Brazil’s Favourite Spirit: Cachaça
Mexico’s got tequila, Cuba’s got rum, Russia’s got vodka, Canada’s got rye whiskey, and Brazil’s favourite spirit is cachaça (pronounced KA SHA SA). Popular for the country’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha , cachaça is a clear liquor that hints at both rum and tequila, but has its own spicy, sweet flavour.
Cachaça has a long and rich Brazilian history, with the liquor dating back to the 1500s when the Portuguese brought sugar cane to Brazil. Distilled from fermented sugarcane juice, this spirit is produced almost exclusively in Brazil and typically has an alcohol volume of 38-54%, though homemade cachaça can be even stronger! Similar to rum, cachaça comes in two varieties: silver and amber (also known as unaged and aged). After distillation, the silver cachaça is bottled and sold right away, though it’s sometimes aged up to a year, whereas the amber cachaça is aged in wood barrels from three to 15 years. The type of wood barrel used for aging greatly influences the flavour: araúva gives it yellow tinge and a delicate, botanical aroma and gives the spirit a slight oiliness; amburana lessens acidity and alcohol level, creating a softer finish with cinnamon and vanilla; balm gives it clove and anise aromas; peanut reduces acidity and imparts a soft and subtle yellow tone with floral, sugarcane aromas; and jequitibá rids the spirit of sugarcane bagasse flavours, lowers acidity, and results in fuller, softer liquor. While silver cachaça is typically used in cocktails like the caipirinha, amber cachaça is sipped, like an aged scotch.
Increasingly growing in popularity outside of Brazil, cachaça is appearing in more often as bartenders experiment with new cocktail creations and spins on old ones. Plus the variations in flavour and aroma that result from aging with different types of wood make it a versatile spirit with unlimited creativity. In fact, researcher Felipe Jannuzzi created a map for Brazil’s favourite spirit that defines the predominant flavours, aromas, and qualities of cachaça based on the country’s different regions.
One of Brazil’s biggest cachaça sellers, Jamel is a genuine, Brazilian cachaça made by Industria Missiato de Bebidas Ltda and it comes in both white and gold variations. This cachaça is known for having a heated, tart, and spicy nose with overripe apple, brine, and nutty notes – but despites its unique, somewhat smelly aroma, this cachaça tastes warm and spicy with a light, citrusy flavour that finishes with a smoky woodiness. The gold variation is aged in oak barrels with natural oak extract.
Cachaça do Barão
From São Paulo’s interior, Araras, Cachaça do Barão is an amber variation aged for over three years. This cachaça is named for the Baron of Arari on whose land the spirit is made today and to demonstrate its special, incomparable flavour.
We carry four varieties of Weber Haus cachaça: silver, premium black amber, gold organic amber, and extra premium amber. In 1848’s Ivoti, a city on the slopes of the Serra Gaúcha, in the Rio Grande do Sul’s interior a Brazilian family of German descendants began producing cachaça in a still for their own consumption. The distillery grew within the family, being passed down from generation to generation, and is now an award-winning cachaça producer. A sustainable distillery that uses 100% natural fermentation and copper pot still, Weber Haus produces organic cachaça.
Want to try it? Book your table at Pampa today.