Brazilian Old Fashioned


Photo of author
Written By
Brazilian Old Fashioned_001

Introduction to the Brazilian Old Fashioned

Discover the Brazilian Old Fashioned, a sultry and sophisticated cocktail that marries the traditional Old Fashioned with the vibrant spirit of Brazil. This drink swaps out whiskey for cachaça, a sugarcane-based spirit with a rich history. It’s a perfect choice for those looking to explore new flavors while still enjoying the classic cocktail experience.

The Brazilian Old Fashioned is not just a drink; it’s a celebration of culture. Its smooth, spirit-forward profile is enhanced by the sweetness of demerara sugar, making it a hit among cocktail enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a curious novice, this cocktail is sure to impress.

Join us as we delve into the world of this exotic twist on a classic. From its intriguing flavor notes to its storied past, the Brazilian Old Fashioned is a cocktail that stands out in any setting. Let’s raise a glass to this delightful concoction!

Key Facts About the Brazilian Old Fashioned

  • Alcohol Content: 40% ABV
  • Calories: Approximately 160 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 7g
  • Preferred Glass: Rocks glass
  • Typical Garnish: Orange Peel

Interesting Facts about the Brazilian Old Fashioned

  • The Brazilian Old Fashioned is a modern take on a classic, showcasing the versatility of cachaça.
  • Demerara sugar adds a deeper, molasses-like sweetness compared to regular simple syrup.
  • Stirring the cocktail with ice not only chills it but also dilutes it to the perfect strength.

Brazilian Old Fashioned Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Brazilian Old Fashioned offers a complex flavor profile that is both bold and refreshing. The cachaça provides a smooth, yet robust base with grassy and fruity undertones. The demerara syrup complements these flavors with its rich sweetness, while the Angostura bitters add a layer of spice and depth.

This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a spirit-forward drink with a touch of sweetness. It’s ideal for sipping on a warm evening or as a sophisticated after-dinner treat. The Brazilian Old Fashioned is versatile enough for any occasion, from casual gatherings to formal celebrations.

History of the Brazilian Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned has been a staple in the cocktail world since the early 19th century. Traditionally made with whiskey, sugar, water, and bitters, it’s known for its simplicity and elegance. The Brazilian Old Fashioned takes this classic formula and infuses it with the spirit of Brazil through the use of cachaça.

Cachaça, often called Brazilian rum, is the national spirit of Brazil and has a history dating back to the 1500s. It’s made from fresh sugarcane juice, which gives it a distinct flavor profile that sets it apart from other spirits. The Brazilian Old Fashioned celebrates this heritage by highlighting cachaça’s unique characteristics.

As the cocktail culture evolved, so did the variations of the Old Fashioned. The Brazilian Old Fashioned is a testament to the creativity of modern mixologists who seek to honor traditional recipes while introducing new, exciting flavors.

Brazilian Old Fashioned Ingredients

  • Cachaça (2 oz / 60 ml): The star of the show, cachaça brings a smooth, tropical flavor to the cocktail.
  • Demerara Syrup (1/4 oz / 7 ml): This syrup adds a rich, caramel-like sweetness that complements the cachaça.
  • Angostura Bitters (2 dashes): A classic cocktail ingredient, bitters balance the sweetness and add complexity.
  • Orange Peel (for garnish): The essential oils from the peel enhance the aroma and add a citrusy zing.

Did you know? Cachaça is sometimes referred to as “pinga” in Brazil, and it’s a key ingredient in the famous caipirinha cocktail.

Ingredients for Brazilian Old Fashioned

Brazilian Old Fashioned Method

Chilling and Dilution

Begin by adding cachaça, demerara syrup, and Angostura bitters to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stirring for about 30 seconds ensures the drink is well chilled and properly diluted.


Once chilled, strain the mixture into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. The large cube melts slowly, preventing over-dilution.


Express the orange peel over the drink to release its oils, then drop it into the glass. This final touch adds a fragrant citrus note to the cocktail.

Serving Suggestion

The Brazilian Old Fashioned is best served in a rocks glass, which allows the aromas to concentrate and enhances the sipping experience. The weight and feel of the glass also add to the overall enjoyment of the drink.

For garnish, a twist of orange peel not only adds visual appeal but also interacts with the drink’s flavors. The oils from the peel provide a fresh, citrusy aroma that complements the cachaça’s natural notes.

Elevating the Brazilian Old Fashioned

  • Use Premium Aged Cachaça: Selecting a high-quality aged cachaça can significantly enhance the drink’s flavor profile.
  • Homemade Demerara Syrup: Making your own syrup ensures freshness and allows you to adjust the sweetness to your preference.
  • Proper Ice: Using a single large ice cube or sphere minimizes dilution and maintains the cocktail’s integrity longer.

Elevating Brazilian Old Fashioned

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Brazilian Old Fashioned

If cachaça is not available, a good quality white rum can be a suitable substitute, although the flavor profile will change. For a less sweet version, reduce the amount of demerara syrup or use a sugar cube instead.

Similar cocktails that share the spirit-forward and stirred characteristics include the classic Old Fashioned and the Sazerac. These drinks offer a similar experience with different base spirits.

Add a Twist

For a smoky twist, try adding a few drops of peated scotch to the cocktail. Another variation could include muddling fresh fruit, such as berries or pineapple, to add a fruity dimension to the drink.

Experimenting with different bitters, such as chocolate or orange bitters, can also introduce new flavors and aromas to the Brazilian Old Fashioned.

Preferred Liquors for the Brazilian Old Fashioned

When crafting the Brazilian Old Fashioned, look for premium aged cachaças like Leblon Reserva Especial or Avuá Amburana Cachaça. These brands offer a depth of flavor that can elevate the cocktail to new heights.

Choosing a cachaça that has been aged in wooden barrels will impart additional complexity and woody notes to the drink, making it even more enjoyable.

Similar Cocktails to the Brazilian Old Fashioned

If you enjoy the Brazilian Old Fashioned, you might also like the Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, which features cachaça, lime, and sugar. The Manhattan is another classic option that shares the Brazilian Old Fashioned’s sophistication and depth.

For a whiskey-based alternative, the Boulevardier swaps out cachaça for bourbon and adds sweet vermouth and Campari, offering a bittersweet flavor profile.

Food Pairings to go with the Brazilian Old Fashioned

The Brazilian Old Fashioned pairs wonderfully with savory snacks like salted nuts or charcuterie. Its bold flavors can also stand up to grilled meats or spicy appetizers.

For a unique pairing, try serving it with Brazilian cheese bread (pão de queijo) or crispy fried plantains to complement the cocktail’s tropical notes.

Brazilian Old Fashioned FAQs

Can I make a Brazilian Old Fashioned without cachaça? While cachaça is the defining spirit of this cocktail, you can substitute it with white rum for a different take on the drink.

Is the Brazilian Old Fashioned sweet? The cocktail has a balanced sweetness thanks to the demerara syrup, but it remains spirit-forward and not overly sweet.

What’s the best way to garnish a Brazilian Old Fashioned? A fresh orange peel, expressed over the drink to release its oils, is the traditional garnish for this cocktail.

Can I use regular simple syrup instead of demerara syrup? Yes, but demerara syrup adds a unique richness that complements the cachaça beautifully.

How do I make demerara syrup? Combine equal parts demerara sugar and water, heat until the sugar dissolves, then cool before using.

Brazilian Old Fashioned_001

Brazilian Old Fashioned

A tropical twist on the classic Old Fashioned, the Brazilian Old Fashioned substitutes the traditional whiskey with cachaça, a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugarcane juice, and adds a hint of rich demerara sugar to complement the unique flavor profile.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine Brazilian
Servings 1 drink
Calories 160 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Rocks glass
  • Jigger
  • Strainer


  • 2 oz Cachaça
  • 1/4 oz Demerara Syrup (1:1 water to demerara sugar)
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Orange Peel for garnish


  • Add the cachaça, demerara syrup, and Angostura bitters to a mixing glass filled with ice.
  • Stir the ingredients together until well chilled, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
  • Express the orange peel over the drink to release its oils, then drop it into the glass as garnish.


For a more authentic Brazilian experience, use a premium aged cachaça. The demerara syrup can be made by dissolving demerara sugar in an equal part of hot water and allowing it to cool before use. Adjust the sweetness to taste if necessary.
Keyword cachaça, Classic Cocktail, Demerara Sugar, Old Fashioned Variation, Orange Peel, Spirit Forward, Stirred Drink

Leave a Comment