About South American Spirits

The South American spirits category includes cachaça, pisco, aguardiente and other spirits indigenous to South America.

Pisco is a grape based spirit originating in the grape growing regions of Peru, and Chile. Essentially pisco is a pomace brandy and is distilled from the leftover pomace, or solid remains, leftover after grapes are pressed during the winemaking process. The term "pisco" is recognized as an appellation throughout the world and is reserved for these grape based spirits of Peru and Chile.

Cachaça is a sugar cane based spirit originating in Brazil. Similar to Pisco, the term cachaça is recognized as an appellation reserved for these Brazilian spirits. Although similar in style to rum, these spirits are not to be confused. Cachaça is distilled only from fresh sugar cane juice, like agricole rhum, not molasses like most rums on the market,; it is commonly produced as either unaged or wood-aged.

Top Picks and Reviews for South American Spirits

202309
Sagatiba
Velha Cachaça
Pale golden silver color. Robust aromas of caramel soufflé, dried fruity, praline and leather with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tangy citrus custard, grass, mineral and pepper finish. Excellent complexity and vibrancy that will mix brilliantly in cocktails.
94 points $26.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213041
Capucana
Handcrafted Cachaça
Bright golden straw color. Lively, earthy, creamy aromas of creamy nougat, creme brulee, cedar incense, and aloe with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, captivating, medium-long grass, sugar cane, peppercorns, and plantain custard finish. A delicate, nuanced aged cachaça.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
207404
Waqar
Pisco
Clear color. Bright, floral aromas and flavors of honeyed apricots, honeysuckle, orange marmalade, and mineral oil with a vibrant, fruity sweet medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long finish displaying accents of earth and pepper. A lovely, well balanced with good intensity that will pop in cocktails.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217699
Batista
Prata
Clear color. Grassy, creamy aromas and flavors of sugar cane stalk and leaves, plantain, flan, and minerals with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long gravel, wheatgrass, and pepper and vanilla finish. A solid, well made cachaça that will mix nicely.
90 points $34.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202308
Sagatiba
Pura Cachaça
Clear. Bold earthy aromas of wet straw, bamboo, geranium talc, and beeswax candle with faint fuel like minerality. Silky with a dry-yet-fruity medium body and a vanilla cream, banana leaf, and wet stone finish. A great combination of earthiness and elegance that will create distinctive cocktails.
90 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208613
Santiago Queirolo
Pisco Quebranta
Clear color. Interesting aromas and flavors of frosted raisin bran, sour cream and onion potato chip, and French bread with a supple, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a peppery, intriguing, medium-length finish revealing notes of flower water, white chocolate orange, pepper, and minerals. A warming pisco for punches.
89 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208720
Soul
Premium Cachaça
Clear color. Interesting, mild aromas and flavors of pistachio nougat, barnyard hay, and roasted agave with a soft, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a warming, delightful, cheery finish with impressions of powdered sugar, coconut water, limestone, and clay pot. A solid, earthy cachaça for cream or hot cocktails.
89 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217700
Batista
Ouro
Light gold color. Smoky aromas and flavors of tar, lit tobacco, and burnt sugar with a supple, soft, dryish medium body and a warming, intriguing, medium-length fuel, wet stones, and caramelized tropical fruits finish. A smoky, dusty cachaça for cigars and whisky cocktails.
88 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208600
Pisco Capel
Alto del Carmen
Gold color. Mild aromas and flavors of honey cake, suede, papaya custard, and pepper dust with a soft, bright, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish conveying overtones of praline, minerals, and white pepper with light oak. A nice, warming pisco.
88 points $18.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208612
Santiago Queirolo
Pisco Acholado
Clear color. Lively aromas and flavors of apricot pastry, buttercream, cucumber salad, and celery salt on potato with a supple, bright, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a tingling, stimulating, breezy finish evoking touches of nougat, fig, and lemon pepper. A pleasant, easy drinking pisco that will be good in cocktails.
88 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab