Manero

Singani: Ready for a Close-Up

By: Joel Marino

There’s a new spirit in town... relatively speaking.

Singani, a Bolivian drink similar to brandy, has technically been around since the days of the conquistadors, but it’s only just now starting to get the mixing-glass attention it deserves. Credit one man for this: Steve Soderbergh.

Yes, you read that right. Steve “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” Soderbergh. The Oscar-winning director has purportedly given up on Hollywood, choosing instead to focus on the precarious booze-importing business. As the story goes, the filmmaker was a vodka-on-the-rocks kind of guy until being introduced to the South American liquor while filming Che in 2007. Instantly hooked on the stuff, Soderbergh spent the next half decade (not to mention a considerable amount of his own fortune) hooking up with Bolivian distillers and overcoming a horde of regulatory obstacles to license his own brand of the hooch.

And thus was Singani 63 born. Though currently just available in select locations (most of them in New York), the Soderbergh-branded spirit has already made a splash in the industry—it won gold in the brandy category at last year’s International Craft Awards Competition and was recently the subject of a long feature on Slate.

Singani 63’s burgeoning popularity lies mostly in Soderbergh’s ad strategy. Taglines like “This &%#! will #&%! you up!” cut straight to the point: this colorless, grape-derived liquor is not to be messed with. Soft and smooth with a hint of fruity notes, the eau de vie is nonetheless bottled at 80 proof.

Meaning you’ll need just a few shots before busting out the Magic Mike impression.

LOGISTICS: Singani 63, available now in select locations

Joel Marino is a NYC-based freelance writer and editor who enjoys traveling and saying “I told you so” as much as possible. When not writing, he spends his time on a never-ending quest to find the perfect empanada.