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UM (Universo Masculino): Cachaça Chique

UMPinga is taking the world by storm with the caipirinha, but its much more than just an ingredient in a drink. A pure delight, its gaining ground, even as a compliment to sophisticated cuisine.

It goes down smoother than beer, it recalls fresh milled sugarcane with the scent, or rather aroma of pressed cane, has a delicate flavor, and builds the appetite of any good soul. Aurellio has 152 different names for the drink, each with an accent from the interior of Brazil. A worldwide fenomena, cachaça is the third most consumed spirit in the world, losing only to vodka and shoju (a Korean drink) according to Impact International, a US agency that gathers data on different forms of consumption around the planet.

The explanation for the success is simple: high quality aguardente doesn’t cause hangovers or unpleasant odors. “The aroma recalls milled sugarcane, and it goes down softly, without burning. The flavor is delicious, with fresh cane,” affirms Marcelo Câmera. A specialist in the area, he consults for small cachaça distilleries and major companies, he is also the author of the guide Cachaça-Prazer Brasileiro (Cachaça-Brazilian Pleasure), as well as a declared “cachaçalogist” (who studies) and a “pingofile (who drinks).

Aroma is an important characteristic in judging a high quality cachaça. White (or silver) cachaça should have only the scent of fresh cane, recalling brown sugar candy, without overwhelming the senses. Aged cachaças have a wider olfactory range (bouquet) but the essence of the plant should be present.

The oiliness also helps identify a high quality pinga. If the liquid holds to the edges of the glass and falls in little rivulets, it’s a good one. The liquid should be clear like water, without residue, whether it is white or aged….

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