International Cachaça Day Date in the current year: June 12, 2024

International Cachaça Day International Cachaça Day is celebrated annually on June 12. It was created to honor a Brazilian distilled spirit that is used to make the country’s signature cocktail caipirinha.

Cachaça is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented sugarcane juice. It originated in the 16th century, when the Portuguese switched sugar production from Madeira to Brazil and brought pot stills to distill sugarcane into liquor. Cachaça was first produced in the early 1530s and has been extremely popular in Brazil ever since.

Although cachaça is sometimes referred to as Brazilian rum, cachaça and rum are two different beverages. The main difference between them is that cachaça is made from fresh sugarcane juice, whereas rum is made from molasses, which is a by-product of cane sugar production. Cachaça is typically clear or golden, while rum can be clear (white), golden, brown, or black. Finally, rum can be produced in any sugar-producing region, primarily but not necessarily in the Caribbean, whereas cachaça can only be produced in Brazil.

Commercially produced cachaça is typically 38–48% alcohol by volume. It is produced in all regions of Brazil, but the most important cachaça-producing centers include Abaíra, Chã Grande, Monte Alegre do Sul, Paraty, and Salinas. Since cachaça is traditionally distilled in copper stills, there are regulations limiting the levels of copper in the drink.

There are two main types of cachaça: white (branca) or silver (prata) cachaça is bottled immediately after distillation, and yellow (amarela) or gold (ouro) cachaça is aged in wood barrels for up to three years, although some expensive cachaças are aged for up to 15 years. Unaged cachaça tends to be cheaper and is often used as an ingredient in various cocktails, whereas aged cachaça is drunk neat.

Brazil’s signature cachaça-based cocktail is caipirinha. It is made by mixing lime with white cane sugar and adding cachaça. The cocktail is served over ice in an old fashioned glass. In Brazil, caipirinha is often paired with feijoada, a bean stew with beef and pork.

Brazilians celebrate National Cachaça Day on September 13 to commemorate the legalization of cachaça by the king of Portugal in 1661, following a revolt of cachaça producers in Rio de Janeiro. Outside of Brazil, however, International Cachaça Day is celebrated on June 12. The date was chosen to commemorate the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony that was held in São Paulo on this day in 2014. It was during this event that cachaça garnered global attention.

Of course, the best way to celebrate International Cachaça Day is to travel to Brazil and enjoy the drink there, but it’s simply not an option for many people due to financial and other reasons. More affordable alternatives include learning more about cachaça and its differences from rum, buying a bottle of cachaça and sharing it with friends, or finding a bar that serves cachaça and/or caipirinhas. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday using the hashtag #InternationalCachaçaDay.

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International Cachaça Day, international observances, food and drink days, cachaça, caipirinha