Appetite: With Campo de Encanto, SF gets its own pisco

Pub date July 14, 2010
SectionFood & Drink

You might have heard? There’s a new pisco on the streets “for bartenders, by bartenders”: Encanto Pisco, created by Duggan McDonnell of Cantina, sommelier and spirits guru Walter Moore, and Peruvian master distiller Carlos Romero. Although an authentically Peruvian pisco (distilled — and already making waves — in Peru), it’s a homegrown San Francisco product, a labor of love from locals who know their spirits.

I had the privilege of tasting this acholado (blended) pisco before its release and now with the finished product, am delighted at how balanced it is: floral, with hints of citrus and white pepper. It stands up on its own, going down smoothly much as a brandy or eau-de-vie would, but also an ideal base for cocktails, with a large number of bars around town already stocking it. Alembic was the first to do so, it’s also at pisco havens La Mar Cebichería and Pisco Lounge, while Carlos Yturria showcased it with fig, sage and lemon at the inaugural Pickled, in Absinthe’s back room.

Campo de Encanto means ‘Field of Enchantment’, a romantic spirit evident in gorgeous, vintage-style bottling to the artisanal production of this grape brandy in the Ica Valley of Peru, combining three different grape varietals: Quebranta (76%), Torontel (6%), and Italia (18%). Encanto is sustainably harvested and distilled without preservatives, sugar or even a drop of water.

San Francisco has a rich history and love affair with pisco, inventing some of pisco’s greatest drinks like the Pisco Punch, so it seems fitting that we now have a pisco to call our own. And one of the finer, more approachable piscos at that.

You can purchase Encanto at stores like Cask or The Jug Shop