A Happy Hour Toast: Leblon Celebrates Victory as Cachaça Is Recognized in the U.S

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U.S. and Brazil sign historic agreements recognizing heritage of native distilled spirits.

Leblon Cachaça

Leblon, Brazil’s premier award-winning Cachaça, has announced that the U.S. and Brazil have signed agreements starting the process to recognize each country’s native distilled spirit, which will further accelerate trade of Cachaça to the States. This is a boon for both rapidly growing markets, as cachaça will be formally recognized in the U.S., and Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey will be formally recognized in Brazil.

Created in Brazil in 1532, Cachaça (pronounced “ka-SHA-sa”) is, in reality, the first distilled spirit of the Americas and the third most-consumed spirit in the world (after vodka and soju). This agreement ensures the integrity and authenticity of world class Cachaça on America’s shelves.

“The recognition of Cachaça in the U.S. is really the recognition of the importance of Brazilian culture and influence. Cachaça is a very special spirit, and like Brazil, it deserves recognition,” said Steve Luttmann, Leblon’s President and Founder.

Leblon led the movement to recognize cachaça in the U.S. with its grassroots "Legalize Cachaça" campaign, which hosted hundreds of parties throughout the U.S. over the past three years. The campaign yielded over 20,000 signatures to the "Declaration of Cachaça Independence," which was forwarded to U.S. government authorities to support the movement.

Cachaça, Brazil’s National Spirit, distilled from fresh sugar cane juice is the key ingredient in Brazil’s popular national cocktail, the Caipirinha, is now freed from its generic mislabeling as “Brazilian Rum.” Now, when Americans taste appropriately labeled Cachaça, they will be greeted by a fresh, fruity aroma and flavor – noticeably different than the spicy nature of rum.

Handcrafted production of the seven-time San Francisco World Spirits Competition gold medal winner and leading cachaça in the U.S. begins at Maison Leblon in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Leblon’s special quality is achieved with painstaking attention to every detail in the production process, from the cutting of the cane, fermentation, and distillation, to the filtering, blending, and resting in XO Cognac casks for up to six months. The result is a lively, fruity nose with complex layers of flavor and an ultra-smooth finish.

“What's exciting about Cachaça is the different types and uses. There are popular brands and there are small batch brands such as ours. You can drink Cachaça neat, in a Caipirinha or Batida, with fruit juice, or in your favorite cocktail (and make it a Brazilian). Anyway you drink your Cachaça, it's nice after a busy day or week to transport yourself to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro with a refreshing Cachaça Cocktail,” exclaimed Luttmann.

To celebrate cachaça’s recognition in the U.S., Leblon is giving away a trip for two to Rio de Janeiro. Enter online at http://www.leblon.com or on Facebook. Taste the difference with Leblon and experience a noble, pure spirit that is anything but the typical, harsh industrial cachaça. Visit http://www.leblon.com to learn more.

About Leblon Natural Cane Cachaça
Leading a Brazilian invasion worldwide with its amazingly delicious, finely distilled spirit, Leblon Natural Cane Cachaça (pronounced ka-SHA-sa) is already the favorite alambique Cachaça in top venues in Brazil, where cachaça is the National Spirit. It is also the key ingredient to the Caipirinha (pronounced kai-pur-EEN-ya), the wildly popular, muddled lime cocktail and national treasure of Brazil. Winner of "Best Cachaça" a record five times, as well as an unprecedented seven consecutive gold medals from 2006 to 2012 at San Francisco’s World Spirits Competition, Leblon is handcrafted and produced at the Maison Leblon in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s fertile agricultural heartland. Overseen by Gilles Merlet, one of the world’s preeminent Master Distillers, Leblon’s special quality is achieved with painstaking attention to every detail in the production process, from the cutting of the cane, fermentation, and distillation, to the filtering, blending, and resting in XO Cognac casks for up to six months. The result is a lively, fruity nose with complex layers of flavor and an ultra-smooth finish that is perfect alone, mixed with fruit juice, in a traditional Caipirinha, or as a Brazilian twist to any cocktail. Leblon is available in all 50 U.S. States. For more information, visit http://www.leblon.com.

About the Legalize Cachaça Movement
Initiated and led by Leblon, the “Legalize Cachaça” movement advocates that Cachaça, Brazil’s national spirit, be recognized as its own appellation or product category in the U.S., just as Champagne and Cognac are to France, and Tequila is to Mexico. The U.S. has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that requires the term “Brazilian Rum” be added to Cachaça labels, which is not only confusing to American consumers and insulting to Brazilians, but inaccurate to boot. For the past three years, the “Legalize Cachaça” movement has been petitioning the U.S. government, specifically the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), to have this erroneous nomenclature dropped.

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Rachel Krupa
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