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Cachaça, the national drink of Brazil, embodying all the spirit, excitement and flare of the party nation.
It has some similarities to rum being made from sugar cane juice, Cachaça also goes by other names, including aguardente, pinga and caninha, but possesses nicknames such as heart-opener, holy water, tiger breath and eye-wash.
Like rum, cachaça comes in two varieties; unaged (white) and aged (gold). White cachaça is usually bottled immediately after distillation and tends to be cheaper (some producers age it for up to 12 months in wooden barrels to achieve a smoother blend). It is often used to prepare caipirinha and other beverages in which cachaça is an ingredient. Dark cachaça, usually seen as the "premium" variety, is aged in wood barrels and is meant to be drunk straight (it is usually aged for up to 3 years though some "ultra premium" cachaças have been aged for up to 15 years). Its flavour is influenced by the type of wood the barrel is made from.
Fact: It is used to prepare the famous cocktail Caipirinha.
Fact: The most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil where 1.5 billion litres is consumed annually.