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30 Jan 2015 By

Premium cachaça is like premium tequila, in that it’s a drink much maligned by its cheaper counterparts, but when drank as a top-end product, is one of delightful flavours, nuances and aromas. Here’s one to experience – Maracatu Cachaça.

You gotta applaud people who are trying to make your life better, especially people who’re trying to make you drink better. And one thing that could be more premium – and sorely missing – is artisanal cachaça (say: ka-SHA-sar). It’s the national distillate of Brazil, and also the key spirit in the most famous of beach cocktails, the caipirinha.

And also just having spent a month in Brazil for the World Cup (oh shut it, haters), I was really keen to speak to Andreas and Catarina (missing was third partner Renato), the gang that’s created and distributing Maracatu Cachaça in Asia – starting first in Singapore.


I met them at Jekyll & Hyde, and the first thing I brought up was my recent Brazilian trip (back off, people). A trip where, I should add, a lot of caipirinhas were consumed. It’s of course the only alternative to drinking beer in the country, as the beers were godawful and the caipirinhas were cheap and plentiful. And delicious, I should add. But here’s the thing I found about those tasty $5 drinks: The cheaper the cachaça, the better the caipirinha.

I asked the experts why this was so.

It’s because the cheap cachaça has stronger flavours (read: more impurities, less subtleties) to make the caipirinhas delish, explains Caterina Longman, a native Brazilian – it also results in more headaches.

Premium cachaça goes the same route as premium tequila, in that it’s a drink much maligned by its cheaper counterparts, but when drank as a top-end product, is one of delightful flavours, nuances and aromas. One that can be drank just like a good whisky, straight up or on the rocks.

The Maracatu Cachaça journey started with a month-long trip through the Brazilian states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Pernambuco. Although São Paulo is the top producer of cachaça in the country, it mostly accounts for the major industrial brands. Minas Gerais and Pernambuco, on the other hand, are famous for producing fine artisanal cachaça.


Made with love in Brazil

The trio visited several distilleries in search of the best cachaça, and found a little farm situated in the hilly area of Serra da Mantiqueira, 1,500 meters above sea level, in the state of Minas Gerais (yes, does sound like a Lord of The Rings locale). Their artisanal cachaça is handcrafted in small batches in a boutique distillery based on century old techniques in a copper pot still, watched over by a master distiller.

“Our sugar cane is grown organically on the estate of the distillery at the Santa Fé de Bogotá farm,” the couple added. The cane is cut by hand and milled immediately into sugar cane juice which is then fermented.

The single distillation process separates the non-drinkable parts of the spirit from the so called heart. The heart is the best of the distilling process and only the heart is used for Maracatu Cachaça to ensure a headache-free drinking experience. (Applause, please). Maracatu Cachaça is rested in stainless steel barrels for two months before it is bottled. No additives like sugar or caramel are added. “This ensures that Maracatu Cachaça’s taste is not altered in any way and reflects the most pure and authentic form of cachaça making,” Andreas says.

For bottling, the distillate is then standardised with freshest mountain mineral water from a well within the premises of the distillery – which settles at 38% alcohol volume. The bottle design and logos are all specially commissioned and made. Curious about the quirky label? Maracatu is the name for a folkloristic music and dance performance originating from the North-East of Brazil, mainly from the state of Pernambuco. Maracatu Cachaça is inspired by the opulent and distinctive costumes of the Maracatu Rural dancers. Only a limited number of 10,000 bottles are produced per year to ensure the highest possible quality. Now you can drink – and dance – to Maracatu.

Pssst: You can also use cachaça to make variations of Old Fashioned, Boulevardier or Manhattans.

 Two cocktail recipes:

01 Maracatu Singapore Passion


Singapore Passion

45 ml Maracatu Cachaça

2 strawberries

1 passion fruit

20 ml lemon juice

30 ml simple syrup

Muddle strawberry in shaker. Add passion fruit, lemon juice, simple syrup, Maracatu Cachaça and ice. Shake hard and strain into a rocks glass.
Top up with crushed ice and garnish with one half of a strawberry and passion fruit in an ice bowl.






02 Maracatu Caipifruta



1 hand full of fruits

White fine sugar as per your liking

50 ml Maracatu Cachaça

Muddle the fruits with the sugar in a rocks glass. Fill glass with ice to the rim. Pour Maracatu Cachaça. Shake well and serve all in the rocks glass.













You can find Maracatu Cachaça at Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, Bacchanalia and Jekyll & Hyde and The Cufflink Club.

You can buy Maracatu Cachaca here

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