Yesterday, I met Ben Weinbroer of Leblon and got something I wasn't quite expecting: a scoop.
Meet Cedilla, or at least the tiny sample of it that I still have:
According to the marketing brochure, Cedilla features "hand-picked...açai berries from the Amazon region of Brazil, macerated and blended with the highest quality alambique cachaça." It'll be bottled at 25% ABV.
It has the characteristics of a very light ruby port, equally comfortable neat as an after-dinner drink or, according to one of their recipes, as a substitute for simple syrup to make a perhaps rather stiff "açai caipirinha." (A combination I'm eager to try.) Another recommended preparation is the Rio Royale: one part Cedilla to four parts sparkling wine or prosecco.
Cachaça-based liqueurs are a bit of an under-explored territory, in my opinion. I'm a big fan of the Gabriela, which is a somewhat heavier aperitif that features a blend of cachaça, clove and cinnamon. Maxi Cana, introduced to readers a few months ago, makes an excellent one.
For those who don't know, "cedilla" is the proper term for this character (ç), which is common to both the words "cachaça" and "açai", giving both their "s" sound. Based on a Google search, Leblon has gone to some significant lengths to trademark this word.
Now, ahem... There's just the small, teeny, tiny matter of the logo itself. Here's mine, familiar to those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter:
Coincidence? Probably. Let's just say that I kind of feel like how Spinal Tap must have felt when Metallica came out with a "none more black" album of their own in 1991.
In any event, Leblon has a few more things up its sleeve for 2012. In the meantime, look for Cedilla around the first quarter or so.