You’ve heard of the margarita, right?
How about the mojito?
Well they all began outside of our country and we think we’ve spotted what could be the next popular drink to hit the U.S.: the caipirinha.
The caipirinha is the national cocktail of Brazil and it’s made with sugar, ice, lime and cachaça. It was basically unknown in the U.S., until recently. In the past few years as Brazilian food, restaurants, and culture have become more mainstream, the caipirinha has started popping up on cocktail menus and cachaça has become more widely available in liquor stores.
So, what is cachaça? It is similar to rum in that it is distilled from sugarcane, but cachaça (pronounced kah-SHAH-sah) almost has a hint of tequila flavor. As it works its way toward becoming more of a household name, we recommend scouting out a few bottles for your home bar. That way, when it becomes the next big thing, you can tell your friends that you were way ahead of the trend.
Some Brands of Cachaça Currently Being Sold in the U.S:
Leblon – Leblon is distilled in Brazil’s fertile Minas Gerais region. It has a delicate, fruity nose, combined with an ultra smooth finish.
Ypióca – This Brazilian company founded in 1846 was recently acquired by Diageo. It is the largest producer of cachaça in Brazil and they make several different types like Ypióca Crystal, a clear cachaça aged for 10 months in Brazilian wood barrels, and Ypióca Ouro, which is aged for two to three years in balsamic barrels, resulting in a spicier flavor.
Pitu – You can spot Pitu because of the red Pitu on the label (some people call it “the lobster”). It is made in northeast Brazil by a 75-year-old family owned business. They use the finest sugar cane, pure water and pedigreed yeast to make their product.
Fazenda Mae de Ouro – This cachaça is distilled in small batches and aged in oak for a year. It has delicate characteristics of vanilla and pepper mingled with the sweet character of sugar cane.
With the World Cup heading to Brazil in 2014 and the Olympics coming to town in 2016, we have no doubt that the love for cachaça is going to spread across the world very soon. Grab a bottle, make a caipirinha and let us know what you think.