Cachaça 51

$ — 40% ABV — non-aged

One of Brazil's most popular spirits, 51 is an "industrial" cachaça. Most reviewers have little to say about this brand, positive or negative. It's a much more sedated option than other Brazilian rums, with a less-heady nose, and so is a perfect entry-point for new drinkers or vodka-lovers.

Cachaça must legally only be distilled once. But that doesn't prevent the usage of powerful modern stills that can, in just one run, elevate the purity of alcohol to as much as 90%. A traditional still would have to run three times to achieve this level of purity, and the point of this law was to ensure a rawness that is seen as central to cachaça. But modern technology is all about breaking the rules.

51 endures as a strong option for many bars who are looking for just a touch of that Brazilian flavor. It blends very well with other spirits and obviously is just as strong in mixed drinks. But it's certainly a modern invention.

Cachaça 51 is located in Sao Paulo in southwestern Brazil. It is now owned by the Sazerac Company.