My First Fiery Encounter with Cachaça

Posted: Apr 22 2014

I still remember my first encounter with cachaça (a Brazilian sugarcane based liquor) and it’s most famous mixed drink, a caipirinha, like some people remember graduation or their first kiss. I never drank much in college, and didn’t start until much later in life. So the story of how I met cachaça happened several years ago. I was writing for back in 2007, and we did a feature on a Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão. I showed up, and was definitely expecting a great meal, but little was I expecting my cachaça “wake up call”.

So I had a great meal courtesy Fogo, and they offered me something that I’d heard about but never tried: a caipirinha. So doing my duty as a food reporter, I tried it. It was like nothing I’d ever tried. The drink was friggin’ awesome. It was like the best adult version of a lemonade that I’d ever tried. Note: a caipirinha is made of variations on cachaça, muddled limes, and sugar.

An hour later I learned more about the caipirinha, and what I learned was that it’s STRONG. Suddenly I turned into that giggly teenager that I’d never been! Anyways I couldn’t do much more than sit in Fogo until that caipirinha wore off (yes I had just one!).

Fast forward to today and it’s no surprise that I see today caipirinhas are not only making it into the mainstream, but the liquor that’s their main ingredient (cachaça) is making a splash (whew, no pun intended). One Las Vegas mixologist is calling cachaç“the biggest trend we will see emerge next year”. 

What do you think of cacha
ça and my favorite drink (when I can find it) the caipirinha?

-Thalia Valencia
Thalia is a writer for



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