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Singani 63 Bolivian Brandy

Steven Soderbergh's non-filmic project, a 500-year-old muscat of Alexandria distillate

by David Graver
on 17 July 2015

For those of us forever on the quest to imbibe rare or regional spirits, acclaimed filmmaker Steven Soderbergh is making the crusade a bit easier. While filming "Che" in Bolivia, Soderbergh became acquainted with their locally produced pisco-like product singani—which also happens to be their national drink. The result is Singani 63, an herbaceous white liquor distilled from a single grape varietal—the muscat of Alexandria. In order to even be called singani, the grapes must be grown at a minimum altitude of 5,250 feet, and, much like champagne, must hail from a specific region—in this instance, within the historic confines outlined for the production of singani in the Andes Mountains.

In essence, Singani 63 is an 80 proof Bolivian brandy. Florals and a delicate sweetness complement the herbal notes. It's exceptionally smooth and burn-free, making it ideal for sipping neat or on the rocks. Its characteristics, however, also make it a potential substitute for gin or tequila in mixed drinks—though the Singani 63 team provides a list of their own cocktails online. The history of singani is also impressive, being the result of Spanish missionaries bringing the grapes over to Bolivia, along with a distillation process that's been almost unchanged since 1530.

Singani 63 is available through select retailers across the US, with further distribution planned in the coming months. It can also be purchased through the Minibar app for $30.

Images by Cool Hunting

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