The Brazilian government has published legal guidelines for the popular caipirinha, the most common and extended alcoholic drink of the 190 million population country, and which becomes mandatory as of this month.
"Caipirinha, the most typical national drink of Brazil with an alcohol grading between 15 and 30%, at 20 degrees Celsius, elaborated with cachaça (sugarcane liquor), lime and sugar, can be blended with water if necessary to adapt the alcoholic grading", reads the official text published Friday in the Diário Oficial (Union's Gazette).
The purpose of the bill is to establish the guidelines of "identity and quality" to which all caipirinha elaborated in Brazil for domestic consumption or export must abide.
As far as ingredients the bill is somewhat flexible with the sugar which can be crystal or refined, and tolerates its total or partial replacement with glucose but never with synthetic or natural sweeteners.
Regarding cachaça the spirit from sugar cane, the bill establishes that it must respect quality and identity characteristics and standards. Lime can be dehydrated but lime juice must be present in the blend with a minimum proportion of one percent with at least 5% acidity.
Water is considered optional and its use is restricted exclusively to adapt alcoholic graduation to the 15 to 36 degrees strip margins. No mention of ice in spite of the fact most Brazilians have caipirinha cool.
The use of any ingredients that could alter the "natural sensory qualities" of the final spirit such as colorings is strictly banned. There's also a ban on bottling the drink in pharmaceutical type, syringe, vaporizers or blister type containers.
However the Agriculture Ministry rules published in Friday's official gazette fail to say what punishment awaits those responsible for illicit caipirinhas.
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