The cocktail everyone will be drinking in Rio – probably even some of the athletes – is the caipirinha, Brazil’s national tipple. But what do you know of the key ingredient? Cachaça (“ka-sha-sah”) is a clear liquor produced from fresh sugarcane juice. While it shares its origins in sugarcane with rum, the two spirits are processed quite differently. For cachaça to be proper cachaça, it must be produced in Brazil and contain alcohol by volume of 38-48%.
Experts predict that events in Rio will see cachaça poised for the kind of worldwide exposure enjoyed by tequila after the Mexico City Games in 1968 and Australian wines after the Sydney Games in 2000. All we know is that a true caipirinha is cachaça mixed with limes, sugar and ice – great for drinking (responsibly, of course) while sitting back and enjoying the sporting action.
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