Steven Soderbergh’s career is a perfect example of doing more mainstream work to pay the bills and using those resources to focus on more passion-based projects. Academy Award winning Erin Brockovich allows for projects like Solaris. Oscar-toting Traffic makes it possible to make the scriptless, actor-less Bubble. Passion projects can also extend beyond the medium of film. All of Soderbergh’s cinematic wins, all of the acclaim, all the golden awards, all of the George Clooney and Matt Damon text messages make Singani 63 possible. Yup, he makes blockbusters, no-budget indies and a very specific type of Bolivian-born booze.
Singani 63, is working on bringing a spirit called singani to a broader audience and spreading its gospel stateside. With roots as far back as 1530, this clear Bolivian brandy’s closest touchstone is pisco. While both spirits hail from South America, piscos are produced in Peru & Chile from multiple varieties of grapes, but singani is solely made in Bolivia and distilled from a single type of grape called Muscat of Alexandria.
Perhaps fans of Behind the Candelabra or the MMA-tastic Haywire can get behind the spirit’s alluring floral bouquet and incorporate it into their home liquor cabinet. I’m wary of celebrity alcohol (all due respect to Mr. Aykroyd and Mr. DeVito) but Soderbergh really is a bona fide steward of this whole project, not just a big name spokesman. It’s respectable that Soderbergh’s not just cashing a check here; he loves this stuff and is putting his money where his mouth is. He also avoids the gimmick of a “whacky” shaped bottle (see: crystal skulls).
The current issue of Draft Magazine sheds some light onto the struggles Soderbergh and his Singani 63 team are having with the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The TTB is currently not recognizing the spirit as its own unique category and is instead lumping it in with brandy. Singani 63 has petitioned to change the classification to help Americans avoid confusion about the product and hopefully, in the next year, their territory where they sell it will expand.
Anyone tried this booze in their area? Any other product endorsements you’d like to see from Steven Soderbergh? Let us know in the comments below!