The Process of Making Cachaca

  • 29th May 2013

Made from fermented sugarcane juice, Cachaca is considered as one of the most popular liquors in Brazil. Also known as pinga, caninha, and aguardente, Cachaca is a top spirit, which can be drunk without any mixture or mixed with other ingredients.

The History of the Cachaca

Though the correct date of the introduction of the cachaca is not known, it is, however, believed that this was produced right after the time when sugarcane was introduced in Brazil, which happened around 1550s. Cachaca was discovered after the workers at the sugar mill noticed that the sugar cane juice that was left out would eventually ferment and become alcohol. So, they started sugar cane distillation to produce Cachaca.

Cachaca is also considered as white rum, a clear spirit that is similar vodka and gin. However, this liquor is considered as more pure spirit compared to vodka and gin as this is made from sugar cane juice and not from by-products of the process of distillation.
During the 16th as well as the 17th century, cachaca distillers have multiplied in number. The Portuguese colonials tried to outlaw the manufacturing as well as consumption of cachaca in order to protect the grappa, a distillate of the grape pomace. However, they have grimly failed in their goals.

How Is Cachaca Made?

The process of making cachaca is relatively simple. Initially, sugar cane is washed and then, it is pressed using large metal rollers for the extraction of its juice, which is then filtered to extract any remaining cane fragments as well as any foreign materials. After the filtration process, specific ingredients and flavor enhancing agents are added such as maize flour, rice bran, and corn meal, after which the process of fermentation is started. Typically, the fermentation process would take around 1 to 3 days before the product goes through the distillation process and is most often kept as a secret to protect the unique blend of each artisan’s cachaca. After distillation, the cachaca is cooled and filtered once more.

The first batch that is distilled is known as cabeceira, which is often utilized to make liqueurs. The cachaca boa, which is the second distillation batch, is considered 18 percent proof and is aged in barrels and bottled, which is eventually exported to other countries. Lastly, the third distillation batch, which is known as agua fraca, is 12 percent proof.

Cachaca ranks third in the world’s largest spirit categories and is way ahead of tequila, gin, rum, and whiskey, making a dash in the hearts of its consumers all over the world.

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