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Cachaí§a - A Brazilian Cousin To Aguardiente


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A colleague of mine brought me back a bottle of Cachaca from his recent trip to Brazil. A quick Google search notes the most popular drink using this liquor (which I am unfamiliar with) is the Caipirinha. Anyone have a good recipe for this beverage, or any other, that uses Cachaca as its main ingredient?

[ETA: perhaps this belongs in the "help needed" section...]

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The key to making a good caipirinha is to muddle the lime sections really well, so you get the oils out of the skin. How much lime you use is a matter of personal taste. In general, take some lime wedges and muddle thoroughly, add cachaca, ice, shake well, pour into a glass, and serve. Don't strain, just leave the lime in. This was my favorite cocktail back when I was able to drink. <sob>

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Curious, what brand do you have? There are some really terrible ones (the one with the red shrimp) out there that no recipe will salvage, IMO. I'm sure your friend hooked you up, but I don't know too many decent brands besides Leblon.

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I was taught to cut the lime lengthwise, then cut the middle pith bits out before muddling. Add more sugar than you think you should, maybe two or three teaspoons, then pour a couple of ounces of cachaça over the top and stir. Some of the sugar should remain undissolved so the drinker can be part of the decision on the level of sweetness. For true authenticity, drink while swarms of mosquitoes are chewing on your legs. I hope the colleague brought you Ypioca. :)

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I don't think I've ever made anything besides caipirinhas with it. As with rum and tequila, however, there's a spectrum ranging from the relatively neutral, high-volume brands (51, to some extent Pitú) and aged, grassier artisanal offerings like those from Armazem Viera. Of the brands relatively accessible in the US, somewhere in the happy middle are Leblon and Beleza Pura.

That said, I haven't done anything with cachaça in a while, since cane spirits tend to kick me in the head.

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Depending on the flavor profile on your cachaca, you can do some interesting things with it if you start off treating it a bit like a rum. If it's one of the smoother, more filtered varieties, treat it like a silver or aged rum (depending on if it is aged or not), and if it's the grassy, earthy variety then treat it more like a rhum agricole.

This doesn't mean you can just mix and match - you will want to play with proportions obviously and taste and compare - but it can give a starting point.

I'd also do some Google-fu on it. Cachaca has been getting more popular in the US, it seems, the past few years, and it can be a fun spirit to play with. Jeffrey Morgenthaler, for instance, was a brand ambassador for Boca Loca (www.jeffreymorgenthaler.com) and you can search through his site for some recipes. Rumdood.com has some reviews of cachacas, and kaiserpenguin.com has some TDN (Thursday Drink Night) wrap-ups that include a sponsored one for Leblon cachaca.

And if I may self-promote: http://scofflawsden.com/blog/category/spirits/cachaca/

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