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New York Newsday – “Drinks”

Peter M. Gianotti
Newsday DrinksOne caipirinha starts you humming “The Girl from Ipanema.” Two: you can actually see her.

The refreshing caipirinha is Brazil’s high-octane cocktail. It’s made with cachaça, the clear and potent result of distilling sugar cane juice.

Thousands of cachaças are produced in Brazil. They range in style and substance from the refined and the artisanal to unleaded gasoline.

Beleza Pura, an 80-proof “pure beauty” from Sao Paulo, is a snappy, accessible, unaged cachaça, right for making caipirinhas, adding mojo to your mojito or turning summer nights into Carnival. It’s smooth stuff. Locally, you can buy a bottle for about $30.

Pricier and lush is Rochinha cachaça, a silkier, super-premium choice: the bossa nova of booze. Rochinha has sufficient complexity and smoky notes to suggest a peaty Scotch. Single-barrel, Rio de Janeiro Rochinhas are aged five or 12 years, and cost about $40 and $80.

Ah….

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