Carnival Spirit

“Tequila had the same scenario and has enjoyed great success over the past 15-20 years, so I am positive cachaça can rise above any inconsistency and become better recognised for its quality and diversity.”


Getting the word out about cachaça might be easier if it wasn’t so difficult to pronounce and perceived as such a summer drink. 

“There is sometimes some resistance to promoting it in the colder months,” says Kelly-Rappa. “We have found that the most effective way to overcome these challenges is through education, and that has been one of our main areas of focus.”

She adds that one of the most successful cocktails in its repertoire is Cranberry Blaze – a cranberry and rosemary festive offering.

Due to the summer association, Florida is Leblon’s best export market. “Mainly because it’s warm all year around and has a very significant tourist business,” Luttmann explains. “California is also a big export market, again probably because of the weather, and certainly New York.

“France is also an excellent export market for Leblon, as there seems to be a very strong affinity in France for Brazil.”

While Brazil’s economic future is in doubt, it is hoped the domestic spirit’s outlook is a cause for celebration. Rio 2016 provides the cachaça category with a second bite at the cherry in terms of getting international markets to buy into the spirit and its signature cocktail. For now, producers are optimistic that cachaça can kickstart carnival in Brazil and beyond.