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The 5 Best Substitutes for Cachaca

Have you ever heard of Cachaca? It’s a Brazilian liquor made from sugarcane, making it a popular spirit throughout South America.

But what do you do with it? Thankfully, Cachaca has many uses, both as an alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage.

As an alcoholic drink, it is most often served as caipirinha – a famous Brazilian cocktail – or enjoyed neat in shots.

If you don’t have access to the real thing though, it still can be enjoyed.

There are several great substitutes available if you’re looking to make a classic dish or cocktail at home that calls for this aromatic spirit.

From Karen to white rum, discover the five best alternatives for Cachaca now.

What’s Cachaca?

Cachaca is a Brazilian spirit made from distilled sugarcane, and it’s been around since the 16th century.

It has a potent flavor, bittersweet with notes of pepper, and its alcohol strength varies between 38% and 48%.

Cachaca makes an excellent sipping liquor when chilled, but it can also be used to make a caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink.

It also works great as a base ingredient in cocktails like mojitos, or even pizza margaritas.

To prepare caipirinha all you need is cachaca, sugar, lime, and ice – mix the cachaca with a little sugar and lemon juice and pour it into the glass full of crushed ice.

So enjoy the unique taste of Brazilian cachaca in your favorite cocktail – you won’t regret it.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cachaca

If you’re looking for an alternative to Cachaca for a caipirinha, you have several options.

Here are the 5 best substitutes for Cachaca which will make your cocktails taste just as great:

1 – Karen/Clairin

Karen and Clairin are unique types of rum that have been crafted in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, respectively.

Karen has a distinct smoky flavor with notes of vanilla while Clairin is known for its sweet taste that often has subtle aromas of cinnamon, hazelnut, and oak.

Both rums capture the tropical essence of their origin countries—the Dominican Republic’s caramel-colored sugar cask-aged versions can often be mistaken for whisky.

For those looking to exchange Cachaca for something a bit more interesting, Karen and Clairin are excellent stand-ins.

They bring an exotic edge to mojitos and dark ‘n’ stormys but can also be used as part of classic cocktails such as Old Fashioneds or pina Coladas.

2 – Vodka

Vodka is a clear, odorless spirit that has soared in popularity since emerging in its native Russia some centuries ago.

It is distilled by adding cereal grains such as rye, wheat, or potatoes to yeast and water.

Its taste can be smooth and mellow with subtle notes of vanilla or sweet almond in high-end varieties.

While it is often enjoyed neat as a shot, it’s also a versatile base for cocktails like the classic Cosmopolitan or Martini due to its milder flavor.

In tropical recipes calling for Cachaca, vodka makes an excellent substitution so you don’t have to resort to complex ingredient swaps.

Serve the perfect caipirissima with lime and sugar – just remember to use vodka on ice instead of Cachaca.

3 – Cauim

Cauim is an alcoholic beverage of Brazilian origin made from fermented cassava juice.

It has a characteristic sweet and slightly smoky taste that makes it a unique alternative to more common distilled spirits like cachaça.

Its alcohol content is usually around 4,5%, which is why it can easily be used to substitute cachaça in various cocktails, making them less potent yet still full of flavor.

Furthermore, because cauim can only be produced in Brazil and certain regions of South America such as Colombia, it gives these recipes an extra touch of exoticism.

4 – White Rum

White Rum, also known as light rum or silver rum, is a type of distilled alcohol made with softened water and fermented molasses or sugarcane juice.

Although white rums generally lack the intense flavors associated with dark rums, they are beloved for their distinct taste and ability to stand out as an ingredient in cocktails.

White rum has a mild flavor profile featuring foamier carbonation, a slightly sharper nose, and a more pleasant ginger-like finish.

It can be used to substitute cachaca in certain classic Brazilian recipes like the caipirinha cocktail.

White Rum is perfect for adding subtle sweetness and balance to drinks without overwhelming other flavors like lime juice or mint leaves.

5 – Sake

Sake is a traditional Japanese drink made from fermented rice and water.

It has a unique taste profile – it is slightly sweet but also crisp, refreshing, and light despite being an alcohol-infused beverage.

If you want to use Sake as a substitute for another liquor like cachaça in cooking or cocktails, make sure to adjust the quantity of sugar and other ingredients accordingly.

You can also opt to reduce the amount of sake by diluting it with an equal measure of water before using it as a substitute.

The result should be flavorful without overwhelming your dishes with the taste of alcohol.


In summary, Cachaca is a popular Brazilian spirit that can be difficult to find in some countries.

Fortunately, there are several excellent alternatives to Cachaca that can be used in cocktails and cooking recipes.

Vodka, cauim, white rum, and sake all make great substitutes for Cachaca while still providing the same level of flavor and complexity.

With a little bit of experimentation, you can be sure to find a replacement that meets your needs.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cachaca

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cachaca
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Karen/Clairin
  • Vodka
  • Cauim
  • White Rum
  • Sake


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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