October 16/New York/PRNewswire -- Leblon, a luxury spirit from Brazil and the most award-winning cachaca on the market, announced today that Bacardi has become an investor in the company.

Leblon is an ultra-premium cachaca, the national spirit of Brazil and the key ingredient in the Caipirinha cocktail -- a mixture of fresh lime, sugar, and Leblon. The recipient of many awards, including the 'Top Cachaca' Double Gold Medal at the 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the Gold Medal for taste in the prestigious Beverage Testing Institute's (BTI) International Review of Spirits, Leblon is the first ultra-premium cachaca to be available in all fifty states, including top restaurants and bars in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, and internationally in London and Paris.

"Cachaca is the third most consumed spirit in the world, and the Caipirinha has now become a standard cocktail in the United States and around the world," said Steve Luttmann, president and ceo of Leblon. "With Bacardi's involvement as a strategic partner and investor in our company, Leblon Cachaca will be able to lead the Caipirinha trend in the U.S. and around the world."

"Bacardi's investment in Leblon shows our group's desire to develop and grow new opportunities in the premium and super premium spirits segments," said John Esposito, president and CEO of Bacardi U.S.A. "With Leblon, Bacardi has found a brand that reflects the quality and luxury that our group is known for and we look forward to a successful relationship as the brand continues to grow."

Leblon stands out amongst other cachacas in the market because of its unique distillation and finishing process -- the spirit is made from fresh pressed Brazilian sugar cane that is then rested in cognac casks to create superior complexity and taste. Leblon was created by Brazilian entrepreneur Roberto Stoll Nogueira and launched in the U.S. and Europe by Steve Luttmann and Gerard Schweitzer.

From the October 22, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash