Week 37 in the Year of Drinking Adventurously. Cachaca.
Back to the adventure! I succeeded in finding this week’s spirit (although not any one of the brands recommended in our guide) and sampling the classic cachaca cocktail – the caipirinha, which is cachaca, lime juice and simple syrup poured over ice. (Just like a gimlet, only with cachaca. And I love gimlets.) I hope Lula had the chance to try this!
Since cachaca is distilled from sugar cane, it is often called Brazillian rum. However, while rum is distilled from molasses, the dark syrupy product of sugar, cachaca is distilled from the pure juice of the sugar cane plant. In addition, cachaca predates rum by about 100 years. And since its origins are somewhere in the 1530’s, it also means it’s the first spirit of the Americas (as in New World America… I am not going to assume the native populations didn’t produce something distilled or fermented, I really don’t know. That, however, is a subject for another day.)
As with many things old, there is a legend associated with the ‘discovery’ of cachaca, but it’s not a nice one… From our guide:
The legend associated with it—the part that falls squarely in the myth column—relates to its unexpected discovery. When the early colonials were processing sugar cane by boiling it, the steam would condense back to water on the roof. It would drip off the ceiling and sting the badly scarred backs of slaves. It supposedly got its nickname, “pinga,” that way. It was the “ping, ping” from the ceiling; probably not a legend on which makers of cachaça (or the slangish “pinga,” if you prefer) really would want to hang their hats. Slavery’s not something that a brand would proudly market as its heritage.
So my cocktail as seen in the photo above was good… Honestly I’d have to sample it side by side with a rum for comparison, but I enjoyed my drink. As I was pressed for time, I did not try it neat, which I am generally want to do.
Anyway, cachaca being from Brazil, it reminded me of the samba – the dance originating from that country which in turn reminded me of the song… Avalon.
But when the samba takes you out of nowhere… Enjoy some sexy Roxy Music…