PINGA, CANA, CANINHA, AGUARDENTE, água-que-passarinho-não-bebe.
Whatever the name (and there are many more), this alcoholic drink fermented and distilled from sugarcane is essential to prepare the most Brazilian of all Brazilian cocktails, caipirinha, made with cachaça, lime, sugarcane sugar and ice. Once considered an inferior liquor, today it enjoys a much more privileged condition: enthusiasts from all over the country are always searching for the most unique and artisanal producer. The task is not easy, as the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply has recorded over 1,400 producers of cachaça in 2013. In cooking, cachaça can substitute white wine in sauces, marinades and flambéed dishes, and be used as an ingredient in candies, jellies, cakes, syrups, pie crusts and pastry for pastel (Brazilian fried turnover).