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Aged Artisan Cachaças: Sub-Sidebar Content

Aged Artisan Cachaças

Cachaça Rochinha

Cachaça RochinhaCachaça Rochinha has employed the finest production methods and unparalleled attention to detail to produce Brazil’s top-rated single-barrel cachaças. Aged 5 & 12 years.

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GRM Cachaça

GRM CachaçaWith its peerless attention to detail, GRM’s handcrafted spirits are coveted by aficionados throughout the world. Aged 2 years.

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Armazem Vieira Cachaça

Armazem Vieira CachaçasUnique aromas and extreme attention to detail have earned ças an unmatched reputation with connoisseurs around the world. Aged 4, 8 and 16 years.

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Helping Brazil

Proud Supporter of Education & Humanitarian Relief in Brazil

Helping BrazilExcalibur is proud to give back to the nation that provides the foundation for its business. Our company is committed to addressing the enormous problem of homeless and impoverished children in Brazil’s cities.

Excalibur Enterprise is a proud supporter of Dreams Can Be Foundation, a U.S. 501 c-3 not-for-profit organization that works with the most innovative and effective organizations in Brazil to provide education, moral and social development, and humanitarian relief to the country’s neediest youth.

To learn more about how the Dreams Can Be Foundation helps change the lives of Brazil’s children, and to find out how you can join us in making a difference, click here.

Excalibur Enterprise will donate a percentage of its profits to Dreams Can Be Foundation to present an annual Carnival Gala in New York City and major markets.

Since 2005, top performers and celebrities have joined Excalibur to celebrate the richness of Brazil’s culture, multiply our contributions, and raise awareness about the problems affecting the country’s youngest citizens.

The Buzz: What The Professionals Are Saying

Top bar and restaurant owners, Sommeliers, and spirits connoisseurs are buzzing about Beleza Pura® Super Premium Cachaça and our portfolio of handcrafted, aged Cachaças…

“Great Products.
Every restaurant, bar & retail outlet must have Beleza Pura® & Absinto Camargo.”
Steve Olson, aka Wine Geek, Wine & Spirits Author, consultant, celebrity

“An amazing portfolio (of cachaças), these are world class.”
Dale DeGroff, Master Mixologist & Author, King of Cocktails

“They are wonderful and who knew Cachaca had such a range.”
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist

“These are more like a refined Tequila than to any Rum, great portfolio.”
Nick Mautone, Author, Raising the Bar, Restaurant Consultant.

“I’m very impressed, each one is very different”
Laurence Kretchmer, Owner, Mesa Grill & Bolo, NYC

“I’ve tasted Cachaca before, but they were never like this. These are world class, delightful.”
Jerri Banks, Author; Wine, Spirits & Mixology consultant, NYC

“Perfect purity…” Reviewing Beleza Pura® Cachaca
Paul Pacult, The Spirit Journal, March 05

“Wow, Very Smooth” after tasting Beleza Pura
Bobby Flay, Chef/Owner Mesa Grill & Bolo- NYC

“Really Superior Spirits, we are going to create a Caipirinha list for the summer.”
Jonathan Spadafora, Borgata Resort & Casino, Atlantic City, NJ

“We’re going to have a lot of fun making cocktails with these great products.”
Michael Waterhouse and John Mautone, owners Dylan Prime

“Every product is superb, really great quality.”
Andre Compeyre, Sommelier, ALAIN DUCASSE, NYC

“Beleza Pura® is amazingly rich for a white spirit, it’s excellent.”
Tim Kopec, Sommelier, Veritas, NYC

“Good Luck teaching America about cachaça, they need to taste to believe.”
Michael Greenly, Sommelier Gotham Bar & Grill, NYC

Demand Quality, Demand Beleza Pura

Beleza Pura Super Premium Cachaça

It’s All About the Love.

“Beleza Pura® Un-Aged Cachaça” was created after 3 years research, to be a pure and clean spirit; capturing the essence of fresh sugarcane, rich in flavor and low in impurities. One of the finest white spirits ever created; offering a rich bouquet of fresh cut sugarcane, round and soft in the mid-palate with hints of citrus and cucumber; and a long, clean finish with notes of white pepper spice.

The Pure Beauty Difference

  1. Base ingredient: The best, fresh, estate grown sugarcane
    It is here that everything begins, as we only use sugarcane from two special areas on the plantation, which provide the best cane juice and is then crushed within 24 hours of being cut. Most producers buy cachaça in ‘bulk’ and then re-distill, blend and/or age in wood - generally, when you buy product in bulk, providence is a question, you are not getting the best product…and price is always an issue.
  2. Fermentation: Fresh sugarcane juice is allowed to ferment naturally with wild yeast (providing additional character and flavors).
    Our fermentation can take up to 36 hours. Many producers speed fermentation with bread yeast, corn meal or cereal, time is money…
  3. Distillation: Beleza Pura® Cachaça is once distilled for maximum flavor.
    After years of research, we chose a short, inefficient column still instead of the alembic or pot still in order to control secondary components and purity. The spirit comes off the still at 48-52% alcohol by volume, whereas most rums come off the still between 65-90%+ alc/vol., which continues to remove flavor. As we discovered, alembic stills a.k.a. copper pot stills, are wonderful, but with an un-aged spirit, once distilled, even with strong separation of ‘heads and tails’, still left the spirit high in secondary components, especially copper; and twice distilled lowered the copper, but also stripped flavors and required strong filtration.
  4. The Perfect Blend
    Olie Berlic (an award winning sommelier) created this cuvee from two areas sugarcane distillate kept separate through production - then blended into stainless-steel tanks prior to filtration and bottling.
    This combination of distillates took the spirit to a level of balance not experienced in any individual batch. The whole became sophisticated, much greater than the sum of its parts…
  5. Filtration - We love flavor and we got our distillation right the first time.
    We lightly cold filter and then bottle; maximizing flavor and true sugarcane character.
    Newer cachaças talk about multi filtration and multi distillation - promoting cachaça/vodka. Generally, you only re-distill and filter multiple times when you begin with a low quality spirit or are making a spirit to be neutral. What is the point? Do we need more flavored vodkas?
  6. To Tweak? We are puritanical, separating us from 99%+ of cachaça producers.
    No sugar, no citric acid, nothing is added! A fact that speaks volumes about our quality.
    Most Cachaça is tweaked. Sad, but true, known as the distillers ’shortcut to greatness’; it involves, after distillation, adding sugar, glycerin, citric acid, essential oils and other flavoring ingredients to give the product a softer and rounder mouth feel, to cover the burn from lower quality, and add flavor since most was stripped during distillation and filtration. Brazilian regulations allow Cachaça producers, to add up to 6 grams of sugar per liter.

What Causes Hangovers?

  1. Amount of alcohol consumed
    Responsible consumption calls for just less than 1 drink per hour. The more drinks you consume, the greater your risk. Having food in your body is key; and we recommend that you drink one full glass of water along with every drink you consume - this allows a dilution of the alcohol in your stomach.
  2. Quality of spirit
    We all understand you are going to feel very different during and after the $10 bottle of Tequila verses the $45 bottle of ‘silver’ 100% agave super-premium Tequila. One is a matter of pain for buzz and the other, hopefully, involves pleasure with appreciation of quality. Price driven distillates primary goal is quantity and low price; quality is not a major concern and short cuts are taken - these types of products are generally sweetened with sugar or glycerin to mask vast imperfections.
  3. Balance of the “Good, Bad and Ugly”
    Secondary components (toxic elements a.k.a. congeners) are the main reason for hangover.
    Good - they can add rich and delicate flavors to a spirit, like the oak, caramel, vanilla and toffee notes to a great Tequila or Scotch.
    Bad - these are toxic elements and must be controlled or limited.
    Ugly- distilled spirits are allowed by law to have a strong amount of these secondary components, i.e. Cachaça, according to Brazilian law - can have as few as 200mg per 100ml or a maximum of 650mg per 100ml; a BIG difference. Beleza Pura’s specialized distillation allows flavor and purity maximization with congener thresholds of around 225mg per 100ml.

A Note about SUGAR

Based on our research to date: Sugar is not the reason for hangovers. Sugar accelerates the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream; you feel it faster. It also masks a lower quality spirits imperfection and because it’s sweet, assists in over consumption. The hangover is primarily due to the quality of the alcohol, and secondarily from the quantity consumed.

A fine, handcrafted spirit always plays a balancing act between rich flavors, neutrality and impurities.

We care about your safety and those around you, please drink responsibly.

Virtual Brazil: Brazil Links

Government Language
The Brazilian Embassy (Washington, D.C.)
  Eng + Port
The Brazilian Embassy (London)   Eng + Port
The Brazilian Consulate (New York)   Eng + Port
Culture Language
Maria-Brazil An eclectic mix of all things Brazilian. Great Recipes! Eng
Brazzil.com Events, articles and postings Eng
Brazilian-American Cultural Institute Screenings, lectures and exhibitions in D.C. Eng
Brazil Atlanta Brazilian events and community in Atlanta Eng
Music Language
Tom Jobim A wonderful fan page Eng + French
Vinicius de Moraes Texts, biography, and much more Port
Astrud Gilberto Astrud’s Official website Eng
João Gilberto Essays, discography and more Eng + Port
Bossa Nova FM MP3s and more Eng
Connect Brazil Great Brazilian music Eng
Tropicalia   Eng + Port
Caetano Veloso   Eng
Gilberto Gil   Eng
Os Mutantes   Eng
Tom Zé   Port
Bebel Gilberto   Eng
Six Degrees Records The cutting edge of Brazilian and world music Eng
Trama Records One of Brazil’s best indie labels Eng + Port
Pinga Brazilian music news from Europe Eng
Crammed Records Six Degrees European affiliate Eng
More Brazilian Music Online Articles and resources on lesser-known Brazilian artists  
Travel Language
The Lonely Planet guide to Brazil   Eng
The Hip Gringos guide to Brazil Super tips for Travel Eng
Ipanema.com A great guide to Rio Eng
Gringoes A great guide to São Paulo Eng
Floripa A great guide to Florianopolis Port
Surf guide Check the waves in Florianopolis Eng
Hotels + Pousadas Find Brazil’s best small inns Port
Brazil Air Pass Pricing and reservations Eng
Embratur Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism Eng + Port
Visa requirement   Eng
Soccer Language
Futebol, The Brazilian Way of Life A comprehensive guide to Brazilian Soccer Eng
The Beautiful Team A great fan site on the Brazilian National Team Eng
Pele One of the greatest soccer heroes in history Port
Fashion Language
Havaianas   Eng + Port
Gisele Bündchen Gisele’s homepage Eng + Port
Rosa Chá Designer swimwear Eng + Port
The Brazilian Bikini wax Learn about the notorious beauty treatment Eng
Alexandre Herchcovitch   Eng + Port
Carlos Miele   Eng + Port
São Paulo Fashion Week   Eng + Port
Osklen   Eng + Port
Patachou   Eng + Port
News about Brazilian fashion and top models   Eng
Carnival dates   Eng
Bahia-Online The inside scoop on Carnival in Salvador Eng
Carnival in Olinda   Eng + Port
Frevo Listen and learn about this genre of northeastern music Eng
Maracatu Listen and learn about this genre of northeastern music Eng
Carnaval 2004 The most comprehensive guide to Carnival in Brazil Port
The History of Samba   Eng
World Samba Global Samba Communities Eng + Port
Photos of Brasilia   Eng + Port
More on Brazil’s Modernist Architecture   Eng + Port
Architecture after Brasilia   Eng
Project Design An online journal contemporary architecture and design Port
The Oscar Niemeyer Museum   Eng + Port
Anthropophagite Manifesto Key work on Brazilian Modernism Eng
Mapa das Artes Current art exhibitions in São Paulo  
Galeria Luisa Strina   Eng + Port
Galeria Fortes Vilaca   Eng + Port
Galeria Nara Roesler   Eng + Port
Galeria Vermelho   Eng + Port
Helio Oiticica Featured in Documenta 1997 Eng
More information on Helio Oiticica Traveling exhibition ‘Quasi Cinemas’ Eng
Brazilian Embassy in London’s spotlight on Fine Arts   Eng + Port
Itau Cultural’s The Encyclopedia of Brazilian Art Over 3000 listings and articles on contemporary and modern Brazilian artists Port
Cisneros Foundation A comprehensive resource on Brazilian and other Latin American Arts Eng + Spa + Port

Virtual Brazil: Carnival + Samba

Brazil’s Carnival may be the world’s most famous party: for four days (and then some!) the country stops to dance samba, watch dazzling dancers in fantastic costumes parade on wild floats, and take the party out to the streets.

Nothing characterizes the complex and beautiful spirit of Brazil more than this sensorial experience of spectacle and pure joy. The dates change every year depending on when Easter and Ash Wednesday take place, click here for a carnival calendar.

Carnival: The Greatest Party On Earth

Rio de Janeiro is home to the largest and most dazzling carnival celebration, where samba schools comprising thousands-drummers, dancers, singers, and community members from poor neighborhoods - favelas - prepare months ahead to compete for top prizes in the famous parade. To learn about the dizzying complexity of the parade, samba schools, masquerade balls, endless street parties, and more visit http://www.ipanema.com

If you’re looking for a wilder trip with less media coverage and celebrities, head to Salvador de Bahia, where carnival fills the narrow streets with non-stop singing, drinking and dancing. We recommend a visit to this insider’s guide to get the scoop on Carnival in Salvador.

Want to head even further from the beaten track? Then your destination is Olinda. During carnival in this historic city on Pernambuco’s gorgeous coast you won’t see floats (cars are prohibited in the festivities) or hear a note of samba. Here it’s all about northeastern music, like frevo and maracatu, two genres related but different from samba.

By the way, the most comprehensive site on carnival throughout Brazil is only in Portuguese.

Samba

Both modern Carnival and Samba started in the shantytowns around Rio and Salvador, born from the drums and rhythms used in religious rituals that slaves brought from Africa. From the 1920s, when carnival parades were illegal in Brazil’s racially divided society (remember that slavery was only abolished in 1886) to the popularization and acceptance of samba in the 40s with singers like Carmen Miranda, to the present day, a lot has changed. The whole story is as fascinating as the music. Click here to read more.

Samba’s captivating rhythms have spread around the globe. People from Sydney to Stockholm to San Francisco are learning to play cuicas and repiques, and shaking their hips to the frenetic beat. To find the samba community in your city, visit http://www.worldsamba.org

Virtual Brazil: Visual Art + Architecture

Brazilian Visual Arts

The hybrid creativity of Brazil’s 20th century visual art and architecture encompasses a striking range of modern and contemporary innovations, and promises increasing vitality and international recognition in coming years. This introduction and related links provide a point of departure.

Brazilian Modernism

Almost 30 years after the birth of the modern Republic in 1889, Brazilian art continued the path of many post-colonial countries: artists replicated imported classical styles and dismissed indigenous and non-European influences. The birth of Brazilian nationalism began in the 1920s when avant-garde artists such as Emiliano Di Cavalcanti and Tarsila Amaral, writers including Mario de Andrade, and composers such as Heitor Villa-Lobos began to integrate indigenous and populist subjects and inspiration with international currents of Expressionism, Futurism, Surrealism, and Cubism. In 1928, poet and author Oswaldo de Andrade penned the landmark Anthropophagite Manifesto, which evoked the metaphor of indigenous cannibalism to explain how foreign influences were consumed and transformed into unique, Brazilian articulations.

From Neo-concretism to Tropicalia

Concurrent with progressive, nationalist trends in architecture that began in the 1930 and 40s, Brazil’s avant-garde was once again redefined in the 50s, when artists in Rio and São Paulo began producing striking new sculpture, drawing, painting that evolved into the landmark Neo-concrete movement. Helio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, Lydia Pape, and later, Cildo Meireles and Waltercio Caldas and others developed an organic and socially attuned strain of geometric abstraction. Oiticica and Clark’s works became more engaged with provocative social and spatial preoccupations during the late 60s and 70s, paradoxically when Brazil’s military regime (which seized power in 1964) reached its most politically repressive phase.

Tropicalia, the defining movement of the late sixties, was deeply connected to the anthropophagic modernism of the late 20s, as well as international influences like Arte Povera and Pop Art. Tropicalia’s radical and diverse manifestations in music and cinema (Glauber Rocha’s Terra em Transe, Joaquim Pedro de Andrade’s Macunaima, and Rogerio Sganzerla’s Red Light Bandits) and Helio Oiticica’s “Penetrable” environments and wearable artwork (Parangolés) celebrated the rich traditions of Afro-Brazilian culture and fore grounded Brazil’s striking social and racial inequality. Despite their complex and often veiled social criticism, many of the artists associated with Tropicalia sought exile in the US and Europe during the early 70s.

Visual Arts Today

Contemporary Brazilian art is as diverse and multifaceted as the country itself. The work of internationally celebrated artists including Adriana Varejão, Beatriz Milhazes, Ernesto Neto, Iran do Espírito Santo, Miguel Rio Branco, Regina Silveira, Vik Muniz, and Tunga resists classification by movement, medium, and genre. Keep an eye out for a new generation of artists who have already made waves in Brazil in Europe like assume vivid astro focus, Alex Flemming, Cabelo, Chelpa Ferro, Franklin Cassaro, Lucas Bambozzi, Marcos Chaves, Marepe, Marcone, Nuno Ramos, Rivane Neuenschwander, Rosangela Rennó, and many others. No single adjective could possibly describe the hybrid trajectories and singular visual styles of today’s artists; perhaps the sole common denominator is the spirit of plurality, reinvention, and experimentation that connects contemporary art with Brazil’s rich avant-garde history.

Visual Art Links

The depth and complexity of Brazilian visual art fills hundreds of books, museums, and galleries. Learn more:

São Paulo is the undisputed center of Brazil’s art world, boasting world-class galleries and museums.

Visit some of São Paulo’s best galleries online:

Luisa Strina
Fortes Vilaça
Nara Roesler
Galeria Vermelho

A comprehensive guide to the city’s current exhibitions is available (in Portuguese only) at:
http://www.mapadasartes.com.br

More information on Helio Oiticica
In Documenta 1997
Quasi Cinemas: A recent traveling exhibition

To learn more about classical and modern masters, visit The Brazilian Embassy of London spotlight on Fine Arts

The Itau Cultural Center has created one of the most comprehensive online resources: The Encyclopedia of Brazilian Art (in Portuguese only)

To learn more about the panorama of Brazilian and Latin American art, view work and read texts by Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica and others, visit the Cisneros Foundation’s fantastic site.

Brazilian Architecture

The Road to Brasilia

The 1950s and early 1960s were a time of great optimism in Brazil. Bossa Nova began to conquer the airwaves, São Paulo’s industrial economy began to grow at rocket speed, and Cinema Novo directors such as Glauber Rocha and Nelson Pereira Dos Santos began making an impact at international film festivals from Cannes to Venice. Parallel transformations took place in architecture.

Le Corbusier-influenced architects who initially worked under the urban planner Lucio Costa during the 30s and 40s, such as Oscar Niemeyer and Affonso Eduardo Reidy, emerged on their own terms during the 1950s. While Reidy designed Rio de Janeiro’s new Museum of Modern Art (completed 1958) and a major public housing project, Niemeyer, Costa, and landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx were busy from 1956-1960 building Brasilia, the nation’s new capital city, commissioned by President Juscelino Kubitschek. This remarkable planned city built on the high plains of Brazil’s interior broke free of all traditionalism, and emblematized the popular catch phrase “Brazil, the Country of the Future”. View more photos of this striking city here.

Architecture Today

The utopian rationalism that flourished from the 40s and 50s continued into the 1960s and beyond with a new generation of visionary architects like Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Ruy Ohtake. Still alive and well in Rio, Oscar Niemeyer created a towering monument to Brazil’s modernist legacy with his striking, space-aged Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, which opened in 1991. Yet during the 60s and 70s, a growing number of architects discarded the idealistic rationalism epitomized by Niemeyer in favor of utilitarian, “brutalist” solutions to address the rapid population growth in Brazil’s urban centers. From the 1980s to the present, Brazilian architecture has become increasingly influenced by international revisionist trends that reconsidered modernist principals and prioritized local and regional specificities. Architects who integrate inspiration from indigenous constructions, historical and regional motifs, and highlight the relationship between structure and natural landscape such as Assis Reis, Luiz Paulo Conde, Severiano Mario Porto, and Sérgio Magalhães, have made a major impact on Brazil’s vibrant architectural panorama.

Brazilian Architecture Links

To read more about architecture after Brasilia, click here.

Access PROJECTDESIGN, an online journal contemporary architecture and design (in Portuguese).

To learn more about Brazil’s most celebrated architect, visit the Oscar Niemeyer museum.

Virtual Brazil: Fashion

Brazil brings much more than celebrated models to the world’s runways: in recent years, the fashion world has been seized by ‘Brazilian Fever”. Hot designers specializing in cutting edge casual to daring haut couture have been making a splash in New York, Paris, London, and beyond.

Casual

Beachwear reigns supreme in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and other costal cities.

The simple, sexy Brazilian look starts with Havaianas. They say these fantastic flip flops were catapulted into the fashion world a few years ago when supermodel Gisele Bündchen gave a pair to Kate Moss for backstage relaxation.

Brazil’s bikini culture is world-class: we aren’t the only ones who love Rosa Chá’s sexy and sophisticated swimwear. Naomi Cambell flew in for São Paulo Fashion Week ‘03, to grace the catwalk wearing one of Amir Slama’s glimmering lycra numbers.

If you prefer a more classic kind of exposure, you’ll love the streamlined allure of the Salinas bikini available on beaches EVERYWHERE in Brazil, and selected US retailers.

By the way, if you’re planning to suit up in one of these revealing little numbers, you may consider a Brazilian Bikini wax.

Evening

Once you’ve dusted off the sand and hung up your bikini to dry, you’ll need to pick out your favorite Brazilian designer piece before you hit the town.

Now a regular feature at Paris Fashion Week, Alexandre Herchcovitch’s wild style blend elements from Brazilian popular culture with international flair: carnival-inspired ruffles, latex from the Amazon, and edgy details from Sao Paulo’s street culture. Yes, that was a Herchcovitch dress on Scarlett Johansson in the pages of W in July 2004.

Before Carlos Miele opened his New York flagship store in 2002, he’d been dressing celebs like Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys and Paris Hilton in his adventurous, hybrid creations. With his brilliant blend of fluid elegance and radical lines inspired in Brazilian and global hybridity, we expected to see a lot more of Miele’s sophisticated creations in coming years.

São Paulo Fashion Week

Held twice a year in Brazil’s most cosmopolitan city, South America’s largest fashion event draws a host of international buyers, journalists, and fashionistas. Keep an out of for André Lima, Osklen, Ronaldo Fraga, Patachou, you can’t find them outside of Brazil, YET….

For news about Brazilian fashion and top models, check out http://www.modelito.com

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