Aged Cachaça – Leblon Reserva Especial

Last week I wrote about the Cedilla – and excellent acai liqueur from the house of Leblon and now it´s time to present their new aged cachaça as well – Maison Leblon Reserva Especial – a special limited aged cachaça that were recently introduced in Brazil.

Leblon Cachaça recently won the best cachaça and double gold award at the 2012 San Francisco Global Spirits Competition with their Leblon cachaça and the new Reserva Especial.

Cachaça has a more earthy taste compared to the more “grassy” rhum agricole – and both are delicious – I really enjoy mixing with them. The aged cachaça is more mellow than the white unaged and Leblon Reserva is aged in new Limousin French oak for two years and then blended by Gilles Merlet. Like Leblon, it is single batch distilled in alambique potstills.

It has a complex smooth taste with notes of honey, sugarcane and something woody/nutty with a slight and pleasant “buttery” aftertaste. The nose is sweet and reminds me of sugar, earth and dulce de leche.

The bottle is strikingly elegant with a thin slender shape and engraved handwriting on the glass and it contains 375 ml and is 42% ABV.

I found this interesting drink to try:

São Conrado created by Canvas bar team, Brisbane

1.5 oz Leblon Cachaça
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
1.0 oz fresh pineapple juice
1.0 oz spiced pineapple syrup
.25 oz dark rum to float
Mint sprig to garnish

In a Cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients except the rum and mint with ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into a large rocks glass fill with cubed ice, then add a ‘cap’ of crushed ice. Float dark rum on the surface of the drink, and garnish with a mint sprig.

As for spiced pineapple syrup – it`s not stated in the recipe what spices used in the syrup but since cinnamon goes well with pineapple i added some cinnamon to the batch.

So you make a simple syrup (1.1 water plus sugar) and add a few pineapple chunks, 2 crushed (ceylon) cinnamon sticks and boil up lightly and then set to cool for a couple hours for flavors to marry.

This cocktail was nice and a bit on the sour side, quite complex too – aged cachaça meets spiced pineapple syrup!

I never drink just one cocktail so after the São Conrado I made a drink I call Leblon Beach:

Leblon Beach

2 oz Leblon Reserva
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
5-6 pineapple chunks
0.25 oz sugarcane syrup
0.25 oz liquid honey

Muddle pineapple chunks and honey, add the rest of ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and garnish with a raw-sugar rim, pineapple slice and cherry – or if you want it to look like it does in the picture – a dried pineapple slice and cherry.

And that is very simple to make, I just sliced out a piece of the pineapple very very thin and placed it in the oven at 225 F ( 110 C) to dry for about 15-20 min or until the edges became partly browned.

This cocktail was very nice and refreshing due to the earthiness of the cachaça and the freshness of lime and pineapple.

Maison Leblon Reserva Especial is currently available only in Brazil, and will be introduced shortly in limited editions to select markets outside of Brazil.

So keep an eye out for it.