If you haven’t seen Cabana’s advertisements in the glossies, you haven’t been looking hard enough. You really can’t miss them, what with the woman’s lower torso and the tagline “Authentically Brazilian.” (As a side note, this has caused some tongues to wag, as the spirit is brought to us by an American liquor magnate.)
Politics aside, let’s look at the spirit on its own merits. As cachaça goes, Cabana is very clean, much more like rum than many other cachaças and lacking any harshness, typical of the spirit. In fact, it may be the most neutral cachaça I’ve ever tried, which has both good and bad elements to it. It’s not flavorless mind you: A light lemon flavor and nose are pretty evident, but otherwise Cabana comes across a lot like a good white rum.
It’s not really a spirit for drinking straight, but it shines in caipirinhas and other lemon-and-sugar-type cocktails. (I tossed some Damiana and 7-Up into a caipirinha made with Cabana and it was an exceptional little drink.)
Say what you will about the marketing, but Cabana’s a keeper.