Monday, May 16, 2011

Cachaça Sorbet to Start Your Day?

This is the first sight that greeted me at this year's Manhattan Cocktail Classic convention. A bright lime-green Leblon Cachaça truck. In a city gone truck-food mad, why not?

At first, I thought they were passing out Caipirinhas. But that might actually be illegal or something. Not sure. Anyway they weren't. They were giving out something better: Cachaça sorbets.

And just to show Leblon has not given up on its quixotic fight with the U.S. Government's labeling of Cachaça:


frederic said...

I get annoyed by Leblon's campaign. Fine then, Zacapa, rhum agricoles, 10 Cane, Cape Verdian rums, etc. aren't rums either.

Might as well start other break aways like Cognac isn't brandy and Scotch isn't whiskey.

With that said, I could go for a cachaca sorbet...

Anonymous said...

nothing is more annoying Frederic than calling something by it's wrong name.

tequila was forced to be described on labeling as mexican whiskey. that was finally changed in 1972.
and yes, cognac was forced to be labeled as french brandy. that was also changed in the late 70's.

cachaça is not rum - it tastes nothing like rum, and is offensive to brazilians to call it rum.

Robert Simonson, "Our Man in the Liquor-Soaked Trenches"-New York Times. said...

Anon 7:25: The comparison doesn't really hold water. Of course it's not right to call tequila "Mexican whiskey." Tequila is not made from grain, as whiskey is. It's made from agave plants. Cachaca is distilled from sugar cane juice, just as some other rums are, such as Rhum Agricole from Martinique (not all of course; many are distilled from molasses).

Anonymous said...

when we drink wine and spirits, we drink culture. you should know that more than anyone Robert.

in the end, calling Cachaça 'Rum' is a classic American 'center of the world' syndrome. there's not another country in the world that legally or otherwise calls Cachaça by any word than Cachaça.

Cachaça tastes different than rum. it was created 100 years before the word rum was ever first spoken, let alone made.

the good news is the TTB agrees. as does every other country in the world.

frederic said...

To anon, I definitely have no problem giving it cachaca its own AOC. That's their goal and that's fine by me, but their methods of denial of the taxonomy of their spirit I find offensive. Adding in extra heads and tails and including in the funkiness of the sugar cane pressing is done in other rums like rhum agricole and Cape Verde rum so tasting different or using a different pressing/fermentation/distillation method isn't enough to deny what it is.

Robert Simonson, "Our Man in the Liquor-Soaked Trenches"-New York Times. said...

I am fine with Cachaca getting its own legal bonafides. What I am saying is I have found Leblon's campaign rather disingenuous. You can say it's not exactly a rum, and make a good argument too, but you can't say it's not in the rum family of spirits. And to say the difference is that its distilled from sugar cane juice is sophistry. Anyone who knows anything about rum knows that some liquors that happily call themselves rum are distilled from the very same thing. Leblon pretends that only cachaca is derived from sugar care, and all other rums are from molasses. Nor does it make sense to say cachaca tastes "different" from rum. For rum, more than any other spirit, can taste like a hundred things.

The better argument for cachaca's singularity is what you mentioned: its separate cultural history.