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Where to Drink Singani, A Bolivian Spirit New to DC

This spirit is new to the city and popping up on D.C. bar menus.

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There's a new spirit sweeping across D.C., and a lot of bars and restaurants are starting to take notice. That spirit is Singani, a traditional Bolivian alcohol, which has a light, floral taste and is relatively easy in drinkability compared to other popular spirits, like whiskey or gin.

Singani is new to D.C. but it's actually a very traditional Bolivian spirit that's been produced for about 500 years in the Andes Valley region. It's often considered the national drink of choice for Bolivians, and it comes from the Muscat of Alexandria grapes, grown in higher elevations, some 6,000 ft. above sea level.

"Singani is pretty simple. It involves no other ingredients. It’s just a distilled grape," says Ramon Escobar, the founder of Chufly Imports, who imports a particular brand of Singani to Washington D.C., known as Rujero. "The grapes are not particularly bold or unique, but when they're grown at that high elevation, the flavor of the grape changes. It helps to produce a floral and aromatic taste."

Singani was originally born from the Spanish conquest. Jesuit monasteries in Bolivia kept vineyards, where the grape was grown. Winemaking eventually turned into distilling, and now several hundred years later bodegas are still producing the spirit, some from the same grapevines. Escobar says the fermentation process only takes a few weeks to produce Singani.

"This spirit has a special place in a lot of peoples’ hearts," Escobar says. "This is not a mass produced spirit, and it's relatively hard to find in the United States. Bolivians love it and people in D.C. are starting to take notice too."

For Escobar, the drink resonates with his family and heritage. His father hails from Bolivia, and right now Escobar is working with Bolivian families to produce textile bags that act as carrying cases for the bottle.

"The first alcohol I had was [Singani] Rujero," Escobar says. "This is one of those products that Bolivians can be proud of, and one that bartenders in D.C. are gravitating towards."

There are more than a dozen bars in D.C. that carry the spirit. You can also find the Singani for sale in a few specialty liquor stores. This Eater map identifies just a few of the bars putting their own spin on the spirit with unique cocktails.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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A & D Neighborhood Bar

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A&D fixes Singani in a special Sazerac cocktail that can be ordered on request.

Batch 13

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Batch 13 is one of the more reliable liquor stores in town selling Singani Rujero. Bottles retail for $35.

BOURBON STEAK DC

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The Bolvianita is a Singani‬ cocktail with celery bitters, turmeric, white grape juice, and lime juice.

Compass Rose

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At Compass Rose, Singani is being used in a cocktail called "From the Andes to the Amazon." The drink is a mix of Rujero, Lillet Blank and Dolin Vermouth.

Dram and Grain

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Meanwhile, beneath Jack Rose at the basement bar, Dram & Grain, Singani is being used to make a boozy cocktail with sherry, Leopold, Madeira, and bitters.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

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At Jack Rose, Singani adds a twist to a classic cocktail, The Bolivardier with Campari, Carpano Antica, and orange bitters.

Lupo Verde

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Lupo Verde takes Singani and fashions it into a Negroni.

Marvin mixes singani into a cocktail with peach-cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, and apple bitters.

McClellan's Retreat

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Singani cocktails can be made on request at McClellan's Retreat. The bar recently used the spirit in their Trinidad Sour.

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

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Ask for the Rujero Sour at Oyamel. The cocktail features singani, egg white, lime, and cardamon bitters.

The "Singani Bol" mixes singani with Cardamaro, Averna, simple syrup, andAngostura bitters.

Slipstream

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SlipstreamSlipstream offers three different Singani Rujero cocktails, and the bar serves a standing happy hour drink, called "The Bolivian," with Singani, lavender bitters, lemon, and soda water for $7

The Gibson

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The Gibson was one of the first bars in DC to get its hand on Singani Rujero. Their "Door to the Left" cocktail features Singani with sherry, grappa, and Benedictine.

Tico DC

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Tico slings a variety of Singani cocktails, including a Rujero punch.

A & D Neighborhood Bar

A&D fixes Singani in a special Sazerac cocktail that can be ordered on request.

Batch 13

Batch 13 is one of the more reliable liquor stores in town selling Singani Rujero. Bottles retail for $35.

BOURBON STEAK DC

The Bolvianita is a Singani‬ cocktail with celery bitters, turmeric, white grape juice, and lime juice.

Compass Rose

At Compass Rose, Singani is being used in a cocktail called "From the Andes to the Amazon." The drink is a mix of Rujero, Lillet Blank and Dolin Vermouth.

Dram and Grain

Meanwhile, beneath Jack Rose at the basement bar, Dram & Grain, Singani is being used to make a boozy cocktail with sherry, Leopold, Madeira, and bitters.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

At Jack Rose, Singani adds a twist to a classic cocktail, The Bolivardier with Campari, Carpano Antica, and orange bitters.

Lupo Verde

Lupo Verde takes Singani and fashions it into a Negroni.

Marvin

Marvin mixes singani into a cocktail with peach-cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, and apple bitters.

McClellan's Retreat

Singani cocktails can be made on request at McClellan's Retreat. The bar recently used the spirit in their Trinidad Sour.

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

Ask for the Rujero Sour at Oyamel. The cocktail features singani, egg white, lime, and cardamon bitters.

Quill

The "Singani Bol" mixes singani with Cardamaro, Averna, simple syrup, andAngostura bitters.

Slipstream

SlipstreamSlipstream offers three different Singani Rujero cocktails, and the bar serves a standing happy hour drink, called "The Bolivian," with Singani, lavender bitters, lemon, and soda water for $7

The Gibson

The Gibson was one of the first bars in DC to get its hand on Singani Rujero. Their "Door to the Left" cocktail features Singani with sherry, grappa, and Benedictine.