Cachaça - Brazil's most famous drink
Brazil’s most famous drink, Cachaça is a distilled beverage made out of sugarcane juice. Also known as pinga or cana (portuguese word for sugarcane), is often called the "Brazilian rum" due to the similar fermenting process, even though the taste is different. Nowadays, Brazil officially produces over 1.3 billion liters of cachaça a year, making it the second most consumed alcoholic beverage in the country, losing only for beer.
For many years, sugar production was one of the main pillars of the country's economics, so cachaça has become a part of Brazilian' id and has a big cultural, social and economical meaning. Created almost immediately after Portuguese colonization, it was initially considered a slaves' drink. With time, cachaça started to become more popular and, during the XIX century, while Brazil was fighting for independence and building the national identification, Cachaça became a symbol of patriotism.
There are several brands on the market. Places known ofor their Cachaça production are Salinas in Minas Gerais state, Paraty in Rio de Janeiro state, Monte Alegre do Sul in São Paulo state and Abaíra in Bahia state. However, it became so popular that productions can be found in almost any region of the country. However, production is almost purely for nation consumption - only 1% goes for export.
Nowadays, Brazil officially produces 1,3 billion liters of cachaça per year. It is the second most consumed beverage in the country, around 7 liters per person evey year, loosing its first place for beer. It is also the most consumed distilled beverage in the world, even more than whiskey. Some of the most famous brands are Salinas, Sagatiba, Ypioca, 51, Velho Barreiro, Caninha da Roça and Seleta.
Part of the fame of this beverage is due to being the main ingredient to Brazil’s most famous cocktail: the caipirinha. Made with cachaça, ice, sugar, and lime, the original form is the most notorious one. Some of its variations include caipifuta, made with other fruits instead of lime; caipivodca, made with vodca instead of cachaça; and caipiríssima, made with rum instead of cachaça.
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