Spirit Review and Recipe: Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça
Cachaça is the national spirit of Brazil. Made from fermented sugarcane juice, it is clear and by law must be between 38-48% ABV. Just as you would expect from a national spirit, a few large producers dominate, but the countryside is filled with home stills and hundreds of small producers that will never find its way to our shores.
Often called “Brazilian Rum,” cachaça has struggled to differentiate itself from that other sugarcane spirit. Better labeling laws have helped, as had recognition of the spirits ability, at its best, to be full of complexity.
The problem with cachaça is consumers have a hard time moving beyond its only real signature cocktail, the Caipirinha. It is a great cocktail, and instantly transports you to the tropics, but is limited when you want another use from that bottle. Cocktails pop up here and there featuring cachaça, but none really stick. Will cachaça have its moment? Perhaps, or perhaps it will always be a niche spirit in one great cocktail. There are worse things, you know.
Our tasting panel recently sat down with Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça. Single distilled and rested for a year in stainless steel, we expected a clean and natural product. Smell of raw sugar cane, with an underpinning of guava and banana. Medium sweetness on the nose, and the heat is evident. Taste is a mix of pepper, greens, and even some brine. Medium finish.
Spirit: Silver Cachaça
From: Novo Fogo, Brazil
Rating: 89 pts
1 lime, cut into wedge
2 teaspoons sugar
2 ounces cachaça
In a double rocks glass, muddle the lime wedges and sugar. Fill glass with ice, add the cachaça, and stir for a few seconds. Garnish with a lime wedge.