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US officially recognises cachaça as Brazilian spirit

The US has now officially recognised cachaça as a product from Brazil, under a new ruling passed this week.

Leblon cachaca
Leblon will ramp up its marketing activity in the US now cachaca is recognised as a Brazilian product

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a final rule on 25 February to recognise the national spirit of Brazil as a type of rum.

The spirit, made from the distillation of sugar cane products, has up until now been known purely as rum in the States, but the new ruling, which comes into force on 11 April, will mean cachaça products may simply be labelled as cachaça, without the term ‘rum’ on the label.

While Brazilian law allows the sale of cachaça with an alcohol content of between 38-48% abv, those sold in the US as cachaça must contain a minimum of 40% abv.

The regulation carries a 180-day transition period to allow producers to gradually phase out any old labels.

“Now that the U.S. government has recognized cachaça, it’s time for the world to discover what it means to be Brazilian without leaving the states,” said Steve Luttmann, founder of Leblon cachaça, which launched the ‘Be Brazilian, Be Leblon’  marketing campaign at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival on 23 February.

The marketing campaign, which seeks to communicate Brazilian culture and values, will be rolled out across major US cities over the next month.

Leblon itself was instrumental in lobbying consumers and the TTB to pass the legislation to get cachaça recognized in the US. Through social media and nightlife events is gathered over 300,000 signatures to bring the petition to Congress.

An agreement to formally recognize cachaça as a product from Brazil was first signed in April 2012. In return, Brazil will formally recognize Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey as distinctive products of the US.

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