Singani: Savoring Bolivia’s Timeless Distillate
Introduction to Singani
Elegant, flavorful, and distinctively Bolivian, Singani captures the essence of its mountainous origins. This grape brandy, a hidden treasure of Latin America, promises an unparalleled tasting experience for those unacquainted with its charms.
Tracing Singani’s Roots
Singani’s legacy dates back to the 16th century when Jesuit missionaries introduced viticulture to Bolivia’s elevated valleys for religious ceremonies. Central to Singani’s creation is the “Moscatel de Alejandría” grape, an ancient Muscat variant celebrated for its nuanced flavors.
The distillate’s moniker, Singani, pays homage to its birthplace in Tarija valley’s Singani region. In 2019, Bolivia clinched the designation of origin (DO) recognition for Singani from the World Intellectual Property Organization.
A Sensory Experience
Crystal clear in appearance, Singani offers a rich tapestry of flavors. It enchants with floral undertones of rose and jasmine intertwined with fruity hints of peach and apricot. On the palate, it’s velvety and well-rounded, exuding a fresh vivacity stemming from its vinous roots.
This unique flavor profile owes its magic to the aromatic “Moscatel de Alejandría” grape combined with the pristine quality imparted by high-altitude distillation. This elevation ensures a gradual fermentation, preserving the grape’s innate aromas.
The Crafting of Singani
Singani’s journey commences with cultivating the Moscatel de Alejandría grape in Bolivia’s lofty valleys, situated over 1,600 meters above sea level. The region’s altitude, chill climate, and nutrient-sparse soils impart a distinct character to these grapes.
Post-harvest, the grapes undergo fermentation, transitioning into wine. This wine then sees distillation in copper stills, resulting in grape brandy. The distillation, conducted at reduced pressure, ensures the grape’s delicate aromas remain unscathed.
Unlike many spirits, Singani matures in stainless steel for a minimum of six months before bottling, ensuring the distillate’s inherent freshness remains undiminished. In this respect it is very similar to pisco.
Versatility in Culinary Adventures
Traditionally savored neat or as a cocktail foundation, Singani shines as the heart of Bolivia’s “Chuflay” cocktail, a zesty blend with ginger ale and a squeeze of lime juice.
In Bolivia it is used as a flavoring distillate, like Brandy: therefore it is excellent for flambéing, flavoring seafood, prawns, prawns and lobsters. You can use it to make fillet with green pepper or to flavor creams, cakes and fruit salads, but also with juices to make light, very summery cocktails. Thanks to the aromas and lightness of body, it adds an aromatic dimension to dishes, without ever being heavy or overpowering.