What’s this? It’s cachaca, a spirit from Brazil that forms the core of the famous (and delectable) caipirinha cocktail. If you wanted a rough idea of what it’s like, it’s kind of like a mid point between rum and tequila, and like rum (at least) it can come in white, gold and dark varieties, informed by a process of ageing – sometimes up to as many as 15 years.
The variety you’re looking at here is Sagatiba. It’s 38% ABV, and is presented in a fancy bottle that has a print on the inside, producing a psychedelic-type effect. It’s what you’d call entry level really, retailing at around £18 and primarily for mixing. Being produced from sugar cane, it is quite sweet and while you can drink it straight of course, it isn’t as interesting as you might hope.
|the legendary caiprinha - ignore the apples|
Sagatiba is the first brand I’ve tried, so I don’t have any terms of reference to compare it against other than rum and tequila, both of which I have a little more experience… of. However, it is intriguing enough to delve a little deeper into and it’s certainly worthwhile for those caipirinhas. No, you don’t need it in your booze collection, since rum can ably replace it in any cocktails (and vice versa), but if you’re interested in strong liquors from around the world like I am, your education won’t be complete before you’ve given it a try. And even then, you best try a few more as I intend to.
I finished my bottle by taking it to last year’s Sounds From the Other City festival in Salford in a hip flask, and that was definitely a good idea. The screaming row Mrs Cake and I had for three hours later that night obviously had nothing to do with the cachaca. No, nothing at all.
Before I go, here's the basic caiprinha recipe for you, so you can go forth and get hammered. Enjoy.
|caipirinha in close up|
Half a fresh lime, cut into wedges
2 teaspoons white sugar
Sqeeze and drop lime into a rocks glass, add sugar, muddle, add cachaca, top up with ice cubes, stir