Let’s be honest: there’s very little chance that the United States will be bringing home the World Cup trophy this year. However, there is a good chance that Brazil’s national spirit, cachaça, could find it’s way over to the U.S. when this worldwide soccer frenzy is over.
If you are a devoted reader of Drinking in America (and we know you are), you’ve probably heard of cachaça before because we predicted it could start appearing in the U.S. in a post we wrote almost a year ago. We knew that the World Cup would probably have a big effect, not to mention the 2016 Rio Olympics, and darnit, we were right. Now other liquor lovers are starting to buzz about cachaça, with The Spirits Business even boasting that it could become as big as tequila. They quoted Steve Luttmann, founder and CEO of Leblon cachaça, as saying that he thinks people are going to come home from the World Cup and make cachaça “part of their permanent spirits repertoires.”
“The success experienced by tequila and margarita in the 1968 World Cup in Mexico could be experienced by cachaça and the Caipirinha in the 2014 World Cup. Similar to how Australian wine grew in the Sydney Olympics…these categories experienced massive growth and never looked back. I think the same will happen to cachaça,” said Luttmann.
Cachaça (pronounced kah-SHAH-sah) is cool because the taste is familiar, yet still a little different. It is distilled from sugar cane just like rum, but it also has a little bit of a tequila flavor. Nathan Whitehouse, co-founder of cachaça brand Avuá Cachaça, says that “A good artisanal cachaça should taste somewhere between a rum and a tequila.”
If you head to a local bar now while the World Cup is still going on, we have a feeling you may even find some cachaça-based cocktails being served, especially the always popular Caipirinha. Many establishments that have caught onto the growing trend have been slinging these drinks during the games as a way to offer a fun, authentic Brazilian liquor experience.