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Cachaça (Portuguese pronunciation: [kaˈʃasɐ])[1] is a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice. Also known as pinga, caninha,[2] and other names, it is the most popular spirit among distilled alcoholic beverages in Brazil.[3] Outside Brazil, cachaça is used almost exclusively as an ingredient in tropical drinks, with the caipirinha being the most famous cocktail.[4] In Brazil, caipirinha is usually paired with the dish feijoada.[5]

Barrels of cachaça

Cachaça, like rum, has two varieties: unaged (Portuguese: branca, "white" or prata, "silver") and aged (amarela, "yellow" or ouro, "gold").[14] White cachaça is usually bottled immediately after distillation and tends to be cheaper, some producers age it for up to 12 months in wooden barrels to achieve a smoother blend. It is often used as an ingredient in caipirinha and other mixed beverages. Dark cachaça, usually seen as the "premium" variety, is aged in wood barrels and is meant to be drunk neat (it is usually aged for up to 3 years though some "ultra premium" cachaças have been aged for up to 15 years). Its flavour is influenced by the type of wood the barrel is made from.[15][16]

There are very important regions in Brazil where fine pot still cachaça is produced such as Chã Grande in Pernambuco state, Salinas in Minas Gerais state, Paraty in Rio de Janeiro state, Monte Alegre do Sul in São Paulo state and Abaíra in Bahia state. Nowadays, producers of cachaça can be found in most Brazilian regions and in 2011 there were over 40,000 of them.[9]

Synonyms

For more than four centuries of history, cachaça has accumulated synonyms and creative nicknames coined by the Brazilian people. Some of these words were created for the purpose of deceivin

There are very important regions in Brazil where fine pot still cachaça is produced such as Chã Grande in Pernambuco state, Salinas in Minas Gerais state, Paraty in Rio de Janeiro state, Monte Alegre do Sul in São Paulo state and Abaíra in Bahia state. Nowadays, producers of cachaça can be found in most Brazilian regions and in 2011 there were over 40,000 of them.[9]

For more than four centuries of history, cachaça has accumulated synonyms and creative nicknames coined by the Brazilian people. Some of these words were created for the purpose of deceiving the supervision of the metropolis in the days when cachaça was banned in Brazil; the beverage was competing with the European distillate grappa. There are more than two thousand words to refer to the Brazilian national distillate.[3] Some of these nicknames are: abre-coração (heart-opener), água-benta (holy water), bafo-de-tigre (tiger breath), and limpa-olho (eye-wash).[17]

Difference from rum