Cachaça de jambú!

I’m feeling pretty excited today – not only is it Friday, but I’ve just discovered the existence of Cachaça de Jambú! We looked at jambú before when I told you about Tacacá, the soup from the Amazon that makes your lips and tongue go numb (surely one of Brazil’s weirdest dishes).

Jambú is an Amazonian herb that gives tacacá its anaesthetic property. It looks rather like a weed, with straggly stems and strange yellow/red pom-pom flowers.

Jambú

The Jambú plant in flower.

 

In Brazil’s northern states (such as Pará and Amazonas) the leaves and flowers of this plant are added to soups and stews. It has quite a nice flavour actually but it’s the strong numbing, tingly effect that really sets it apart from other greens.

 

And now they’re putting it in cachaça! I should be clear here, I haven’t tried it yet but you can be sure i’ll be doing my best to hunt it down at the earliest opportunity!

I heard about cachaça de jambú from this article in Folho de São Paulo. To be honest I don’t know much about it – is the practice of adding jambú to cachaça a new thing or have people been doing it for years? From what I can tell it is made by simply infusing regular cachaça with jambú leaves.

cachaça-de-jambú

Mmmm, Cachaça de Jambú. Image from Folha de São Paulo.

 

Other sources describe the sensation of drinking cachaça de jambú as giving a formigamento da boca – a phrase so delicious I wanted to take a quick look at it. The word formiga means “ant” and boca means “mouth”. Formigamento is a rather expressive way to describe any sensation ranging from light tingles to full-on itching. In this case we are talking about a pleasant tingling sensation as the jambú spirit swills around your mouth (try not to think of ants crawling around in there!).

Have any of you tried cachaça de jambú? More importantly can any of you tell me where I can get some in Rio! My tongue is trembling with tremulous anticipation!

 

34 replies
  1. The Gritty Poet
    The Gritty Poet says:

    They should call it Dentist’s Cachaça , or Cachaça de Dentista (both ®. Gritty Poet).

    “My tongue is trembling with tremulous anticipation!”
    You should write for the porn industry 🙂

    Btw couldn’t you just score the leaves and with a bottle of pinga make your own Dentist’s Cachaça ®? You could call it Lábio Tremulo . . . (®. Gritty Poet).

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Ha ha! I was thinking about making it myself. Just got to find a jambú supplier, OR (now here’s an idea!) I could replace all those malagueta plants with jambú! I would be sure to keep readers regularly updated with photos and progress reports… 😉

      Reply
  2. Malvina
    Malvina says:

    I haven’t tried cachaça de jambú, but “formigamento da boca” reminds me of a friend’s reaction to one of my favorite drinks: a Hot&Dirty Martini” (dirty martini with a splash of jalepeno sauce) Quote: “it’s like there’s a party in my mouth!” I’ll have to track some of that stuff down. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Hugo
    Hugo says:

    hi there
    I’m from, belem, pará, and a fan of cachaça de jambu myself o/. unfortunately, i don’t think you’ll find it in rio, since it is produced only at this fella’s bar (although I think I read somewhere that he’s exporting). it is really awesome! the sentence (formigamento na boca) describes it completely hahaha. I encourage you to visit here, the food is awesome ( with jambu or not) and the people are extra friendly (seriously, really friendly).

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Hi Hugo! Good to hear from you. You have very good timing because I *just* found a place that sells cachaça de jambu last weekend! There is a small barraca which sells items from Pará and they sell these exact bottles. It is very expensive though – they charge R$30 for a small bottle, R$100 for a big bottle! So tell me, what is your favourite way to drink it? Do you mix it with anything? Or drink it neat?

      Reply
      • Hugo
        Hugo says:

        100 bucks? ouch! last time i checked we can get the big one here for 25. I never tried to mix it with anything, always drink it in a shot glass followed by tthe little caldo cup ( really doin’t know how to say this in english, soup doesn’t seem accurate), but maybe I should try to make a mix to make it a little lighter, I always go bananas around the 4th shot hahahah, I’m more of a beer guy. as for the proper exploring, be sure to take a trip to algodoal island, it is a beautiful island that doesn’t have cars.

        Reply
        • tomlemes
          tomlemes says:

          Ha ha ha! I think I would go bananas after four as well! 😀

          Thanks for the tip about Algodoal – I just googled it and it looks amazing!

          Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Ah yes, i meant to say that I was in Belem very briefly when I first came to Brazil, but i would LOVE to go back and explore properly. Maybe one day soon 🙂

      Reply
  4. Jéssica Pena
    Jéssica Pena says:

    I’m from Belém, Pará, too and i was in Rio last week. My friends found a bar that sells cachaça de jambu. It’s in Lapa and the name is “Casa da Cachaça”.
    I swear you’ve never tasted anything like it!

    Reply
    • Melisa Coleman
      Melisa Coleman says:

      How can I get some to try in NY? Email me back please. I am very interested in trying it. I watched the show Booze Traveler and first learned about it.

      Reply
      • tomlemes
        tomlemes says:

        Hi Melisa – aha! Thanks for letting me know about that. I was wondering why we had a massive spike in traffic yesterday 🙂 I was in touch with the company yesterday and they told me that currently they are working on an export licence that will allow them to ship overseas, but currently they don’t have one. As far as I know, no one is currently exporting this stuff outside of Brazil so you may need to come for a visit! We’ve had a lot of guests on our culinary tours who’ve booked return flights from the US for under US$400 recently. With the exchange rate being so favourable it’s a great time for a visit.

        Reply
  5. victor
    victor says:

    Hello, sorry for poor english … lol But what I have been saying is that I am of Belém do Pará and cachaça Jambu is one of the new “proud” of my state … and mr. photo of the factory here, then you will pass “the map of the mine” that can order leoporto111@hotmail.com phone, (91) 3230-5413 I have helped, enjoy!

    Reply
  6. Débora Retzepter
    Débora Retzepter says:

    Olá, não me surpreendo com a animação, ela é realmente boa demais. Aqui em Belém é sensação, tanto q dei ela de brinde em garrafinhas para os homens no meu casamento, mas foi dificil conseguir dar pra todos eles pq ate as mulheres queriam. Hoje em dia já tem muitos sabores derivados do Pará, como a de açaí. Mas chamo atençao para a de Jambucy. Eu brinco dizendo que eh a versão feminina da de jambu, pq como contém a mistura de jambu, bacuri (fruta típica) e limão siciliano, ela tem um sabor um pouquinho mais adocicado, uma textura levemente cremosa sem perder o tremor da estrela, Jambu.

    Atualmente a garrafa grande de 700ml esta a venda por R$30, foi o último preço q vi na loja deles em outubro/13.

    Ahhhhh, e Algodoal é realmente uma boa dica. 😉

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Eu gosto muito disso – parece que eu tenho um pedacinho de Pará aqui no meu blog! Tantos Paraenses 😀

      Muito obrigado pela dica Débora – estou com muito vontade de provar este ‘Jambucy’! Adoro bacuri (há um ou dois lugares aqui no Rio onde pode comprar a polpa desta fruta) – acredito que aquela combinação seria muito gostosa!

      Alguem pode me contar – o que é a calda que vocês bebem depois a cachaça de jambú? É salgada ou doce?

      Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Oi Nélia! Você mora no Rio? O unico lugar que eu já vi cachaça de jambu no Rio foi na Feira de São Cristóvão. Há uma barraca do Pará lá, com varios produtos incluindo cachaça de jambu 🙂

      Reply
  7. MANOEL
    MANOEL says:

    POR FINEZA… QUAIS OS COMPENENTES SÃO USADOS PARA A FABRICAÇÃO DA CACHAÇA JAMBU,
    AO EXPERIMENTAR A CACHAÇA, SENTI UMA SABOR UM POUCO DESAGRADAVÉL E MUITO FORTE, DIFICÍL DE CONSUMI-LA.

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Thanks Alex. Funny you should mention that because my usual supplier (yes, I get through a lot of the stuff!) had run out recently so I had to pick up a bottle at Casa da Cachaça 🙂

      Reply
  8. Raiani
    Raiani says:

    Ola , sou vendedora da Loja Cachaça de Jambu ( MEU GAROTO) .
    Esse homem na foto e meu chefe.
    No Rio e são paulo temos varios lugares que vende a cachaça porém com o preço deles.
    O nosso preço e diferete e muito mais barato.
    Mais informações podem enviar um e-mail para a administração e fazer seu orçamento.
    Enviamos para todo Brasil , ainda não exportamos por conta do selo de exportação esta em andamento.

    Além da cachaça de jambu (tradicional), temos as Jambucy – Que são as sabores do Jambu ( Jambu com açai – Jambu com Cupuaçu – Jambu com Bacuri – Jambu com Castanha-do-para – Jambu com menta )…

    Mais informações no e-mail ou telefone e whatsapp.
    E-mail : leoporto111@hotmail.com
    Contato (91) 3230-5413
    Whatsapp (91) 98239-5482
    Facebook : Meu Garoto
    Instagram: @cachacadejambumeugaroto

    Um beijo a todos e espero ter tirado a duvida de vcs.

    Reply
  9. Jens Hegg
    Jens Hegg says:

    I just returned from a trip to Porto Seguro, São Luis and a week in Belém.

    You can find all flavors of cachaça de jambú at Ver-o-peso market. Bacuri, açaí, cupuaçu…all kinds. There is a production version names Sensação de Jambú that has good lids if you are going to pack it in a suitcase. The artisanal versions have a cork and probably don’t travel well. They also have jambú and fruit jelly and pickled jambú flowers.

    If you get a chance to go to the Amazon Beer brewery at Estação dos Docas the IPA and Cupulate Porter are excellent beers. I was absolutely floored that you could get good beer in the Amazon now.

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Hi Jens – great comment! Thanks for dropping by. I’ve been wanting to visit Ver-o-Peso market ever since I heard of it. I bet it was amazing wasn’t it? Here in Rio they sell this cachaça at Tacaca do Norte (a resturant here) and the big bottles always come with a proper screw-on top which is good as I often have a bottle of it bouncing around in my backpack when running culinary tours here. I tried a few of the flavoured (Jambucy) versions (Açaí and Bacuri) and found them too sweet. But the original is awesome. I’ve also seen the jelly, but not the pickled flowers! That sounds really interesting! They also serve the Amazon Beer at Tacacá do Norte – I love the IPA version and also the Red Ale. They are properly good beers right? 🙂

      Reply

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  1. […] Latin Funk phenom, Jungle Fire, is called Jambú because while on tour in Brazil the guys got into Cachaça de Jambú, an infusion of Brazilian white rum & an Amazonian herb that makes your mouth numb & […]

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