Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir garlic and bay leaves until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir tomatoes and rice into garlic mixture. Pour hot water over rice mixture and season with salt; cover saucepan.
Cook rice mixture until rice is partially cooked and beginning to absorb the liquid, about 10 minutes. Add cachaca and continue cooking until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes more.