Cachaça, the national spirit of Brazil, is one of the fastest growing spirit trends in the US, and one of the most widely consumed spirits in the world. Since cachaça is created from sugarcane, it is often considered a rum, but the key difference between the two is the way the base ingredient is processed. Unlike rum, which is traditionally distilled from molasses, cachaça can only be distilled from fresh-pressed, unprocessed sugarcane juice, which lends a subtle sweetness and a distinctive vegetal note to the finished product. To further the distinction, Brazilian lawmakers signed a decree that established cachaça as the official and exclusive name for Brazilian cane alcohol, which they hope will eventually be recognized worldwide.
One of the most esteemed brands of cachaça is Leblon, winning five consecutive Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards (2005-2010) and being awarded the "Top Cachaça" Double Gold Medal in 2010. Leblon's exclusive microdistillery is located in the center of Minas Gerais, the premiere cane and cachaça region of Brazil. While many industrially-produced cachaças leave much to be desired, Leblon takes the time to create a truly exceptional spirit.
The sugar cane is harvested by hand from Maison Leblon's own cane fields and quickly pressed in less than three hours. The cane juice is then delicately fermented using proprietary yeasts and micro-distilled in artisanal copper alambique pot stills. The spirit is then rested in vintage XO Cognac casks for up to six months, and artfully blended by Master Distiller Gilles Merlet to maximize taste complexity and aroma. The result is a lively, distinctive cachaça with rich herbal aromas complemented by hints of coconut, pineapple, citrus fruit, baking spice and a hint of caramel. The palate is rounded and full-flavored, with complex notes of citrus, vanilla, pepper, butterscotch and spice layered over robust sugar cane character. Enjoy Leblon in a Caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil.
Leblon has also recently released Cedilla Açai, a delicious liqueur created by macerating organic Amazonian Açai berries for one month in Leblon Cachaça. The final step is to blend the resulting spirit with touches of native ginger root, Brazilian orange peel and a touch of natural cane sugar, creating a bold fruit-forward liqueur with complex berry, chocolate and spice notes.
Try the Açai Caipirinha, a delicious variation of the classic, using both Leblon Cachaça and Cedilla Açai Liqueur:
2 oz Leblon Cachaça
1 oz Cedilla Açai Liqueur
½ oz simple syrup
6 lime wedges
-In a mixing glass, muddle the limes and simple syrup.
-Add Cedilla and Leblon Cachaça.
-Fill with ice, shake well and pour contents into a rocks glass.
-Garnish with a lime wedge.
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!