Distinguishing Rum & Cachaca: Key Differences

Rum vs Cachaca

It is not uncommon for people to be confused by the vast variety of alcoholic beverages available, particularly when it comes to spirits that closely resemble one another. Rum and cachaca are two such spirits that have puzzled people for years.

What is Rum?

Rum is an alcoholic drink made from either sugarcane juice or molasses, produced through a process of fermentation and distillation, and then aged in oak barrels. Latin America and the Caribbean are the world’s largest rum producers, but it is also made in 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 available in various grades and is often referred to as ron añejo (aged rum) or ron viejo (old rum) in Spanish. Dark or golden rums are typically consumed without mixing with other spirits, used in cooking, or combined with mixers, while light rum is commonly used in cocktails. Premium rums can be consumed straight or with ice.

Famously associated with the Royal Navy and piracy, rum plays a significant part in the culture of the Canadian Maritimes, the West Indies, and Newfoundland.

What is Cachaca?

Cachaca, also known as pinga, aguardente, or caninha, is a distilled sugarcane juice and the most popular alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It has an alcohol by volume of 38% – 48%, with homemade varieties being as potent as the brewer desires. Outside of Brazil, cachaca is used in tropical beverages, with the most famous cocktail 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. Unaged cachaca is white, while aged cachaca is golden. Premium cachaca is dark and 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?

While both rum and cachaca are distilled alcohols made from sugarcane products, they have several distinct aspects that set them apart:

• Rum is primarily made from molasses, while cachaca is made from sugarcane juice.
• Rum is associated with Latin America and the Caribbean, whereas cachaca is distinctly Brazilian.
• Rum is mostly consumed on its own worldwide, while cachaca is almost exclusively used for producing tropical drinks outside of Brazil.
• Rum is aged for a longer time than cachaca, making it the more expensive product.

Key Takeaways

  • Rum is made from sugarcane juice or molasses and is primarily produced in Latin America and the Caribbean, while cachaca is made from sugarcane juice and is the most popular alcoholic drink in Brazil.
  • Rum is available in various grades and is often consumed without mixing, while cachaca is typically used in tropical beverages such as the caipirinha.
  • Rum is aged for a longer time than cachaca, resulting in a higher price for the former.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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