The first reports about the fermentation of sugar cane come from the old Egyptians. They cured several diseases inhaling vapor of perfumed liquids and fermented, absorbed directly of the beak of a kettle, in a closed room.

The Greeks registered the process of obtaining the "ácqua ardens". The Water that catches fire - burning water (Al Kuhu).

The burning water went to the hands of the Alchemists that attributed mystic-medicinal properties to it. It became the water of life, the so called "Eau de Vie" was recomended as an elixir of the longevity.

The Sugar Cane Brandy then goes from Europe to the Middle East, pushed by the power of the of the Roman Empire expansion. The Arabs were the first to discover the distillation equipments similar to the ones we know nowadays. They didn't use the word Al kuhu, but Al raga, originating the name of the most popular liquor of the Asian South Peninsula: Arak. A brandy mixed with liqueurs of anises and drank with water.

The production technology spreads throughout the old and the new world. In Italy, a distilled of grape is known as Grappa. In Germanic lands, a distilled of cherry, is known as kirsch. In Scotland the Whisky gets popular, distilled from barley.

In the far East, the liquor is used to warm up the populations that don't manufacture Wine from grapes. In Russia the Vodka, of rye. In China and Japan, Sakê, of rice.

Portugal also absorbs the technology of the Arabs and distils from grape pulp, the Rubbish.

The Portuguese, motivated by the Spanish conquests in the New World, rushed in to the sea. Willing to explore and in the attempt of taking possession of the discovered lands in the west side of the Tordesilhas Agreement, Portugal brings to Brazil the Sugar Cane, coming from the south of Asia. And that's how started the first settlement and agriculture nuclei of the new Portuguese colony.

The first settlers that came to Brazil, appreciated the Portuguese Rubbish and the Port Wine. as well as the feeding, the whole drink was brought from the Portuguese Crown. In a mill, of São Vicente's Captaincy, between 1532 and 1548, they discovered the wine of sugar cane - Sour Garapa, that lays out in hods of wood for the animals, coming from the rapadura pans. It was a clean drink, in comparison with Cauim - the wine produced by the Indians, in which everyone spit in an enormous clay kettle to help in the fermentation of the corn, it is believed. The Lords of Mill started to serve such broth, denominated Cagaça, for the slaves. Then it was a quick start to distil Cagaça, there was born the Sugar cane brandy.

From the middle of the 16th Century XVI until the middle of the 17th Century XVII the "houses for cooking honeys", as it is registered, multiplied at the mills. The Sugar cane brandy becomes currency for slaves purchase in Africa. Some mills start to divide the attention between the sugar and the Sugar cane brandy.

The discovery of gold in Minas Gerais, brings a great population, coming from all regions of the country, that builds cities on the cold mountains of the Serra do Espinhaço. The Sugar cane brandy helps softens the temperature.

Bothered with the fall of the Rubbish and Portuguese wine trade in the colony and alleging that the Brazilian drink harms the retreat of the gold from the mines, the Portuguese Crown forbids, for several times, the production, commercialization and even the consumption of the Sugar cane brandy.

Without results, the Portuguese Metropolis decides to tax the Brandy. In 1756 the Sugar Cane Brandy was one of the goods that contributed the most with taxes used in the reconstruction of Lisbon, abated by a great earthquake in 1755.

Many taxes were created for the Sugar cane brandy, known as subsidies, such as the literary used to maintain the universities of the Portuguese Crown.

As symbol of the Ideals of Freedom, the Sugar cane brandy travels through the mouths of the disloyal ones and the population that supports the Minas Conspiracy. The sugar cane becomes a symbol of the resistance against the Portuguese dominance.

Throughout the times, the production techniques improved. The Sugar cane brandy was appreciated by all. It is consumed in palace banquets mixed to the ginger and other ingredients, in Portuguese religious parties - the famous Quentão drink.

In the eighteen hundreds, with the coffee economy, the abolition of slavery and the beginning of the republic, a great and wide prejudice to everything that roots relative to Brazil was installed. The fashion is European and the sugar cane brandy is left aside.

In 1922, the Week of the Modern Art, comes to rescue the Brazilian roots. In elapsing of our century, the samba is rescued and starts carnival. On these last decades the feijoada is valued as a special Brazilian food and the Sugar cane brandy still tries to undo prejudices and continues in the road of purification of its quality.

Today, several brands of high quality figure in the national and international trade and are served in the best restaurants and residential wine cellars throughout Brazil and the world.

 

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