Cachaça is so much more than the clear Caipirinha essential you’re used to seeing. In Brazil, cachaça as a category is just as diverse as the whiskey section of any good American liquor store. It comes flavored, sweetened or aged, and ranges in color from clear to yellow to copper-hued. Though cachaça has yet to truly take off to such extremes in the US, exposure from the World Cup in 2014 and the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics means Brazil and its main boozy export are more popular and varied stateside than ever before.
Aged cachaça is one of Brazil’s most intriguing spirited exports to date. Where silver cachaça is vegetal and grassy, aged cachaça is complex and almost honeyed with layered notes of wood and tropical fruits. Unlike many unaged cachaças, aged cachaça can and should be sipped straight. They can also add delicious depth to a traditional or fruit-spiked Caipirinha, or be used as a substitute in rum, whiskey and tequila cocktails.