part of Eno’s team that answers your toughest questions or curiosities about wine, beer, spirits, sake, and cider. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and read the answers in Eno’s E-newsletter!
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