The sommelier travels throughout the country hunting for new flavours of local distilled spirits
Some people use the word “cachaceiro” (literally the one who drinks cachaça) in a negative way, meaning a person who drinks too much. But for Isadora Bello, 32, this word has another meaning: she is really passionate about cachaça. So passionate that she gave up a career in advertising to work with the spirit.
With a degree in advertising, Isadora returned from a trip to Africa determined to have a profession that could make a difference and leave a legacy. “Cachaça symbolises the relationship Brazil has with itself. It reflects how Brazilians deal with their wealth – that although complex and deep, are full of stories that form the mixture that unite us. And people deny it because it is a local product. That’s why I decided to go deep into this subject”, says Isadora, who was introduced to the spirit by her father, when she was still a teenager.
Already out of the advertising market, she went to work as a waitress and discovered another passion: to serve the public. “Brazilians like fermented spirits such as beer and wine. It is a challenge to bring attention to the distilled ones”, she says. Isadora wanted to spread her knowledge and inspire people through cachaça. “Distilled drinks are gaining more and more space and it is a promising market in Brazil”, she explains.
One of the tasks of being a distilled spirits sommelier is to travel a lot throughout Brazil to get to know new producers and flavours. “Brazilian producers are very creative. Our flora is very rich and bold combinations help bring new paths for these businesses”, says Isadora, who explains that each region has its own flavour. “Among cachaceiros we joke that each region of Brazil has its own smell. In Paraty, Rio de Janeiro, the spirit has a brackish background, because the region is close to the sea. In Paraíba, it smells a bit more like animals. In the South region, for instance, the cachaças are softer, lighter and sweeter. Each place has its way to combine the spirit, its own cultural habits that match the local cachaça they drink”, she says.
We always say that Brazil is full of flavours. This is also true when it comes to distilled spirits.