Cachaça | Next Day Delivery | 31DOVER.com
Cachaça, for those not familiar, is a beautifully smooth and full flavoured Brazilian white rum, the base spirit for the classic Caipirinha cocktail.
Cachaça actually dates back to the origins of Brazil, in the 1530s. Portuguese explorers colonised what is now the north east of Brazil, and they introduced sugarcane plantation in much the same way as the Caribbean islanders and colonies in the southern tip of the USA had. The conditions and climate in Brazil were perfect for sugar growth, and with the introduction of mass slavery from Africa very soon a booming economy was developing. The specific origins of cachaça are difficult to trace, although one theory is that drinking a pot of the sugary solution was at first classed as a punishment for unruly slaves, who would become quite sick shortly afterwards (this was prior to modern day distillation etc). After this, smaller amounts of cachaça were introduced to help slaves get through a shift of heavy labour.
Another notion is that in the production of sugar when one batch of molasses was mixed with another, most of the alcoholic content evaporated and this formed droplets on the ceiling of the factories. These droplets would then fall onto the workers skin, and they would become drunk as a consequence...
In Brazil today, cachaça is sometimes known as "pinga", which translates from Portuguese as "drips"... so perhaps this theory isn't as crazy as it sounds.
Contrary to popular belief, cachaça is Brazil͛'s most popular drink – not rum – and more than one billion litres are produced in the country every year. Incredibly, only 0.5% of this is exported to the UK and elsewhere; although it is becoming a far more popular drink on these shores too.
How is Cachaça Made
Like many other liquors, cachaça is a distilled spirit that is born from the juice of the sugarcane. The cane is harvested and then the stems crushed into a paste, which was then boiled to create the molasses. The residue which forms during this boiling process is known as the "cagaca" which was originally fed to animals. If this mix was left to ferment under the hot sun in the animal's troughs, it would become highly alcoholic (which surely presented farmers with some interesting afternoons!).
There are two types of cachaça:
Unaged (white) – this is generally cheaper and is bottled almost immediately following the distillation process.
Aged (gold) – this is premium cachaça, and can be aged in oak barrels for anything up to 15 years. As you might imagine, this has a greater depth and variety of flavours.
How Cachaça is Enjoyed
Given its increasing popularity in UK bars and clubs, many of the associated cocktails and mixers that utilise cachaça as their base are becoming more and more widespread too - particularly the Caipirinha, which is Brazil͛s national cocktail. This is simply cachaça, sugar and lime juice: a sweet and sour cocktail that really gets the tastebuds tingling. Many have, and continue, to use vodka instead of cachaça and this is known as a Caipiroska. Sometimes strawberry is used instead of lime and this little mix is known as a Batida. A strong old mixer that will really get you going is the Rabo-de-Gallo, which is still one of the most popular cocktails in South America and many Hispanic countries. This is traditionally two-thirds cachaça to one-third of Red Vermouth. Last, but by no means least, comes Caju Amigo, which translates as "friendly cashew". Unsurprisingly, it is cachaça mixed with cashew nut juice, which is obviously harder to come by in the UK but it delivers a really interesting result, far different from many of the sweetened cocktails enjoyed in the UK.
Some Interesting Facts About Cachaça
1. In Brazil, many farmyard animals were fed cachaça prior to them being taken to the slaughterhouse, as this was thought to relax them.
2. 99% of all the cachaça produced in Brazil stays in the country.
3. Cachaça is the world's third most consumed spirit, and yet many Brits have yet to taste it...
Discover white and gold bottles of cachaça from the world's leading producers, including Sagatiba, Abelha and Leblon. Whether it is your first time or you are a more experienced Brazilian rum enthusiast, take the Caipirinha as your perfect starting point....and then see where the evening takes you...