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New ultra-premium cachaça from Ambrabev

Espirito XVI Cachaça is a new ultra-premium expression of the Brazilian spirit, which is being introduced by Ambrabev of Danville, Kentucky in four major US markets.

Cachaça is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Brazil and the third most consumed in the world behind vodka and soju. Handcrafted in small batches, Espirito XVI is distilled from freshly pressed Brazilian sugar cane blended with naturally filtered and de-mineralized spring water from the mountain of Rio de Janeiro.

To capture the refined and sophisticated nature of this cachaça, Ambrabev sought global packaging specialists Saxco International to assist with the design of the Espirito XVI bottle and its related packaging elements. 

“We wanted to help create a beautiful package that would honour and showcase the exceptional nature of the Espirito XVI Premium Cachaça brand, while ensuring it would be highly functional and present notable shelf prominence for consumers,” states Jimmy Owens, new product representative and category manager for craft spirits for Saxco International.

Owens worked closely with veteran graphics designer Jeff Ruth, of Shatterbox Studios in Lexington, Kentucky and business consultant Scott Schiller, of Thoroughbred Spirits Group, located just outside Chicago, to help manage the overall inspiration and design of the project. Owens says that both were instrumental in bringing the new product to market and ensuring that Ambrabev would be able to introduce this highly anticipated product in its ideal package. 

Moving ahead with the project, Owens sourced and supplied a high quality 750 ML cylindrical bottle made by Piramal Glass, of Park Hills, Missouri, which perfectly suits the luxury nature of the brand. With round shoulders and a long neck the bottle also ensures easy pouring for both consumers and bartenders.

The bottles were sent to Serigraphie-Richford, of Quebec, Canada for spray frosting and a five-colour screen printing process that depicts the Espirito XVI Cachaça logo and the iconic mosaic pattern that covers the sidewalks of Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  In order to achieve the precise look and feel of what the client wanted, Owens worked through a multi- phased evolutionary processes with the Amrabev designers.  

The bottles were capped with a sleek silver aluminum tee-top custom-fitted cork from Tapi, of Norristown, PA, where were over-fitted with a clear PVC Cap-A sleeve from Maverick Packaging, of Ukiah, CA. The customer supplied the custom-designed black strip stamp over the PVC sleeve.

“It was important for us to design something that would project the same aura of authenticity and nuanced sophistication expressed by our cachaça.  Every design element, from the iconic Ipanema mosaic pattern to the intricate XVI emblem, serves a specific purpose and is part of a greater narrative about Brazilian spirits, cocktails and culture,” explains Zachary Baeker, co-founder of Ambrabev.

“Espirito XVI is targeted at the sophisticated and cultured consumer who understands the importance of style and quality in a luxury product. This consumer is someone who is well-educated and open to new exciting new experiences in cocktails, cuisines, arts, and travel.”

It is 40%ABV and 80-proof with an RRP of US$32.99 for a 75cl bottle. It is currently being introduced in Florida, South Carolina, Indiana and Kentucky with additional markets rolling out in the coming year.

5 January 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor