Catching Up With Singani 63
One of the coolest things about having done the Drinking to Drink Interviews over the past year or so is that just about every participant has kept in touch since. They'll drop me a line every now and again, or reach out when they're coming into town. In the case of Steven Soderbergh, we've kept in touch pretty regularly via email since first meeting back in 2014. I've been curious to know how his Singani 63 brand is developing, and he's always interested in bouncing an idea or two off this old retail-oriented brain. When he invited me to dinner last night I wasn't about to say no (even though I was still sorely suffering from a ten day Bordeaux hangover). I met Steven and some of his pals over at 1760 on Polk Street in San Francisco where the chef had prepared a little Singani 63 food and cocktail pairing. Now that it's been over a year since Singani 63 has been available in the California market, we're starting to see some serious creativity with the versatile spirit in the culinary scene. I was definitely curious to see the progress.
Snap pea cocktails seem to be all the rage right now! My friends over at Flea Street Cafe in Menlo Park have one on the menu, and to start off our voyage at 1760 the gang had prepared a similar concoction. You wouldn't necessarily think a pea cocktail would be delicious (especially because it sounds like pee), but it's quite wonderful. That fresh flavor balances beautifully with the fragrant flavors of Singani. I'm adding this one to my to-do list at home.
Each course was paired with a signature cocktail and I have to say I was quite impressed with the food over at 1760. These scallops were to die for, and the small plates we were treated to throughout the evening were all outstanding. The fennel and napa cabbage were the perfect side note to the snappy snap pea flavors. Cocktail pairing is definitely a thing.
Throughout the evening the restaurant made about six different Singani 63 cocktails and each of them was completely different from the next. "This is the exact type of presentation you need to be doing on a full time basis," I told Steven towards the end of the night. "It really hammers home how fun Singani is to use as a base spirit and the more people begin to understand how to use it, the more people you're going to have drinking this stuff."
But I think he already knows that.