May 13, 2006

Sambala Caipirinha Liqueur Review

Sambala Caipirinha Liqueur
Brazilian Rum and Lemon Flavored Alcopop
About 11 Proof (5.6% ABV)

Sambala CaipirinhaFor those not in the know, a caipirinha is a Brazilian cocktail typically made from Cachaca, limes, sugar, and ice. Sambala is a RTD (Ready to Drink) caipirinha cocktail, similar to something like a Smirnoff Ice or Bacardi Silver, but since it's made outside of the country, they can actually use real liquor instead of flavoring a "malt beverage." This drink is Rum-based instead of being made with Cachaca, but the use of real rum gives it at least a shot of tasting like the real drink. We don't know many details about this stuff since most of the info we can find isn't in English, but we gave it a taste and put together a few thoughts for you.

The Color: Mellow Yellow
We've usually heard of Cachaca being made with limes, but this drink is lemon-based. When poured in a glass, the look is cloudy and almost milky - it almost looks like a pale-colored lemonade.

The Nose: When Life Gives You Lemons...
...put them in a cocktail. Sambala smelled tart yet sweet, with an overwhelming waft of lemons on the nose. We didn't detect any rum smell at all, and it smelled about how we remember the smell of Mike's Hard Lemonade.

The Taste:Sweeeeeet
The first thing we thought of when we took a sip that this stuff is thick. That's the only way we can describe it. We took a sip and it coated our tongues with a syrupy, tart sweetness that was surprising at first. Sambala was actually a fair amount sweeter than the smell indicated, which isn't shocking since a major ingredient is sugar cane, and we tasted a hint of rum on the back end, but nothing overwhelming. This stuff is meant to be drunk ice cold, and we even liked it on the rocks to help thin it out a bit. We liked the lemon taste, and we're no experts, but for some reason it didn't seem quite right to have a caipirinha with anything other than limes.

The Verdict: Give it a Shot
Sambala was a bit too sweet for us, but we're not big alcopop drinkers either. If you're an RTD fan, this is something you'll probably want to give a try if you happen across it. Even if you're not a big RTD drinker, don't knock it until you try it. And hell, if you like it, pick up a bottle of Cachaca and whip up a caipirinha recipe of your own.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at May 13, 2006 10:09 AM
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