Difference Between Rum and Cachaca

Rum vs Cachaca

When it comes to alcohol, it is a common feat to be left confused by its wide variety, especially for those unacquainted with the field. To add to the confusion, there are certain spirits that strongly resemble one another, thereby further confounding the inexperienced. Rum and cachaca are two such spirits that have been confusing people for many years.

What is Rum?

Rum is an alcoholic beverage made from either sugarcane juice or molasses that is produced through a process of fermentation and distillation which is then aged in oak barrels. Latin America and the Caribbean are the largest rum producers in the world while rum is also made by countries such as Spain, Austria, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Mexico, the Philippines, Hawaii, India, Mauritius, Reunion Island, South Africa, the United States, Taiwan, Japan and Canada.

Rum is often referred to as ron añejo (aged rum) or ron viejo (old rum) in Spanish and is available in various grades. While it is the dark or golden rums that are consumed without mixing with other spirits, with mixers, or are used in cooking, light rum is used commonly in cocktails. Premium rums can be consumed straight or with ice.

Rum is famously associated with the Royal Navy and piracy and plays a large part in the culture of Canadian Maritimes, the West Indies as well as in the Newfoundland.

What is Cachaca?

Also known as pinga, aguardente or caninha, cachaca is a distilled sugarcane juice that is made from sugarcane juice and is the most popular alcoholic drink in Brazil. It has a 38% – 48% alcohol by volume with the homemade varieties being as strong as the brewer wants it to be. Outside of Brazil, cachaca is used in tropical beverages with the most popular cocktail of them all being the caipirinha.

The distillation process of cachaca dates back to 1532 when the Portuguese brought the first sugarcane crops from Madeira to Brazil. Cachaca comes in two varieties; aged and unaged. The unaged cachaca is white in colour whereas the aged cachaca is golden. Premium cachaca is dark in colour and are aged for up to three years while ultra premium brands can be aged for up to 15 years.

What is the difference between Rum and Cachaca?

Rum and cachaca are both distilled alcohols made from sugarcane products. It is easy to mistake one beverage from the other due to the similarities of their nature and ingredients and in the United States, cachaca has indeed been categorized as a rum until recent times. However, rum and cachaca have several distinct aspects to them that set them apart.

• Rum is mostly made from molasses. Cachaca is made from the juice of the sugarcane.

• Latin America and the Caribbean are known for rum whereas cachaca is a distinct Brazilian product.

• Rum is mostly drunk on its own all over the world whereas outside of Brazil, cachaca is almost exclusively used for producing tropical drinks.

• Rum is aged for a longer time than cachaca and, therefore, is the more expensive product.


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