If you’ve ever been to Brazil, you’re probably familiar with the country’s national drink, the Caipirinha, made with the national spirit of Brazil. But, if you’ve never made it to the country famous for Carnival, chances are you’re missing out on a tasty liquor.
Cachaça is a distilled liquor made from sugarcane juice. It comes in at around 40 percent ABV and, depending on how they’re produced, can taste anywhere from chemically and oily to grassy. The sugarcane is pressed to extract the juice which is then fermented. After fermentation, the juice is then distilled into tasty Cachaça. At this stage the cachaça can either be bottled or aged like whiskey and rum.
Some of you may be thinking, “Isn’t that pretty much what rum is?” Close, but no. Cachaça is made from the juice of the sugarcane whereas rum is made from molasses, which is sugarcane juice that’s been refined. So they’re a little different. This difference is what makes cachaça taste fresher and more herbaceous and also not as sweet as rum.
There is a very similar liquor called aguardente de cana — also made from sugarcane — that was once produced in the Madeira islands off the coast of Portugal. In the 16th century, though, the Portuguese moved their sugar production to Brazil and they started to make Cachaça. What makes cachaça so special, and cool, is it must be made in Brazil from sugarcane juice that’s been fermented to actually be considered Cachaça.
Cachaça is most commonly seen served in a Caipirinha, a sort of cousin of the Mojito. Even better, it’s super simple to make and equally refreshing.