Welcome back to “Two Guys Walk Into A Bar”. Thanks for reading. This week we will learn about cachaça, a distilled liquor from Brazil.
Unknown to many outside Brazil, the cultural significance of cachaça ( Pronounced “KA SHA SA”) ranks among soccer, carnival, and samba. Although non-Brazilian’s compare cachaça to rum, their only similarity is that they both originate from sugarcane. The major difference between cachaça and rum is that rum is usually made from molasses, a by-product from refineries that boil the cane juice to extract as much sugar crystals as possible. And cachaça is made from fresh sugarcane juice that’s fermented and distilled.
Cachaça first gained popularity among slaves and peasants during Brazil’s colonial period but the spirit has recently become a favorite domestically and internationally regardless of the drinker’s class.
No one knows for sure who began cachaça production, but everyone agrees that it began somewhere between 1530 and 1550. Around this time, sugarcane had been introduced to Brazil as a cash crop by their colonial motherland Portugal. Slaves, who planted and harvested the sugarcane, were given leftover cane juice from the milling process and let it ferment to produce an alcoholic beverage.Over the years better distilled cachaças were developed and soon people started to drink it on dinner tables in colonial Brazil. Shortly after slavery was banned in 1888, the monarchy was ousted and progressive leaders declared Brazil a modern Republic, national pride began to simmer throughout the country.
By the 1920s, cachaça had become a symbol of Brazilian identity, produced and consumed throughout the nation by diverse ethic and social groups.
At The Golden Lion we recently started serving Agua Luca cachaça. Água Luca is distilled from the fermented juice of high quality, hand-cut sugar cane within 24 hours of harvesting, employing artisanal techniques and traditions which have been refined over 450 years. It is then filtered 12 times to produce a smooth and lively finish. The quality of Água Luca’s sugar cane, when combined with its meticulous production process, imparts a lighter, cleaner taste and aroma than other cachaças or molasses-based rums.
Among its accolades, Água Luca proudly holds the Gold Medal of the 2006 International Cane Spirits Competition and the Silver Medal of the 2005 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Try Agua Luca in a hand made caipirinha at home or at the Golden Lion.
1 1/2 oz cachaça
1 tbsp whole sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Slice the lime into eighths and drop into a double old-fashioned glass. Add sugar. Using a muddler or bar spoon, smash the lime wedges and sugar together to release the juice into the glass. Leaving the limes in the glass, cover with ice. Pour the cachaça over the ice. Dump the whole drink into a shaker and shake. Pour back into the glass and serve.