Cachaça is to Brazil as tequila is to Mexico. Cachaça (pronounced Ka- sha-sa) was first produced in the early 1500s by Enslaved Africans working in sugar mills who created the cocktail by adding fruits such as lime to cachaça (a Brazilian rum made up of raw sugar cane) during their festivities shortly after the Portuguese had introduced cane, the crop that was central to the early development of their new colony.

Caipirinha is the most famous cocktail in Brazil. Strong and refreshing at the same time, the caipirinha is the ideal companion for hot summer days. Its peculiar flavor is appreciated from north to south of the country. The Brazilian cocktail can be enjoyed alone or combined with the most varied types of dishes.

The first cachaça would have been distilled in a premeditated way in clay or copper stills brought by the Portuguese colonizers. The word “cachaça” comes from enslaved Africans who worked in sugarcane mills—they gave the name to the foam that collected at the top of cauldrons where sugarcane was boiled (the first step in producing sugar). Since Africans had knowledge about fermentation and the consumption of alcoholic beverages and they have always been associated with the cultural, religious and festivities in many villages across West Africa, the enslaved Africans in Brazil applied the same procedures.

There are even records from the 17th century that describe that enslaved Africans in the state of Bahia were already consciously fermenting the derivatives of sugar production for the consumption of cane wine. Even today, in Paraty, on the coast of Rio de Janeiro, it is customary for the elderly to drink named ‘Mucungo’, a word of African origin to designate the fermented sugarcane juice.

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They would have mixed fruit with the cachaça, which was named centuries later caipirinha, and the recipe would have been initially ignored by the white elite of the 19th century.

Today, the cocktail is widely spread across the country and many other nations are starting to serve caipirinha in their major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. The drink is becoming very popular for offering the authentic Brazilian identity.


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