More Booze and Nationalism

OK, my last post on When Politics Attacks, regarding Absolut and SKYY Vodkas, got us a little attention here at the Pegu Blog. I’ve run across another story which shows that the United States in not the only place where you can hurt yourself unnecessarily by offending nationalist sentiment, and so I’ll share it with you. I assure you I have no other motive than pure political punditry…. That said, this will not be my most Safe For Work post. And the links will be even less so.
Our subject today is Cabana Cachaça. Cachaça is an interesting liquor that was invented and is mostly produced in Brazil (This is important to our tale). Lots of people in the US refer to it as Brazilian Rum.
Cabana is a new brand that will soon be on sale in the United States. While it is made in Brazil, it is owned, marketed, and imported by a New York firm. Their advertising campaign uses the tag line, Authentically Brazillian. Numerous people in Brazil, especially a number of bloggers, have gotten angry at the use of this phrase for a brand that is owned and created by a foreign company. To the Brazillians, Cabana is essentially a carpet bagger, coming into town to exploit the ignorant local rubes, profiting from their culture without being a part of it. The problem in Brazil’s is essentially the same as Absolut’s here: You run ads tailored for one country at your own peril in this age when those same ads will hurt you somewhere else. The Internet Is Watching Your Booze Ads!™
Now, Cabana may also be sailing into stormy political waters here in the US as well, but for a different reason—The content of the ads. Cabana’s ad campaign features that for which Brazil is most famous in the United States, and I don’t mean rain forests. In fact, it really isn’t about rain forests! Cabana’s website is here. It currently is only a flash video, but you will not be seeing said video running on American television. Follow the link for the whole thing, but here is a screen shot of the relevant not rainforested area that is so Authentically Brazillian (Pops to full-size):Cabana Cachaça: Authentically Brazillian
Now, I want to go on record as emphatically not objecting to this ad campaign. Frankly, its a Hall-of-Famer in my book. But it already is raising eyebrows in the Sex-Equals-Objectification crowd, and I’m guessing we’ll be hearing more from them later. At least I certainly hope so, as it will give me an excuse to go back and examine the issue further…. UPDATE: Incidentally, the AdAge blogger, Laura Martinez, who wrote that piece I just pointed to is who tipped me off to the controversy. She only posts one link in her article, and she kind of undermines her point, by choosing a Brazilian blogger who more closely shares Laura’s concerns, rather than being in sync with the larger controversy in Brazil. Odd choice, Laura.
At any rate, I should leave you with a recipe that uses Cachaça. This drink is one I’ve started to mix every week or so since I started keeping fresh limes in stock more frequently in my basement bar.

THE CAIPIRINHA

  • Approx. 2 oz. Cachaça (Cachaça 61: The soul of Brazil)
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp. Agave Nectar (or Simple Syrup)

Cut lime into eights, and muddle vigorously in a Double Old-Fashioned glass.
Pour Agave Nectar over this pretty little mess.
Fill glass loosely with ice and add about 2 ounces of Cachaça.
Stir.

This is a delicious, refreshing drink. There is lots of lime juice (adjust how much lime you end up muddling in to taste), but the oils from the peel are what are special. Also, it just looks really good in the glass.
Cheers!

UPDATE x2: Ace-o-lanche! Welcome Morons and David Lynch fans! While you are here, I hope you look around—You know you want to, you drunken bastards! If you are looking for something to do with all that Valu-Rite™, try a Moscow Mule. If you want a gallon-plus cocktail, you need only go here. And for God’s sake, this blog exists to get get you to try this recipe, so help a poor blogger out, M’kay?

About the author

Doug

I am 48 years old, married with two young daughters. My interests are tennis, reading, computers, politics, and of course cocktails. I run a murder mystery party business that caters to both corporate and private events, Killing Time, murder consultants.

2 Comments

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  • Interesting fact is Cabana has been around for a couple years and is already well established in NY. I was also just down at the Fasano in Sao Paulo and saw Cabana in the minibar. People are noticing the brand now becaus of the campaign, but it’s been around and is not brand new.

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  • That is interesting. Everything I saw suggested it was a new brand.
    In that regard, the ad campaign would appear to have worked—People notice it that did not before.
    That said, not all press is good press, at least not for a commercial product.

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