Much like rhum agricole from the French West Indies, Brazil’s national drink is distilled from fermented sugar cane juice, but it’s not called rum, it’s called cachaça (ka-SHAH-sa).
Here in the United States, cachaça has mostly been used to make Brazil’s most famous drink: the caipirinha, but open-minded bartenders are beginning to see beyond the caipirinha. These folks are embracing cachaça’s unique flavor profile and finding ways to incorporate this versatile spirit into a variety uniquely pleasing cocktail creations.
Bartender innovation notwithstanding, I still get a lot of folks who ask me “what’s the best cachaça for a caipirinha?” and until recently, I could only recommend a few brands. Seeking to expand my knowledge of sugar cane spirits from Brazil led me to our latest in the spirit challenge series, in which we blind taste every bottle we can acquire in a category and determine which tastes best.
So without further ado, let’s take the Cachaça Challenge!
While I am still woefully behind on rum reviews, I wanted to take a moment to share something I have been having a lot of fun with lately: pineapple rum. If you follow me on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) then you may have noticed me making this a few times already. I was originally inspired to make the infusion after tasting Plantation Rum’s Stiggin’s Fancy, and because that product is not readily available, I thought I’d document my process for you. Check out the recipe here and let me know what you think.