Often called Brazilian rum, Cachaça is a spirit distilled from the first pressing of raw sugar cane rather than molasses and is made exclusively in Brazil. Outside Brazil, it is best known for its use in the Caipirinha cocktail.
There are two types of Cachaça. White Cachaça is unaged and is bottled immediately after distillation. Gold Cachaça is aged in different types of wood for anything between 12 months to 15 years. Some is oak aged but there are also many other varieties of tree in Brazil, which impart each Cachaça with a uniquely aromatic flavour.
What to expect
Cachaça is typically distilled at a lower strength than most rum. Aged Cachaça is more intense and aromatic, whilst white Cachaça often tastes more like Blanco tequila or a Rhum Agricole. Most good Cachaça is made from fresh sugar cane, but some brands do substitute sugar syrup or molasses. White Cachaça works well mixed in long drinks or as a base ingredient for cocktails. The complex, aromatic flavours of Gold Cachaça are better savoured neat or over ice.
Did you know?
Portuguese colonists introduced Cachaça to Brazil in the mid 16th century. It was originally known as the “poor man’s drink” due to its association with the Brazilian slave trade.