Cachaça / Cachaca
Cachaça (Portuguese pronunciation: [kaˈʃasɐ]) is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice. Also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha or other names, it is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. Outside Brazil, cachaça is used almost exclusively as an ingredient in tropical drinks, with the caipirinha being the most famous cocktail.
Cachaça, like rum, has 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.