USA have recently included Cachaca as a type of Rum. "distinctive product of Brazil, manufactured in Brazil in compliance with the laws of Brazil regulating the manufacture of Cachaca for consumption"

Brazil is the worlds number 1 producer of sugar cane. 

Cachaca is the worlds 2nd largest spirit  category, more Cachaca made in Brazil than the total global output of vodka. 

Production is dominated by 5 brands > 95% of production and 80% of revenue 

5 brands 

  • 51

  • Ypioca

  • Tatuzinho

  • Velho Barreiro

  • Pitu

Brazilian laws defines Cachaca as an "aguardente de cana" (cane brandy) not a rum.

Raw Material

  • Sugar cane 

  • it is washed before crushing to rehydrate the cane to allow for the maximum extraction of sugar


  • large distillers > use commercial yeast

  • traditional distillers > will use yeast cultures individual to them or even wild ferments

  • fermented in stainless steel, some choose wood

  • 20 - 30 hours to complete 


  • traditional and small producers use copper pot stills both single and linked. Distill to a lower strength, end result being a Cachaca with a pronounced vegetal character

  • Large producers - continuous column stills, distill to a higher strength before filtering. Close in style to a white rum.

Post Distillation

  • immediate bottling

  • by law between 38-48%

  • most are unaged

  • some are aged for a short time in native wood or small oak barrels, ex-bourbon or ex-whiskey

  • many smooth out the spirit with sugar instead of oak ageing 

  • sugar 6g/L is permitted under law

  • Sweetened Cachaca > 6g/L - 30g/L sugar 

  • Aged Cachaca > 50% of the spirit must be aged in wood barrels (700L<) for minimum of 1 year

  • caramel can be added for colour correction 

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