News & Reviews » Reviews - “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 />
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