He’s the force behind Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Magic Mike and more, and now director-producer Steven Soderbergh is navigating the bar business with his newfound love, Singani 63, a shimmering spirit made from the Muscat of Alexandria grape that’s grown at a cruel 5,250 feet in the Bolivian Andes. We caught up over Singani 63 cocktails at downtown speakeasy Room 56.
Tell us about Singani 63.
STEVEN SODERBERGH: Ultimately, it’s the story of a surprise divorce. I’d been in a very long-term relationship with vodka that I didn’t anticipate would end. We were both very happy, but quite unexpectedly, I was introduced to singani at a party. This is why you should stay home if you don’t want your life to change. The good news is that I didn’t draw it out or pretend I wanted to stay in the relationship. I came clean immediately and decided singani was my new desert island spirit.
SS: Floral, herbaceous, complex. There’s a peppery quality like agave, notes of elderflower, orange blossom and rose. Its finish is remarkably smooth.
How you prefer it?
SS: On the rocks.
What’s unique about it?
SS: There’s only one place in the world you can source it. And the legacy of this Bolivian spirit goes back almost 500 years.
Its greatest gift?
SS: Spirits are a form of transportation and time travel. That’s what’s fun about them. You taste a spirit from a certain part of the world and you feel somehow that you are there.
SS: Don Lucho, our luxury brand. A triple-distilled, bottle-service, sipping singani. It’s ridiculously good.
Are you hoping for a Casamigos-type fairy-tale ending?
SS: My goal here is not to get bought out, but to get to a place where it becomes a sustainable business and Singani 63 is accepted and acknowledged as a new base spirit.