The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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Page 97 of 132

the time to get to know the locals, the culture and lifestyle, while sipping on a tasty Caipirinha, will understand what BOSSA is about." In order to elevate cachaça above the more stereotypical imagery that is often associated with it, BOSSA was created to reveal the cool, understated, sophisticated rhythm that Rio's locals treasure the most. The Meaning of BOSSA BOSSA's award-winning label design was inspired by the pattern adorning the sidewalk of Rio's Ipanema Beach, the cradle of bossa nova music and Gomes's local playground. The word bossa means "cool style," and the word's earliest uses trace back to the late 19th century in Rio, where it was first used in poetry and literature. Much later, during the 1950s, when "bossa nova" music was still evolving, artists who were involved with the new movement embraced the term to describe the style that fused Brazilian samba and American jazz, dubbing it "bossa nova" or the "new cool style." When Gomes, at age ten, first heard the term "having bossa" used outside the music, it was from a local socialite describing a particularly elegant private home, sparking for him a more complete under- standing of the meaning of the word bossa. The experience left him with an indelible memory of the word's significance in his native language. Spirit of Brazil Cachaça's existence, since its inception several centuries ago, has closely paralleled that of Brazil itself. Like Brazil, the cachaça market is enormous, with a whopping 200 million gallons or more being produced each year, making it the third largest spirit category in the world by volume. Cachaça, like Brazil, still is in many ways undiscovered— misunderstood even—and full of potential; and both the spirit and the country have finally come of age only recently. As Scottish brand director Angela Pirrie of Chartered Brands once said, "Cachaça is Brazil. All brands of cachaça attempt to capture this component in their identity. BOSSA does this through its visual brand identity, which is contem- porary yet authentic." Gomes recalls that as a child, he observed how his grand- fathers and uncles living in the countryside kept alive many of the old Portuguese family traditions, including making spirits and chorizo sausages on their farmland. "In those early days, there were hardly any industrialized candies or sodas in the Brazilian countryside—sugarcane 'rapadura' bars made from dried molasses was our natural candy," he says. "Every adult drank cachaça, usually neat and often produced by neighboring local farming families in small batches. At times, bottles were closed with a simple piece of a corncob, and the whole process was all organic and truly artisanal." Comparing illicit American moonshine with Brazil's early cachaça, Gomes points out that, "If homemade cachaça were to have had a nickname like U.S. corn whiskey, we would have named it sunshine instead, because the entire thing was done during the day without any stigma. It was—and still is—completely legal. Even in this sense too, cachaça is like Brazilian culture itself, unapologetic and out in the open." The cachaça cottage industry is still ubiquitous among By design: The BOSSA Cachaça bottle accents the lifestyle and esthetic that has made CB2 one of the most popular home design destinations among sophisticated urbanites. both rural Brazilians and affluent urbanites producing their own cachaça at weekend ranches high in the mountains. However, some of the largest and most developed state-of- the-art distilleries in the world today are Brazilian cachaça producers. Creative Collaborations in the U.S. and Abroad BOSSA, a Double Gold medal-winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, was one of the first premium cachaça brands to be developed for the global marketplace. Initially, the brand concentrated most efforts on the more developed cachaça markets of Europe and Latin America, becoming available in five other countries: the U.K., the Netherlands, Portugal, Uruguay and Germany. In Germany, BOSSA has been listed as the top-shelf cachaça choice at the high-end retail chain Galeria Kaufhof. Galeria Kaufhof is part of Germany's largest retail group, Metro Group, and BOSSA is the only new cachaça to achieve such prestigious position- ing in the last five years. Beyond placement in notable restaurants such as South Florida's Villagio (see page 98), some of the brand's more high-profile collaborations happened organically. One such july 2012 / the tasting panel / 97

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