Why You Should Consider Swapping Rum With Cachaça In Your Next Tropical Drink

If you're a fan of rum, then you need to know about cachaça, a Brazilian distilled spirit that, like rum, is made from sugar cane; cachaça is made from fermented sugar cane juice, while rum is made from sugar by-products, such as molasses or syrup. Much like rum, there is more than one type of cachaça, mainly branca ("white" in Portuguese) cachaça, which is typically unaged, and amarela ("yellow" in Portuguese) cachaça, which is aged for at least a year (wherein the color changes due to being stored in wood).

As for the taste of cachaça, you can expect subtle sweetness, earthiness, and even a grassy element, with plenty of fruity notes — whereas rum is often characterized by spice and notes of caramel. Some people even think that cachaça is a bit more similar in taste to blanco tequila than to rum. The exception is a specific type of rum, rhum agricole, which is made directly from sugarcane juice, and is similar in taste to cachaça.

With that in mind, you may want to try swapping out rum for cachaça the next time you make your own tropical drink. The fruitiness of the cachaça will elevate the tropical element of the cocktail while bringing in a bit more sweetness. Finally, the earthy aspect of the cachaça will balance out the sweet component and ensure that the drink is full of complexity in its flavor. 

Which rum-based cocktails should you try using cachaça in?

If you want to try using cachaça in a rum-based cocktail, the daiquiri is a good place to start because it requires very few ingredients so the flavor differences brought in by the cachaça will be front and center. With the use of the cachaça, the daiquiri will be transformed into an earthier but sweeter version of the classic, as the cachaça's notes will be balanced out with the tartness of the lime juice. Since cachaça is sweeter than rum, you can reduce the amount of simple syrup if you're worried about it being too sweet. Similarly, making a refreshing mojito is another way to keep the focus on the cachaça flavor alongside the infusion of fresh mint.

There are plenty of cachaça-based cocktails out there that use pineapple juice, so clearly the two ingredients are a match made in heaven. With this in mind, you can turn to a rum cocktail that is infused with pineapple juice: the Blue Hawaiian. After you swap out the rum for cachaça, you'll have a delicious drink that's a unique spin on a classic. Or, you could make a cachaça version of the Zombie, which typically includes four different rums. For the cachaça version, you can either replace all four rums with four different types of cachaça or experiment with combining two types of rum with two types of cachaça.