Blog: Olly WehringCaipirinha Facts!

Olly Wehring | 8 June 2016

This weekend sees yet another “International Day” for a drinks category. Lucky us. Anyway, ahead of Sunday’s International Cachaça Day, here’s a wealth of information on Brazil’s national spirit, courtesy of Gruppo Campari’s Sagatiba cachaça brand.

  • Cachaça was banned by the Portuguese on 12 June 1744 as the elite classes of Brazilian society were found to enjoy it too much for their colonial rulers liking
  • There are more than 2,000 words that refer to Brazilian distillate (‘heart-opener’ and ‘that which killed the cop’ are two of the more colourful)
  • More than 1.2bn litres of cachaça are produced annually, according to the Instituto Brasileiro de Cachaça
  • There are thought to be 40,000 producers of cachaça in Brazil according to the latest census, but only 5,000 are legally registered
  • Made from fresh sugar cane juice, cachaça can only come from Brazil (as established by federal decree) and is not to be mistaken for rum, which is made from molasses and can be made anywhere in the world (some countries such as the US still erroneously refer to it as Brazilian rum)
  • First made more than 500 years ago, cachaça pre-dates rum’s arrival by almost a century
  • Turkeys in Brazil used to be fed cachaça to make them more relaxed, making them taste better
  • Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha, is one of the simplest to make: Muddle one lime (quartered) and 3 teaspoons of sugar in a glass. Add 6cl of cachaça and ice
  • The literal translation of caipirinha is ‘little peasant girl’, but the origins of its creation have numerous stories including: created to help alleviate the symptoms and spread of cholera; a concoction of the tragic Spanish princess of the Portuguese empire, Carlota Joaquina, and an actor who played Sherlock Holmes dreamt it up
  • The first account from Joao Pinto Gomes Lamego in 1859 seems the most likely, when the drink was mixed then consumed instead of contaminated water

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