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 for South American Spirits

Sagatiba Preciosa Cachaça
98 points
$300
Medium amber color. Complex, spicy aromas and flavors of cherry pipe tobacco and white ash, honeyed fruit cake and fig bread, cedar cigar box, and spiced bananas and mango with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, very long finish revealing notes of roasted nuts and banana leaves, vanilla cola, sassafras and mint, exotic tropical fruit chutney, and leather and polished wood finish. A superb sipping cachaça that will be fantastic with cigars.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Spirits, 2017 Best Cachaça
Sagatiba Envelhecida Cachaça
95 points
Medium golden yellow color. Tropical aromas and flavors of caramelized bananas, toasted meringue, chestnut nougat, and nut oil with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, complex, long finish manifesting notes of cane stalk and tobacco leaves, delicate spices, pepper, and minerals finish. An elegant and vibrant aged cachaça with great flavor, finesse, and versatility.
Samanau Cachaça Envelhecida
92 points
$30
Golden amber color. Toasty, sweet aromas and flavors of cinnamon pastry, cardamom, tonka beam, maple creme, shortbread, and dulce de leche with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, elegant, medium-long finish evoking notes of vanilla custard, lavender, coconut cream, and cashew finish. A creamy aged cachaça packed a spice cabinet of flavor; a great sipper with endless cocktail possibilities.
Pitú Vitoriosa Cachaça
91 points
$120
Bright amber color. Inviting aromas and flavors of brandied cherries, tangerine, dried banana, vanilla, espresso bean, zucchini blossom, and jasmine with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium body and a polished, subtle, long finish with touches of milk chocolate, buttercream, tobacco, black olives, and leather finish. Alluring cherry-vanilla aromas open up to a slightly savory palate filled with bourbon-like character balanced with savory nuance; a smooth and dreamy aged cachaça with great length.
Batista Prata
90 points
$34.99
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 finish with shades of gravel, wheatgrass, and pepper and vanilla finish. A solid, well made cachaça that will mix nicely.
90 points $34.99
Batista Ouro
88 points
$39.99
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 finish with nuances of fuel, wet stones, and caramelized tropical fruits finish. A smoky, dusty cachaça for cigars and whisky cocktails.
88 points $39.99
Pitú Gold Cachaça
86 points
$24
Gold color. Aromas of honeycrisp apples, nougat, butterscotch, and fresh herbs with a supple, bright, dry light body and a warming, interesting, medium-length green wood, wheat grass, toffee, and peppercorns finish. A piquant cachaça to add a spicy grassiness to craft cocktails.