I've been fortunate in that, over time, I've managed to amass quite a collection of cachaça. During the last days of my sabbatical, I decided to sit down with my liquor cabinet and take inventory. The result is now publicly. . .
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Cachaçagora - 5 new articles

"What's In Your Cabinet?" -- The Cachaçagora Collection


I've been fortunate in that, over time, I've managed to amass quite a collection of cachaça. During the last days of my sabbatical, I decided to sit down with my liquor cabinet and take inventory. 

The result is now publicly available in two forms. You can leave a comment on any of the database's cells if you sign in. If you just want to look, there's a read-only version

Obviously, if you know something about these brands that I don't, please leave a comment. I haven't yet had time to Google the information needed to fill in some of the gaps. 


Cocktail Recipe Roundup -- 2015-08-18

Bartender, please


Two cocktail recipes caught my eye and may be worth you trying out:

  • The Watermelon Caipirinha via SheKnows: "My favorite version of a caipirinha involves a big glug of fresh watermelon. I can't think of anything more refreshing for the dog days of summer."
  • Caipirinha with Finger Lime via SlowFood: "The interior of the fruit is unique, as it contains no pith and the fruit itself is not organized into segments but small pearls that are reminiscent of a pomegranate. Its flavor is slightly sweeter than that of a normal lime."

My Apprenticeship with Werneck Cachaça


There is no scorn more profound, or on the whole more justifiable, than that of the men who make for the men who explain. Exposition, criticism, appreciation, is work for second-rate minds. - G.H. Hardy

The above quote has been resonating with me in my personal and professional life for some time now, ever since I came across it in 2013 while building a presentation related to the day job. It's a harsh and cranky statement from the famous mathematician, perhaps, but a reminder that it's somewhat easy to be a critic. It's a far more difficult matter to engage the mental and physical faculties required to bring something valuable into the world. 

After about seven years of writing about cachaça and its potential in North America, I decided to immerse myself in what it takes to make a truly artisanal, handmade product. This journey led me to Rio das Flores, Brazil, about 3.5 hours away from Rio de Janeiro. My destination: Cachaça Werneck and its proprietors Eli and Cilene.


As readers know, I have visited many distilleries in Brazil—many more than the ones you find in this special section. To be perfectly honest, no other site aside from Werneck was considered.

It was absolutely not a question in terms of where I wanted to have an apprenticeship. (Read an early email interview with Eli Werneck.) First and foremost I felt that Eli and Cilene would be excellent teachers—their passion for their craft and level of care for the final product were very evident. Eli's earlier background in industry (as the former president of Volvo Penta Brasil) was also impressive to me and it gave me a sense for how he ran both the craft and business aspects of the company. When I earned a sabbatical from my employer after ten years of service, I knew that I wanted to spend time learning about cachaça at Werneck.


Since it was early in the season, I was able to participate in the following activities within a small but very busy distillery:

  • Harvesting, cleaning, and crushing sugarcane
  • Evaluating and diluting the resulting juice
  • Evaluating the progress of fermentation
  • Helping to manage the distillation process
  • Submitting to the occasional press interview, PR person that I am
  • Pitching in for various backroom tasks (e.g., bottling, capping, boxing, labeling, etc.)


Obviously this leaves out processes like aging, standardization, and so on. Alas, I only had two weeks and even the least-rested product in the Werneck catalog stays in its vessel for three to four months. Also, the timing meant that producing distillate was the highest priority. Good cane, rich juice, and happy yeasts wait for no one.

Work and life has made this blog somewhat moribund, I know. I would bother apologizing if 1) I was able to make this hobby a priority in my public life, and/or 2) people were hanging on my every word here. Nevertheless, the backchannel conversations I've been a part of—emails, phone calls, and discussions that don't really have a place here on the site—have been illuminating and encouraging. 


I foresee that the immediate future of this blog will largely focus on sharing bits of my apprenticeship at Werneck. Some aspects of that experience will be appropriate here, others perhaps in a different forum. I have pages of notes and well over a hundred photos.

Welcome back. 



Snoop's Partnershizzle

Spokespizzle need to take care of dentizzle. Not a side-effect of cachaca consumption when paired with good oral hygiene habits.

A while ago, I wrote somewhat belatedly about Snoop's investment in Cuca Fresca in the context of the related video ad. In the days and weeks since the original announcement, I had tried to track down something--anything--that wasn't already covered. No one in-or-around the Doggplex would give me much more than what was already out there. (Not that they'd bother with a tiny site like this one, but you miss all the shots you don't take, I figure.) Cuca Fresca's PR firm sent me the press release, dutifully enough, and pretty much told me that it was all I was going to get. 

So, in an attempt to extract some amount of lulz from this effort, I took the press release and fed it through Gizoogle.Net. The site takes any URL or text you feed into it and translates it into the kind of gangsta argot that Snoop was largely responsible for introducing to suburban Caucasian youths in the 1990s.

The results (after the jump) are decidedly NSFW, but still fun. 

Brazilian Spirit Cuca Fresca Partners wit Entertainment Icon, Snoop Ta Tha D-O-Double-Gizzle

Premium Artisanal Cachaça Launches Nationizzle Campaign wit Snoop Ta Tha D-O-Double-Gizzle To Define What it Means ta "Drink Different"

Cuca Fresca, tha premium artisanal Brazilian cachaça, is buckwild ta announce they partnershizzle wit entertainment icon Snoop Ta Tha D-O-Double-Gizzle, up in which dat schmoooove muthafucka has become a gangbangin' finger-lickin' dirty-ass shareholda n' shit. "Cuca Fresca" be a cold-ass lil common Brazilian expression dat means ta "have a cold-ass lil chill vibe" n' wit Snoop Ta Tha D-O-Double-Gizzle bein tha epitome of cool, tha pairin between both tha brand n' gangbangin muthafucka was a natural fit.

Snoop first became enamored wit Brazil while filmin tha vizzle fo' his 2003 hit cold lil' woo wop "Beautiful," wit Pharrell Williams. While blastin up in Rio de Janeiro, Snoop felt a immediate connection ta tha playas n' gamestyle of Brazil, fallin up in ludd wit they signature cocktail, tha Caipirinha. Throughout tha "Beautiful" vizzle, Snoop is shown trippin' off Brazil’s ubiquitous cocktail.

Snoop’s ludd of Brazil, combined wit his keen bidnizz sensibilitizzle n' mobilitizzle ta identify future trends, caused his ass ta take notice when da thug was introduced ta Cuca Fresca Cachaça. Previously lumped under rum despite its different thang n' provenance, Cachaça was designated as its own spirits category up in 2013 n' is poised fo' explosive growth up in tha lead up ta tha 2016 Olympics up in Brazil. With Snoop’s widespread appeal n' trendsettin ability, dat schmoooove muthafucka has amassed a unrivaled internationistic hustla base n' has one of tha phattest hood media followings ghettowide. Right back up in yo muthafuckin ass. Snoop’s grand influence will continue ta spread tha word bout tha Cuca Fresca brand up in tha states n' beyond.

"I’m buckwild ta partner wit tha phat playas at Cuca Fresca," holla'd Snoop Ta Tha D-O-Double-Gizzle. "I have mad ludd fo' tha Brazilian playas n' culture, n' look forward ta spreadin tha word bout cachaça n' tha def vibez of tha ghetto ta tha US.

"Snoop’s hype fo' bein on tha cuttin edge of what tha fuck is def combined wit his fuckin lil' dedicated hustla base will help create ghetto-wide brand awarenizz fo' Cuca Fresca," explains Cuca Fresca CEO, Phoenix Kelly-Rappa. "We is thrilled ta be enterin tha fuck into dis unprecedented partnershizzle n' can’t wait ta make Cuca Fresca, n' cachaça, a household name."

Bout Snoop Ta Tha D-O-Double-Gizzle:
An entertainment icon n' wit mo' than 20 muthafuckin years up in tha bidnizz, Snoop continues ta pave tha way up in tha hip-hop industry, servin as a mentor ta nuff freshly smoked up n' established artists, n' you can put dat on yo' toast. Bein tha trendsetta he is, Snoop standz all up in tha forefront of ghettofab culture wit award-ballin n' multi-platinum mixtapes n' joints, critically hyped films n' televizzle shows, gamestyle shizzle, philanthropic efforts n' digital ventures, includin his YallTube original gangsta series "GGN Shit." Snoop defines entertainment history.

Bout Cuca Fresca:
Cuca Fresca is tha straight-up original gangsta n' only line of premium, artisanal cachaças. Founded up in 2006 by a cold-ass lil crew wit decadez of cachaça-makin experience, Cuca Fresca is one of tha leadin cachaça brandz up in tha ghetto n' has won nuff muthafuckin of tha industryz top honors, includin a Double Gold Medal from tha San Frankieco Ghetto Spirits Competition. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch. Currently, Cuca Fresca is tha only cachaça wit a ready-to-drink Caipirinha cocktail on tha market.


Snoop Dogg in Cuca Fresca Ad

Part of the package when you nab Snoop Dogg as a shareholder for your brand is, I'm guessing, access to him as your pitchman and spokesperson. Personally, I think it's preferable when your investor brings a lot more than money to the table. In this case, it takes the form of "being Snoop *#(@*ing Dogg."


Ad-wise, a much better score than Travolta, methinks. 

(H/T: TheSpiritsBusiness)


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