Hi there, folks! Today we are going to learn about one of the most famous Brazilian alcoholic drinks: cachaça! Do you know what is cachaça made from? And also, what does it mean when we say it’s aged or silver? We will show you the best-known brands of this beloved spirit in Brazil, so you can discover which one is the best cachaça for you! Pitu, Leblon, Salinas, Nega Fulo, Germana, Sagatiba, Novo Fogo… so many brands, but we won’t just tell their names but also a little what to expect when drinking them! And also, you might be thinking: so how will I know the best cachaça to make caipirinhas? Well, we are here to help you try some good ones and answer for yourself! Today we will take a closer look at this subject and even find out what cachaça taste like! So, you won’t be left wondering what cachaça is similar to?
But what is Cachaça?
We have many stories regarding the origin of this spirit. The first version tells us that it was discovered by the people who were enslaved working with sugar cane production, and used the rest of the cana allowing it to ferment with time. Another version tells us that the Portuguese learned the distillation technique from the Arabs and then produced the first liters in around 1532 in Ilha da Madeira.
What is Cachaça Made of?
As you can see, there are many stories about the origin of our beloved beverage. If you’re asking yourself what cachaça is made from, let me give you the answer: it is a distilled spirit from sugar cane juice. It’s a very popular drink in Brazil, which explains why it was the first distilled beverage that our country commercially produced. Furthermore, it has two different varieties: unaged or white, and aged or gold. To conclude, this spirit is produced in a place called an alambique where the distillation process occurs. Want to find the best ones? You have to go to Minas Gerais or Paraty in Rio de Janeiro, or Monte Alegre do Sul in São Paulo. But what does cachaça taste like? If you are asking yourself what is cachaça similar to, some people say it is the Brazilian rum. Did you know that the most popular cocktail in Brazil, the caipirinha, contains it?
Best Cachaça Brands
Brazil has many brands, each one better than the next! We will list the most popular Brazilian cachaça brands below, so you get to know them, next time you come to study Portuguese in Rio:
- The most famous brand in Brazil, for sure, is cachaça 51. Some people call this drink just 51, and you can find it anywhere in Brazil, from supermarkets to expensive restaurants. It has many variations, like the smoother aged version, and for many people is the best cachaça for caipirinha recipes.
- Cachaça Pitu is another very famous brand! They have some variations as the popular Pitu gold variation, but also some different drinks like the Pitu cola.
- The Cachaça Leblon is famous for being prepared using a complex layer of fresh sugarcane, spices and fruits. This is a must-try for sure!
- Cachaça Salinas is a connoisseur’s classic from Minas Gerais and has variations with different prices and packaging. Their cachaça prata is a favorite.
- Cachaça Germana has a variant that is stored for up to ten years, with a rich, woody flavor!
- The Cachaça Sagatiba is famous for being the pioneer in the multi distillation process: they filter it several times to make it as pure as possible.
- The Nega Fulô Cachaça is a carioca beverage, from Nova Friburgo, one of the cold mountain cities in the interior of the state of Rio. The brand was bought by Diageo, famous for other international beverages like José Cuervo, Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker e Guinness.
- This next one calls itself rum’s older Brazilian cousin! The Novo Fogo even developed a line sold directly in small cans – just as sodas are – to make the drinking easier! Some say the Novo Fogo silver cachaça is amazing, so you should probably try!
Did you Know it has Nicknames?
This list is hilarious, because Brazilians developed so many nicknames to refer to this drink. Take notes, so you can order your own next time we have a RioLIVE! at Pedra do Sal.
- abre-coração (open heart);
- água benta (holy water);
- aguardente (burning water);
- bafo de tigre (tiger’s breath);
- água que passarinho não bebe (water that birds don’t drink)
- limpa olho (eye cleaner).
Fun Fact About Our Beloved Drink
We have a very famous song about this Brazilian drink that we sing during Carnival. Let’s listen to it:
Vocabulary for Brazilian Cachaça
|bebida alcoólica||alcoholic drink|
|multi destilação||multi distillation|
Although caipirinha is a drink made with cachaça mixed with some fruits, there also is a cachaça variation made directly from an herb called jambu. Jambu cachaça is a curious drink that numbs the lips and inside the mouth, and has a unique flavor. Do you think you would risk trying it?
So that’s all! Now we finally we know what this amazing spirit is! Next time you come visit us, make sure to tell us what cachaças you have tasted before! A good cachaça recommendation is always welcome 😛 Follow our classes on Facebook.
Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
States of Brazil