“People travel and experience new food and drinks [all the time], but they don’t always decide to become importers,” jokes producer/director/cinematographer Steven Soderbergh, alluding to his newest venture, Singani 63—a Bolivian spirit he recently bottled and brought stateside. “If the 5½ months I was shooting Che [in Bolivia] hadn’t involved drinking Singani every night, I’m not sure I would have made the decision to bring it to the United States,” explains Soderbergh. “Over a long period of time, [I] got so used to the spirit and so enamored by it…to the point that my crazy idea [to import it] began to sound not so crazy.”
This oral alcohol, which is native to Bolivia, is considered a not-so-distant relative of pisco and can be served in a variety of ways, from neat and on the rocks to mixed in a cocktail. “When I first tried Singani, it was like nothing I had ever tasted. I consider myself somewhat of a professional drinker, and I hadn’t ever experienced the combination of this bouquet, smoothness and [high] alcohol content,” says the creative. “And once I brought it [home], I began to discover its versatility.”
While Soderbergh is looking to garner “box office success” for Singani 63, he’s doing so at a reasonable pace. “My ultimate goal for the brand is to not be bought out—I want to turn Singani 63 into a sustainable business,” he says. We’ll drink to that.
$30, K&L Wine Merchants, 3005 El Camino Real, Redwood City.
Originally published in the May/June issue of Silicon Valley