Leblon Cachaça is a good introduction to the growing world of Brazilian cachaça. It was one of the first to hit the wider U.S. market and it remains readily available. It's fantastic in the Caipirinha and is a nice addition to a variety of great cocktail recipes.
In little over a decade, cachaça has exploded on the international scene. It is becoming easier to find and Leblon Cachaça is one of the good ones that represents this class of alcohol nicely.
In short, Leblon is as luxurious as the beach in Rio de Janiero it was named after, but it comes at a decent price.
The Making of Leblon Cachaça
Cachaça has long been a prized possession of Brazil. Unlike its counterparts in the rum world, cachaça is produced by fermenting sugar cane rather than molasses. This "fresher" spirit has a distinct flavor that varies from medicinal or chemical in the lower-quality brands to fruits, spices, and grasses in the more refined offerings.
Leblon Cachaça falls in the middle. It is made with the best parts of fresh sugar cane after its first pressing. The fermentation and distillation process differs from other brands by using a specific set of temperatures, times, and the "perfect" yeast. All of this sets the stage for a well-balanced spirit.
After distillation, the distillate is moved from Brazil to the south of France where Leblon is aged in used Cognac casks between 30 days and 3 months.
This light aging adds smoothness without giving it too much oakiness like older cachaças, which are preferred for sipping.
The entire process behind Leblon is designed to give it a notable "fruit forward" tone that is light and pure. This makes it perfect for mixing into cocktails.
Drinking Leblon Cachaca
If there is one drink that every bottle of cachaça deserves, it is the Caipirinha.
As the national drink of Brazil, the Caipirinha displays the country's spirit perfectly. It is always the test of a good cachaça and the one made with the Leblon is ideal.
Variations of the Caipirinha are just as refreshing as the original. These include fun and fruity cocktails like the Kumquat-Ginger Caipirinha, Raspberry Caipirinha, and The Lemon, Lime and Blue Caipirinha.
You can also get fancy with Leblon and mix up a Caipirini. For a really interesting flavor, try the Spiced Pear Caipirini with ginger and nutmeg. It even adds a really interesting flair in the Raspberry Bellini.
Keeping in mind that cachaça is perfect for fruits, you can also give a Brazilian twist to a number of popular cocktails. Simply substitute Leblon for the base spirit: the tequila in a Margarita, the vodka of a Cosmopolitan, and the rum of Daiquiris and Mojitos.
Leblon traps a tequila-like nose with transparent fruity and herbal notes, as well as undertones of vanilla. The full-bodied palate is smooth with complex layers of citrus, vanilla, pepper, and the most subtle oak. For such a lively spirit, the warm, velvety finish is a lasting surprise.
More About Leblon Cachaca
- Premium cachaça distilled with fresh sugar cane pressed one time in Brazil.
- Aged in used Cognac casks and refined in southern France.
- Released in 2005.
- 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
- Retails around $25 for a 750 mL bottle.
- Leblon's Website
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.