It's kind of strange.
Cachaça is one of the spirits we drink the most in this country. As the basis of a Caipirinha she goes hectolitre over the counters of Germany.
Only it hardly seems to interest anyone, what quality or brand he drinks. Cachaça does not seem to affect us.
And yet we put hundreds of bills on the table.
But if you put cane sugar and lime aside, so concentrate on the distillate, then you can spot a pearl.
Because small, barely known brands deliver cachaça in genius quality in this country.
At a good price-performance ratio.
You just have to know which ones are and how to taste them.
In this article, I'll show you 3 points:
- What is the difference between rum and cachaça?
- How to Drink Cachaça
- Which products are good?
Ok, let's go.
That's what you'll find in this article
What you need to know first about Cachaça
The first time I drank a caipirinha, I was 16. At that time, I was not interested in what this cocktail is made of.
I saw limes, the sugar crunched between my teeth and some liquid in it made more than 2 of these drinks impossible.
That was my knowledge of a Caipirinha; hence also about cachaça.
At the beginning of my studies, I learned more about the spirit drink. It was something with a red freshwater crab. Pitu or something like that.
However, my knowledge did not improve.
Because Pitú has so much to do with high quality cachaça as nickel with pumpernickel.
Is Cachaça the same as Pitú? Cachaça is a Brazilian sugar canedistillateWhile Pitú has a Brazilian cachaçabrand, It gained in Germany in the 1980s, especially as a basis for Caipirinha's notoriety. Pitú is an industrially manufactured cachaça and market leader in Germany.
Although Pitú is the market leader in Germany in the area "Cachaça", but not a drop for the Purgenuss.
On the contrary.
As an industrially produced cachaça, it does not have the same quality as the competition from copper blisters.
In addition, a Statista survey from 2019 shows that exports of cachaça are steadily declining.
Find more statistics at Statista
If you now consider that Germany is the main customer of Cachaça outside of Brazil, then it becomes clear:
We mean the numbers.
More and more consumers in this country drink less, but higher quality.
In the following, I would like to show you that you also find high quality distillates off the mainstream at Cachaça.
Distillates, good value for money and interesting flavors.
What sets Cachaça apart from rum?
Once you gloss over details and legal requirements, it becomes clear: Cachaça is a subcategory of rum.
Both distillates are based on sugarcane.
Rum, on the other hand, has access to the full range of processing options, while his Brazilian colleague does not.
While rum may be made from molasses, fresh sugar cane juice and sugar cane syrup, cachaça must be based on fresh sugar cane juice.
When I made this statement once at a rum seminar, promptly came the following question:
"And what about Rhum agricole? Is this the same as cachaça, since this type of rum can only be made from fresh sugar cane juice? "
This question was well combined and justified, but could easily be answered:
"No. Rhum agricole is something else. "
Unlike other sugarcane distillates, cachaça may only be produced in Brazil.
If you want to sell it in this country, then you only have the import from South America. You are not allowed to make it yourself.
Similar regulations also apply to Rhum agricole. This rum variety is based on fresh sugar cane juice and may only be produced in France or its overseas départements.
From this aspect alone, cachaça can be clearly classified as a rum variety.
However, Brazilian national spirits are subject to further requirements than merely geographical ones.
Because in this case it would simply be Brazilian rum.
Cachaça artesanal or industrial? The first variant is the traditional, in which the distillation takes place in copper bubbles. The industrially manufactured version is based on distillation in steel columns.
There are, however, a handful of other features that distinguish Cachaça from other rum varieties.
With partly considerable influence on its bouquet.
# 1: Sugarcane juice vs molasses
While cachaça is made entirely from sugarcane juice or syrup, rum production from fresh sugar cane only plays a role in certain geographic areas.
Only French-managed islands such as Martinique, Guadeloupe, Marie Galante and La Réunion produce rum from fresh sugar cane juice.
Most of the rum producers produce their distillate from molasses, a "remnant" of sugar production.
# 2: fermentation accelerator
Another point not allowed in rum production is the addition of fermentation accelerators.
At least in most regions not.
However, to stimulate fermentation, some cachaça makers of the mash use a mixture of the fresh juice of the sugar cane, corn starch, flour and bran.
Rum distilleries, such as the Jamaican Hampden Distillery, also add to the mash. This, however, primarily to control the aroma of the rum.
# 3: Alcohol content
The next difference between cachaça and rum occurs in distillation.
The former may only in the range between 38 and 48% Vol. however, with rum this may be much higher.
Although such a narrow margin in the alcohol sector reduces the creativity of one or the other distiller. Nevertheless, it provides a characteristic feature, a recognition value for cachaça.
The alcohol content of which rum producers fill their distillate is up to themselves in many regions.
However, the fact is that they are only allowed to export their product to Europe if it has at least 37.5% Vol. has.
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# 4: 30 grams of sugar per liter
Ready-distilled cachaça may be added for flavor reasons still up to 30 grams of sugar per liter.
For rum, this is prohibited by law for some distilleries, e.g. in Jamaica or Martinique.
Cachaça already has an extremely high tolerance limit with its 30 grams.
Because compare this once with liqueur. This must contain by regulation at least 100 grams of sugar per liter.
So, if you add a Cachaça distillery to the maximum, then you will definitely see it during the tasting.
However, the sugar addition is not a box fight between cachaça and rum. The "sweetie" in one corner, the "dry one" in the other.
There are numerous rum distilleries that add sugar in high quantities to their distillate.
Compared to Cachaça is only internationally not regulated how much sugar may contain rum.
However, if you look for the word "sweetened" on your next purchase of cachaça, you will not find it.
The reason for this lies in the EU Spirits Regulation.
Unlike rum, cachaça does not have its own category, but is generally classified as just "Brazilian spirit" or "simple spirit".
A precise regulation of the sugar content is therefore not possible. Consequently, there is no obligation to declare.
# 5: Cachaça is from Brazil – exclusively
You are allowed to make rum on every piece of earth. Cachaça is not.
One last legal difference between the two distillates lies in the country of production. Cachaça artesanal and industrial are regarded as spirits of Brazil and may therefore only be produced there.
More about this topic:
How to drink Cachaça?
Cachaça is not a distillate, which is aged over many years in oak barrels.
Although there may be individual brands that also offer such old drops. The rule is not.
However, this is not tragic.
Because similar to Rhum agricole or Clairin, the Brazilian spirit can present a complex bouquet, which hardly requires maturation.
So you will find in the trade in addition to the colorless variants therefore mostly cachaça variants with a subtle gold tone.
These varieties spent several months to a few years in oak barrels.
However, mostly only an "extended" oxidative maturation took place here. The handful of flavors that the barrel adds are the icing on the cake.
You should therefore not drink high-quality variants too warm.
Make sure that the Serving temperature at around 19 ° C lies. If they were clearly above that, I have the experience, Cachaça gets an oily texture.
If you want to discover every aroma that gives the bouquet, you should also Nosing glass use.
However, many other glass forms are also suitable for the enjoyment of cachaça.
Like mezcal, cachaça is not a distillate designed for professional flavor analysis.
At least not to the extent that we do with single malt scotch, straight bourbon or cognac.
Cachaça you should try
In the past few years, I was fortunate to be able to taste distillates from different brands.
But even if the import of this spirit in this country is enormous, the largest volume refers to mass-produced goods such as Pitú.
It is therefore somewhat research necessary to raise high-quality cachaça in German trade.
In order to shorten the search, however, I would like to show you 3 products that have inspired me in the past years.
Tip: If you are looking for cachaça for the preparation of a caipirinha, you should not resort to barreled variants.
Magnífica Safra Do Ano
Order the Magnífica Safra Do Ano from Amazon and try it yourself
Espirito De Minas
Order the Espirito De Minas from Amazon and try it yourself
Order the Magnífica Envelhecida from Amazon and try it yourself
Source: Cover Picture: RHJPhtotoandilust / Shutterstock, Distillery: Ksenia Ragozina / Shutterstock