The tragedy that unfolds in Barry Manilow’s era-defining song, ‘Copacabana’ is undoubtedly a sad one. Lola, the promising but naive young showgirl loses the love of her life Tony, to the lecherous villain Rico in an armed brawl. Thirty years pass and Lola is no longer the aspiring star that she once was; still garbed in her infamous, but now-faded, feathered costume she sits, getting ‘half-blind’ night after night having lost her love, her life and her mind. A sobering story and one that would lead you to understandably, ‘reach for the bottle’. However, if that bottle happens to be Yaguara cachaça and the poison of choice is an artfully mixed caipirinha, then drowning your sorrows might become a little tricky as it’s only ever made me ebullient.
Yaguara is an organic, artisanal blended cachaça from a fifth generation, Meneghel family recipe. Javanese sugar cane is crushed on the day of harvest to release the juice known as garapa. The garapa is then fermented with local yeast strains for around 14-18 hours before undergoing distillation in a copper still. Eighty percent of this run is then transferred to stainless steel tanks to rest for ten months with the final twenty percent of the run being aged in Carvalho oak for 5-6 years. Once finished the two spirits are finally blended together to create the refined and award winning liquid, Yaguara.
The eye-catching bottle design of Yaguara is formed from a single drop of molten glass that’s formed by master glass artist, Brian Clarke into a seductively wavy pattern. The curves of the bottle as well as the blue colouring is meant to emulate the iconic beachfront of Copacabana in Brazil (see, not just a non-sequitur!). The spirit inside is a beautiful product, crafted from five generations of dedicated family passion. The flavour itself embodies notes of lemongrass, camomile and black pepper that come together to create a spirit with a punch, and in my case – an extra spicy caipirinha.
So, Tony is gone and Lola may be finished, whilst dastardly Rico is able to walk free and wreak havoc on the next unsuspecting showgirl, but so long as there’s a bottle of Yaguara behind a bar somewhere, then they’ll always be something to raise a glass to.
Melanie Chenoweth is a London based, freelance food writer and photographer. If you can eat it, she’ll snap it. Then eat it. Then write about it.
Photographs courtesy of Yaguara Cachaça