THIRD-generation Maroochy River cane farmer Gordon Oakes reckons a Brazilian inspired, locally produced spirit is helping turn his cane crop into liquid gold.
Distilled by Sunshine & Sons at Woombye, production of the juice based spirit Original Cane had grown 10-fold in the past six months. 5000 bottles of the spirit have already been bottled, with more to come once the 2022 cane harvest kicks off.
"A unique spirit like this provides an opportunity for the entire industry," Mr Oakes said.
"This season we're expecting to harvest a bumper crop that will quite possibly make its way to Brazil given the international interest.
"My sugar cane is quite literally producing liquid gold."
Afro/Samba Brazilian dance teacher Gianne Abbott agreed.
"I'm so impressed with Original Cane, it tastes just like our Brazilian drink from home, or even better, I just love the sweetness of it," Ms Abbott said.
"We are very fortunate to have plenty of Brazilian events and parties around Australia and now that our national drink is being made right here it will feel even more like home."
Sunshine & Sons' founder Matt Hobson said Original Cane was inspired by Latin America's biggest selling spirit - Cachaca.
Mr Hobson and his team make the cane spirit using traditional batch pot distillation methods, which created richer, more authentic flavours.
"It's a spicy, sweet, clear liquor which is double distilled using super high-quality wild fermented sugarcane juice," he said.
"We have gone to great lengths to source the sweetest fresh cane juice and it's grown here on the Sunshine Coast.
"We use wild yeast which allows the sugar cane to shine through in the finished spirit."
Already a hit with Australia's Brazilian community, Australia's version of Brazil's most popular drink is on its way to Rio, well in time for Carnivale in February.
"Our climate and conditions are similar to South America's, which means that both are conducive to producing high quality sugar cane and cane-based spirits," Mr Hobson said.
For a taste of Sunshine & Sons' Original Cane go online, head to the distillery at Woombye, or selected Dan Murphy's outlets.
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