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Brazil Honors Sugar Cane Liquor

December 26, 2001

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) _ Cachaca, the sugar cane liquor used in the popular caipirinha cocktail, is about as Brazilian as apple pie is American. Now, a newly issued presidential decree seeks to make it official.

The decree, published Wednesday in the Official Gazette, says only producers established in Brazil can label a drink as ``cachaca″ (pronounced KA-shah-sa) or ``Brazilian cachaca.″

The decree grants cachaca a status similar to Tequila, which must be produced in Mexico, or Champagne, which must be produced in the region of the same name in France.

Brazilian producers had asked for the decree to stop foreign competitors from cashing in on the caipirinha’s rising popularity around the world.

Cachaca, made from unrefined sugar cane juice, is the main ingredient in the cocktail, which includes sugar, crushed limes and ice.

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