Cachaça: is the Brazilian spirit made from fresh sugarcane juice that was first fermented. In Brazil is also known as pinga,caninha, água-que-passarinho-não-bebe or other names, it is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil.
Sweetened Cachaça: cachaça containing sugars in an amount greater than 6g and smaller than 30g per liter, expressed as sucrose.
Cachaça can be white (“branca”) or yellow (“amarela”).
- White: The cachaça may or may not be stored in wood. The most important thing is that it doesn’t undergo any color change. In this case, the producer may add the expressions “Clássica”, “Tradicional” or “Prata”(Silver) to the label.
The cachaça that is not stored in wood after distillation is left to stand in stainless steel containers before being standardized and bottled. The cachaça aroma and flavor are the closest to those of sugarcane. Now, some cachaças can be stored in woods that do not release any color (such as jequitibá, freijó, and amendoim), remaining white.
- Yellow: The cachaça is stored or aged in wood which causes a substantial change in its color. In this case, the producer may add the expressions “Ouro” (Gold), “Envelhecida” (Aged), “Premium”, or “Extra Premium” to the label.
Cachaça can be “stored” or “aged” in wood:
- Stored: Cachaça is stored in wooden barrels, of any size, for a nonspecified period of time (2 months, 5 months, 1 year, 3 years). This process results in the so-called “softening” of the spirit, influencing its aroma and flavor depending on the wood.
- Aged: At least 50% of the cachaça is aged for at least 1 year in barrels of up to 700 liters (185 gal) capacity. Being in a smaller barrel and being in contact with the wood for a longer period, aged cachaça ends up showing more obvious changes in its color, aroma and flavor. The aged cachaças can be divided into “Premium” and “Extra Premium”.
Cachaça can be called “Premium” if: it consists of 100% sugarcane cachaça or aguardente, it is aged in suitable barrels with not more than 700 liters (185 gal) capacity for a period not shorter than one year.
Cachaça can be called “Extra Premium” if: same as above, but for a period not shorter than three years.