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Rarei – “DRINK”

You like Brazil. Cachaça is Brazil’s national drink. Therefore you must like cachaça. Now, rsvp events@belezabrazil.com to attend a tasting of premium cachaça sponsored by Beleza Pura® at Brasserio Caviar & Banana on Monday (5/2) 6pm to 8pm.

Brasserio Caviar and Banana, 12 East 22nd Street, (212) 353 0500

Greenwich Times – “Businessman hopes Americans tap into a Brazilian favorite”

Julie Fishman-Lapin

Sweet Taste of Success

Olie Berlic has spent the past three years traversing Brazil in a quest for the perfect cachaca.

What’s that? Cachaca?

Berlic hopes the word eventually will be a household name.

Cachaca is to Brazil as tequila is to Mexico or cognac to France. It’s a liquor made from pure sugar cane and is Brazil’s national drink, used in the country’s most popular cocktail — the caipirinha.

While the caipirinha craze took hold in Europe about 10 years ago, cachaca is just beginning to make its mark in the United States, said Berlic, who recently began importing several premium cachacas to the United States.

Berlic, a self-professed “wine geek,” founded Greenwich-based Excalibur Enterprises with the goal of importing Brazilian wine to the United States. Berlic’s wife, Marcia, is Brazilian, and the pair have visited the country annually for the past two decades.

Berlic spent his career in the beverage industry, working first for upscale Manhattan restaurants as a sommelier, and then as a wine consultant for the country’s second-largest spirits distributor, the Charmer-Sunbelt Group.

A few years ago, he began exploring the idea of starting his own company and importing wine from Brazil. But he couldn’t find a portfolio of Brazilian wine that pleased his palette.

That’s when Berlic switched from vino to cachaca. He spent three years in intense research, visiting hundreds of cachaca producers throughout Brazil. And — here’s the fun part — he sampled more than 800 cachacas in search of the perfect import.

“When I was tasting them, I was just seeing if a product would burn my tongue,” he said. “A bad spirit will burn your tongue down the center.”

He found that many of Brazil’s largest producers added sugar to their cachaca after it was distilled to mask imperfections. That’s when Berlic decided to produce his own premium cachaca.

He found a small Brazilian producer in Sao Paulo with the same mindset, and together they created Beleza Pura® — Excalibur’s flagship brand.

“My whole concept was to create the purest, the best un-aged cachaca,” Berlic said.

Beleza Pura® is produced using hand-picked sugarcane from two specific lots on the plantation. The sugar juice is then allowed to ferment naturally prior to a short column distillation process, he said.

Most cachacas are distilled in a 200-foot column, which cleans the alcohol, giving it a more neutral taste.

Berlic’s cachaca is distilled in a 20-foot column that enables it to retain the flavor characteristics of where the sugar cane is grown, he said.

“I didn’t want to make it into a vodka, or make it too pure,” he said.

Berlic began importing his super-premium cachaca in October. He also imports six other aged, handcrafted cachacas from small producers. This summer Excalibur will begin importing Beleza Pura® Caipirinha, a ready-to-drink cocktail that is a mixture of muddled sugar, lime and cachaca.

Beleza Pura® Caipirinha will retail for about $25, while Beleza Pura® sells for $27.99.

Beleza Pura® Caipirinha is going to be a hit, predicted Al Wadanoli, sales development manager for Connecticut Distributors Inc., the Stratford company that distributes Excalibur imports in Connecticut.

“It is a delicious, delicious drink and very easy to make,” he said. “I think that it will be the engine that will pull the train.”

Wadanoli said his company was interested in taking on Excalibur as a client because of the high-quality of the cachacas. “We know cachaca is beginning to gain some interest in the U.S. There are other cachacas distributed in Connecticut, but not as high quality as this,” he said.

Berlic has found early signs of success. In March, his Beleza Pura® won a silver medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

And two of his other imports won a gold medal and double gold medal/best cachaca award.

Several of Manhattan’s trendiest restaurants such as Sushi Samba, Bolo and Mesa Grill carry Excalibur brands.

Now that he’s found the perfect cachaca, Berlic’s focus has shifted to educating Americans about the spirit.

Fred Ireton, the past national president of the California-based U.S. Bartenders Guild, said cachaca and caipirinhas have become popular over this past year.

“I noticed that mostly women are asking for it. They are even becoming critics,” he said. Ireton said he’s shocked by how fast cachaca has caught on in America.

“It’s really surprising. I’m getting cachaca snobs on my hands,” he said.

Part of the reason that caipirinhas have become popular is that a similar muddled cocktail called a mojito, has become a consumer favorite, Ireton said.

Despite a rise in consumer awareness, Berlic said he has a big job ahead of him, especially as he seeks to broaden his distribution network. His imports are currently distributed in New York, Connecticut and Florida. Next month, distribution will begin in New Jersey. Berlic hopes to have California on board by summer’s end.

“It’s about building this one city at a time,” he said.

Copyright (c) 2005, Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc.

Brazzil Magazine: “He Wants to Put Brazil’s Cachaca in Every Home Bar”

He Wants to Put Brazil’s Cachaça in Every U.S. Home Bar

Written by Davida Tretout
Wednesday, 20 April 2005

Brazilian premium cachaça Beleza Pura® “I like to think of “cachaça” as the new ‘Girl from Ipanema’: smooth, seductive and ready to win American hearts like the rhythms of bossa nova did 40 years before,” says Olie Berlic, principal of Excalibur Enterprise, a new importer that introduces North America to the finest “cachaças” of Brazil.

As João Gilberto is the godfather of bossa nova music, Olie Berlic is the capo di tutti capi of “cachaça”, delivering to the United States the greatest Brazilian export since the 1960s.

Berlic, who has the passion of an adventurer and the palette and professional experience of a sommelier, acted as a master “cachaça” distiller, and spent three years of intense research that included comparisons of over 800 different “cachaças.”

According to The New York Times (Dec. 24, 2004) there are over 5,000 “cachaça” brands in Brazil.

This pure South American spirit is the main ingredient in Brazil’s national concoction, the “caipirinha” (crushed lime, sugar, and “cachaça”).

This drink has appeared on top cocktail lists from Berlin to Tokyo. While the “caipirinha” craze took hold in Europe about 10 years ago, “cachaça” is just beginning to make its mark among U.S. tastemakers, according to Berlic.

As “cachaça” rapidly duplicates the rise and popularity of premium tequila in the United States, it also brings to mind Brazilian scenery and culture, which has been making a major international impact in recent years, as evident in the silver screen success of City of God.

As stylish as Brazilian stunner Gisele Bündchen on the catwalk, and as eclectic as the Brazilian fashion scion Alexandre Herchcovitch, “cachaça” is Carnaval in a glass.

It is as clean and pristine as the architecture designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the nation’s capital city Brasília and as functional as a high-end chair designed by the Campana Brothers.

“Cachaça” compliments any occasion with Brazilian spirit and Excalibur Enterprise has its finger on the pulse of the best-of-the-best, ready to hit the spot!

Ushering in outstanding liquor for the adventurous imbiber, Excalibur Enterprise heralds the arrival of the first line of super-premium “cachaças” outside of Brazil.

The portfolio, which includes Berlic’s own creation of a handcrafted, superior quality un-aged “cachaça” as well as six artisan, aged “cachaças” from small producers, is comparable in quality to that of the finest tequilas, aged rums, or single malt Scotches.

At the prestigious San Francisco World Spirit Competition 2005, Excalibur Enterprise walked away with three coveted awards: a Silver Medal for Beleza Pura; a Gold Medal for GRM; and the Double Gold/Best “cachaça” Award for the Five-year aged Rochinha - testimony to the superior quality of these “cachaças.”

Excalibur Enterprise’s boutique “cachaças” are aged, small-batch, artisan “cachaças” from three of the country’s most celebrated producers that stack up against the premium spirits currently on the market in terms of flavor, nuance, and character. Beleza Pura, the signature, un-aged, premium “cachaça”, invokes the refinement and generosity of spirit that is Brazil.

The GRM from Minas Gerais - Brazil’s best-known “cachaça” region - starts with hand-harvested sugarcane grown without agricultural toxins on GRM’s farm.

Finished in small batches and distilled in an alembic (copper still pot), GRM “is vibrant with cinnamon, spice flavors and a hint of coconut, recalling characteristics of aged tequila.

Jetting off to the southern island of Florianópolis the avid “cachaça” gourmand will find Armazém Vieira “cachaça”, where over 160 years of tradition are instilled in every batch.

Composed of a triad of “cachaças” - the Onix, Solera (aged 16 years) the Rubi, Solera (aged eight years) and the Esmeralda, Solera (aged four years), this collection shares the qualities of top light rum blended with fine tequila.

Rochinha “cachaça”, available in both five and 12 year old varieties, has been distilled in the romantic valleys outside of Rio de Janeiro since 1902. Single barrel “cachaças” of the highest caliber, the Rochinhas are reminiscent of a stellar, single-malt Scotch.

Often compared to rum - which uses molasses, a by-product of sugar refineries - “cachaça” is similar only in that both are made from the heart of the sugar cane plant.

“Cachaça” uses fresh sugar cane juice to ferment and distill the libation. It is this difference that speaks volumes for the subtleties of this inimitable liquor.

A perfect pairing with food from around the world - e.g. Brazilian, American, Latin, Asian, and French - Excalibur Enterprise’s “cachaça” is available in noted restaurants such as Brasserio Caviar & Banana, SushiSAMBA, and Gotham Bar and Grill in New York.

Cocktails created with the Beleza Pura® Super Premium “cachaça” include the São Paulo Cosmo in which the pure, crisp flavor of “cachaça” blends with the orange zest of Cointreau, the tart tang of fresh lime juice and the invigorating harmony of pomegranate juice.

The Zoom Zoom Brazil - with Red Bull and Beleza Pura® - will make any time zip by to the syncopated rhythm of Brazil. The Rio Margarita brings together the heat of two time zones - Rochinha five-year “Single Barrel” dances with Cointreau and lime juice in perfect harmony.

Incredibly versatile, Excalibur Enterprise’s “cachaça”s encapsulate the warmth of Brazil, the pizzazz of a sultry samba dance and the elegance of evening soirées on its undulating beaches.

A noted New York sommelier, Berlic was formerly with The New York Times three-star Gotham Bar and Grill, and points out, “”cachaça” is a state of mind - it is for the lover of life.” Indeed, Berlic and his charming wife, Marcia - a native of São Paulo - embody that very philosophy.

“Brazilians are very proud of our “cachaça”. It’s an important part of our culture, like soccer and carnaval,” says Marcia.

Berlic’s frequent travels to Brazil - which have made him quite knowledgeable in the Portuguese language - were driven by his quest to discover and share Brazil’s adventurous spirit.

The “cachaça” market is dominated by commercially produced spirits known as “aguardente” (literally, fiery water) where volume and not quality are the main concerns.

Berlic skipped the major brands and soon he and his wife started visiting small distilleries throughout Brazil to find spirits worthy of the finest palates.

Berlic was entranced by the quality and nuance of the “cachaça” that he encountered. He became sure that there was a place for this spirit on the top shelves in the U.S.

“I want to make “cachaça” a household name - from the Midwest to the Hamptons to Aspen. The best of Brazil stacks up against the finest spirits from around the world,” says Berlic.

——————————

“Caipirinha” recipe:

Say: ‘KIE-PUR-REEN-YAH’

The traditional “caipirinha” is a Brazilian cocktail made with “cachaça”, sugar, and crushed limes, served over ice. It is always muddled (crushed with a masher or the blunt end of a wooden spoon). Make sure to muddle in a shaker or a sturdy, non-breakable glass.

THE BELEZA “CAIPIRINHA”

(BEH-LAY-ZUH KIE-PUR-REEN-YAH)

1 lime (Tahiti type preferred), sliced into 8 pieces
2 tsp sugar or 2 oz Simple syrup
2 oz Beleza Pura® Super Premium “cachaça”
1/2 cup of crushed ice

Wash the lime gently under water and dry. Cut the limes, add sugar, muddle gently in a non-breakable glass to crush the fruit but not release too much of the oils from the skin. Add ice and Beleza Pura® Super Premium “cachaça”, and shake, shake, shake. Serve in a large rocks glass. Make two, and head for the closest beach with someone special.

“DLSL (Dance/Love/Sing/Life): A 20th AIDS Walk Anniversary Benefit”

May 13, 2005 9:00 pm to May 14, 2005 3:00 am

loft spaces
69 W. 14th Street (NE corner of 6th Ave)
New York
$10 w/ flyer $15 w/o
email to get a flyer info@h7m.us

H7M, SugarCane films & Tria productions presentDJs Fabio Bill (Brazil) + Stephen Richards fire up
the dance floor w/ hot house music. Shake your ass
along with live percussion and a performance by Shayna Steele

Gringoes.com - “Brazil: Beleza Pura® Cachaça”

Gringoes Reviews Beleza Pura<sup>®</sup> Cachaca” class=”alignright” height=”202″ width=”202″ />”I like to think of Cachaça as the new ‘Girl from Ipanema‘: smooth, seductive and ready to win American hearts like the rhythms of Bossa Nova did 40 years before,” says Olie Berlic, Principal of Excalibur Enterprise, a new importer that introduces North America to the finest Cachaças of Brazil. As João Gilberto is the Godfather of Bossa Nova music, Olie Berlic is the Capo di tutti capi of Cachaça, delivering to the United States the greatest Brazilian export since the 1960s. Berlic, who has the passion of an adventurer and the palette and professional experience of a sommelier, acted as a master Cachaça distiller, and spent three years of intense research that included comparisons of over 800 different Cachaças. According to The New York Times (Dec. 24, 2004) there are over 5,000 Cachaça brands in Brazil.</p>
<p>This pure South American spirit is the main ingredient in Brazil‘s national concoction, the Caipirinha (crushed lime, sugar, and Cachaça). This drink has appeared on top cocktail lists from Berlin to Tokyo. While the Caipirinha craze took hold in Europe about 10 years ago, Cachaça is just beginning to make its mark among U.S. tastemakers, according to Berlic. As Cachaça rapidly duplicates the rise and popularity of premium tequila in the United States, it also brings to mind Brazilian scenery and culture, which has been making a major international impact in recent years, as evident in the silver screen success of City of God. As stylish as Brazilian stunner Gisele Bündchen on the catwalk, and as eclectic as the Brazilian fashion scion Alexandre Herchcovitch, Cachaça is Carnaval a glass. It is as clean and pristine as the architecture designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the nation’s capital city Brasilia and as functional as a high-end chair designed by the Campana Brothers. Cachaça compliments any occasion with Brazilian spirit and Excalibur Enterprise has its finger on the pulse of the best-of-the-best, ready to hit the spot!</p>
<p>Ushering in outstanding liquor for the adventurous imbiber, Excalibur Enterprise heralds the arrival of the first line of super-premium Cachaças outside of Brazil. The portfolio, which includes Berlic‘s own creation of a handcrafted, superior quality un-aged Cachaça as well as six artisan, aged Cachaças from small producers, is comparable in quality to that of the finest tequilas, aged rums, or single malt Scotches.</p>
<p>Excalibur Enterprise‘s boutique Cachaças are aged, small-batch, artisan Cachaças from three of the country‘s most celebrated producers that stack up against the premium spirits currently on the market in terms of flavor, nuance, and character. Beleza Pura, the signature, un-aged, premium Cachaça, invokes the refinement and generosity of spirit that is Brazil.</p>
<p>The GRM from Minas Gerais-Brazil‘s best-known Cachaça region-starts with hand-harvested sugarcane grown without agricultural toxins on GRM‘s farm. Finished in small batches and distilled in an alembic (copper still pot), GRM “is vibrant with cinnamon, spice flavors and a hint of coconut, recalling characteristics of aged tequila.</p>
<p>Jetting off to the southern island of Florianopolis the avid Cachaça gourmand will find Armazem Viera Cachaça, where over 160 years of tradition are instilled in every batch. Composed of a triad of Cachaças -the Onix, Solera (aged 16 years) the Rubi, Solera (aged eight years) and the Esmeralda, Solera (aged four years), this collection shares the qualities of top light rum blended with fine tequila. Rochinha Cachaça, available in both five and 12 year old varieties, has been distilled in the romantic valleys outside of Rio de Janeiro since 1902. Single barrel Cachaças of the highest caliber, the Rochinhas are reminiscent of a stellar, single-malt Scotch.</p>
<p>Often compared to rum-which uses molasses, a by-product of sugar refineries-Cachaça is similar only in that both are made from the heart of the sugar cane plant. Cachaça uses fresh sugar cane juice to ferment and distill the libation. It is this difference that speaks volumes for the subtleties of this inimitable liquor.</p>
<p>A perfect pairing with food from around the world-e.g. Brazilian, American, Latin, Asian, and French-Excalibur Enterprise‘s Cachaça is available in noted restaurants such as Brasserio Caviar & Banana, SushiSAMBA, and Gotham Bar and Grill. And when the music calls you away from your table, BLVD and Aer will transport you to a tropical state of mind with one of the many luscious cocktails made with Excalibur Enterprise‘s Cachaça.</p>
<p>Cocktails created with the Beleza Pura<sup>®</sup> Super Premium Cachaça include the São Paulo Cosmo in which the pure, crisp flavor of Cachaça blends with the orange zest of Cointreau, the tart tang of fresh lime juice and the invigorating harmony of pomegranate juice. The Zoom Zoom Brazil-with Red Bull and Beleza Pura-will make any time zip by to the syncopated rhythm of Brazil. The RIO Margarita brings together the heat of two time zones-Rochinha five-year “Single Barrel” dances with Cointreau and lime juice in perfect harmony.</p>
<p>Incredibly versatile, Excalibur Enterprise‘s Cachaças encapsulate the warmth of Brazil, the pizzazz of a sultry samba dance and the elegance of evening soirées on its undulating beaches. A noted New York sommelier, Berlic was formerly with The New York Times three-star Gotham Bar and Grill, and points out, “Cachaça is a state of mind-it is for the lover of life.” Indeed, Berlic and his charming wife, Marcia-a native of São Paulo-embody that very philosophy. “Brazilians are very proud of our Cachaça. It‘s an important part of our culture, like soccer and carnaval,” says Marcia. Berlic‘s frequent travels to Brazil-which have made him quite knowledgeable in the Portuguese language-were driven by his quest to discover and share Brazil‘s adventurous spirit.</p>
<p>The Cachaça market is dominated by commercially produced spirits known as aguardente (literally, fiery water) where volume and not quality are the main concerns. Berlic skipped the major brands and soon he and his wife started visiting small distilleries throughout Brazil to find spirits worthy of the finest palates. Berlic was entranced by the quality and nuance of the Cachaça that he encountered. He became sure that there was a place for this spirit on the top shelves in the U.S. “I want to make Cachaça a household name-from the Midwest to the Hamptons to Aspen. The best of Brazil stacks up against the finest spirits from around the world,” says Berlic.</p>
<p>Of the highest caliber, Excalibur Enterprise Cachaças usher in the birth of a new spirit with amazing offerings for those who know that the best things in life are shared-music, sun, and memories. This exceptional portfolio is targeted for the lifestyles of those who love all three.<br />
4/18/2005</p>
<p><a href=Read the article on the Gringoes.com site

The Walman Report – “Spotlight On Cachaça: The Carnival In A Bottle”

Nancy Walman

The samba band is warming up, the dancers and costumes are dazzling, and the sun is setting on Ipanema Beach. Thousands have gathered to welcome the world’s sexiest cocktail, the Beleza Pura® Caipirinha. A sublime blend of lime, sugarcane, and Beleza Pura® Super Premium Cachaça. Get ready for carnival: just add ice!!!

Our tastings proved that there is a HUGE difference in Cachaça. Beleza Pura® Super Premium Cachaça not only packs the complex taste into a perfect package, but it is the smoothest Cachaça we have ever tasted & rates a “Wine On Line” A+.

As aired on WQXR, The Radio Station of the NY Times, Seen in Delta & Continental In-flight Magazines, CulinaryGourmetNY, The Internet World Guidebook & Syndicated to Newspapers, Magazines & Websites Worldwide.

Metro NY – “Dining Out - A Taste of Brazil”

Catherine New

 

Learn the secret to Brazilian caipirinhas-cachaça, a liquor distilled from sugarcane. Brasserio Caviar & Banana (12 East 22nd Street, 212 353 0500) is hosting a free tasting event this Monday with Excalibur Enterprise cachaça and Brazilian nibbles from its chef Claude Troisgros. Space is limited. RSVP via email to events@belezabrazil.com

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