Are you curious about the latest trend in alcoholic beverages?
You may have noticed a surge of products on the market that use “cold-brewed sugar” or “fermented cane sugar” as their alcohol base.
But what exactly is alcohol cane sugar, and why is it becoming so popular?
In this article, we’ll explore the origins and uses of sugar cane alcohol, its benefits over other types of alcohol, and its role in the booming hard seltzer industry.
So sit back, grab a drink (maybe even a hard seltzer!), and let’s dive into the world of alcohol cane sugar.
What Is Alcohol Cane Sugar?
Alcohol cane sugar, also known as sugar cane alcohol, is an alcohol made from the juice of the sugar cane plant. The process involves fermenting and distilling the juice to produce a high-proof alcohol that is almost completely odorless and tasteless. This makes it a versatile solvent that can be used in a wide range of applications, including making beverages, tinctures, edibles, sanitizers, and cosmetics.
One of the benefits of using sugar cane alcohol over other types of alcohol is its easy production process. Sugar cane is a resilient crop that can withstand drought, pests, and plants, making it a preferred choice for many farmers. Additionally, sugar cane produces double the amount of alcohol per acre compared to corn, making it more energy-efficient and cost-effective.
Another advantage of sugar cane alcohol is its environmental friendliness. To be certified as organic, both the cane sugar itself and the production methods used for distilling the alcohol must not result in pollutants that harm the environment. Conventional alcohol production can leave residues that infiltrate the soil, water, or air, but organic cane alcohol eliminates this concern.
The History Of Sugar Cane Alcohol
Sugar cane alcohol has a rich history that dates back centuries. It is believed to have originated in Asia, where sugar cane was first cultivated for its sweet juice. From there, the use of sugar cane spread to other parts of the world, including Africa and the Americas.
In the 16th century, Portuguese colonists brought sugar cane to Brazil from Madeira, where they had been producing aguardente de cana (sugar cane liquor) by distilling sugar cane juice. The pot stills used in Madeira were also brought to Brazil, where they were used to make cachaça, a primitive and rough spirit that is still popular in Brazil today.
In the Caribbean, sugar cane was introduced by Christopher Columbus on his second trip to America in 1493. Sugar production soon became successful, but unfortunately at the expense of large-scale slave labor from West Africa. Sugar cane was used not only for sugar production but also for making rum, which became a popular alcoholic beverage in the region.
The first distilled spirits were made on the island of Barbados, an English colony at the time. In the latter half of the 17th century, Père Labat perfected the distillation process by redistilling the alcohol a second time. This was when rum became a product in its own right, and sugar factories became equipped with distilleries. They distilled sugar cane wine, obtained by fermenting molasses or black treacle, the viscous residue of refining sugar cane.
In the late 19th century, the discovery of sugar beet led to a decline in sugar cane production, and some distilleries began distilling fermented sugar cane juice. However, regulations for rum production have remained strict and specific to sugar cane as the source material.
Today, sugar cane alcohol is still widely used in many industries and applications. Its versatility and environmental friendliness make it a popular choice for those looking for a sustainable and effective solvent.
How Is Sugar Cane Alcohol Made?
The process of making sugar cane alcohol involves several steps, starting with the extraction of sugar-rich cane juice from the harvested cane stalks. The juice is then transported to a fermentation tank where yeast is added to initiate the fermentation process. During fermentation, the yeast digests the sucrose in the juice and converts it into ethanol and carbon dioxide. This results in a low ethanol content liquid called sugar cane wine or sugar cane beer, which typically ranges from 5-12% alcohol by weight.
After fermentation, the liquid is transferred to a distillation column where the ethanol is separated from the water and other impurities. The purity of ethanol can reach up to 92-95% during this process, but further water separation is required to obtain fuel-grade anhydrous ethanol.
To produce sugar cane vodka, a neutral spirit made from fermented sugar cane, water and yeast is distilled to an extremely high alcohol level of approximately 95% ABV. This is done using a process called rectification, which involves multiple distillations to remove any impurities and produce a pure, neutral spirit.
Sugar cane alcohol can also be made from cane syrup, which is created by boiling cane juice to remove some of its water content. This produces a thick, syrupy liquid that can be fermented and distilled to produce alcohol.
Benefits Of Sugar Cane Alcohol
Sugar cane alcohol offers several benefits, making it a popular choice in the health and wellness industry. One of the primary advantages of using sugar cane alcohol for extraction procedures is its high yield. This is because sugarcane ethanol is a polar solvent that can extract more plant material than other solvents. By adding dried plant biomass into this liquid, sieving the mixture, and enjoying the tincture’s healing benefits, customers can reap the full therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids, terpenes, and alkaloids.
In addition to its use in extraction procedures, sugar cane alcohol is also used to make organic alcoholic beverages. Organic sugarcane alcohol contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and protect the body from free radicals. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals that promote good health. Consuming organic sugarcane alcohol may help reduce cholesterol levels, improve blood flow to the heart, boost the immune system, and decrease the risk of certain types of cancer.
Another benefit of sugar cane alcohol is its versatility. It can be used in a wide range of applications, including making vinegar, sanitizers, and cosmetics. Sugar cane alcohol is also an excellent option for those who are gluten-free or have celiac’s disease. Unlike grain alcohol, which contains gluten, sugar cane alcohol is a gluten-free alternative that sits better with many people’s ethics and preferences.
Finally, sugar cane alcohol is an environmentally friendly option that supports sustainable farming practices. The production methods used for distilling the alcohol must not result in pollutants that harm the environment. By choosing organic sugar cane alcohol over conventional alcohol, you can support sustainable farming practices while enjoying the many benefits that this versatile solvent has to offer.
Sugar Cane Alcohol Vs. Other Types Of Alcohol
Sugar cane alcohol differs from other types of alcohol in several ways. For one, it is made from a plant source rather than grains or fruits. This makes it a suitable option for those with allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients. Additionally, sugar cane alcohol has a neutral flavor profile, making it ideal for use in cocktails and other beverages where the flavor of the alcohol should not overpower other ingredients.
Compared to other types of alcohol, sugar cane alcohol has a higher purity level after distillation. This means that it requires less processing to achieve a high-proof alcohol, making it more energy-efficient and cost-effective. Additionally, sugar cane alcohol has a lower carbon footprint compared to other types of alcohol since the production process requires less energy and resources.
Another advantage of sugar cane alcohol is its versatility in various applications. It can be used as a base ingredient for rum, cachaca, vodka, and many different liqueurs. It is also utilized in the production of vinegar and as a solvent for flavoring. Sugar cane alcohol can also be used as a preservative for a variety of products.
The Rise Of Hard Seltzers: How Sugar Cane Alcohol Is Changing The Game
In recent years, sugar cane alcohol has become a popular ingredient in the production of hard seltzers. Hard seltzers are carbonated water beverages that contain alcohol and fruit flavoring. They have become increasingly popular among health-conscious consumers looking for low-calorie, low-sugar, and gluten-free alcoholic options.
Most hard seltzers on the market today use fermented cane sugar as their primary alcohol source. The sugar is mixed with warm water to create a sugar wash, which is then pitched with yeast to begin fermentation. The yeast metabolizes the sugars and produces alcohol. This process results in a neutral-tasting alcohol that can be easily mixed with fruit flavorings to create a variety of flavors.
The popularity of hard seltzers has exploded in recent years, with sales skyrocketing and new brands entering the market regularly. In 2019, the hard seltzer market was valued at $2.5 billion, and it is projected to reach $14.5 billion by 2027.
One of the reasons for the popularity of hard seltzers is their perceived health benefits. Most hard seltzers are low in calories and sugar, making them an attractive option for those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, many hard seltzer brands market themselves as being gluten-free, which is a selling point for those with gluten sensitivities.
The use of sugar cane alcohol in hard seltzer production has also made it easier for consumers to find these beverages. Hard seltzers can be found in most places where beer is sold, including grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations.
The Future Of Sugar Cane Alcohol In The Beverage Industry
The beverage industry is constantly evolving, and sugar cane alcohol is becoming a popular ingredient in many alcoholic beverages. With its neutral taste and odorless properties, sugar cane alcohol can be easily blended with other ingredients to create unique and flavorful drinks. In fact, sugar cane alcohol is already a key ingredient in many popular alcoholic beverages such as rum and cachaça.
As consumers become more health-conscious, there is a growing demand for organic and natural ingredients in food and beverages. Sugar cane alcohol, being an organic and environmentally friendly option, is well-positioned to meet this demand. The Better Sugar Cane Initiative (BSI), now known as Bonsucro, seeks to reduce the social and environmental impact of sugarcane production by establishing global standards to certify sustainable production. The certification of sugarcane as organic by Bonsucro has already been used by The Coca-Cola Company to purchase certified sugarcane from a Raízen mill in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In addition to being a popular ingredient in alcoholic beverages, sugar cane alcohol is also used in the production of non-alcoholic beverages such as energy drinks and soft drinks. As the demand for organic and natural ingredients continues to grow, it is likely that sugar cane alcohol will become an even more popular ingredient in the beverage industry.