New push for pisco targets bartenders for original cocktails

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Leading bartender Chris Dennis is set to run bartender training and other activities as part of a new push for Chilean pisco El Gobernador in the UK on-trade.

It will help to drive distribution of the brand which was quietly introduced in the UK two years ago but is now set to grow through a partnership with premium spirits specialist Cask Liquid Marketing.

As brand ambassador, Chris will be helping to communicate the versatility of the spirit, promoting it for use in more than just a Pisco Sour. “It is light and fresh and clean and mixes well with anything on the lighter side such as stone fruits and pear, but it also goes well in more fiery drinks such as ginger,” he explained.

They will also be promoting the simple serve of an alternative to a gin and tonic, or Piston: a shot of pisco over ice with a can of tonic on the side.

Chris already has it in a drink on the menu at Disrepute, the bar he runs in Soho in London with Joseph St Clair-Ford and Barrio bars’ Ferdie Ahmed and Ani Kyriacou. The Juvenescent combines the Chilean pisco with English sparkling blanc de blanc wine and a Babycham reduction.

Other ideas were presented at this month’s launch event at Disrepute such as a Pisco Punch with El Gobernador, pineapple, lemon juice and Cordillera sparkling Chardonnay. The Apiscopalian mixed the pisco with Aperol, Merlet apricot liqueur and peach bitters, while the Tomaya combined El Gobernador with Merlet pear liqueur, dry vermouth and orange bitters. Another was the Doughboy Deluxe with pisco, Yellow Chartreuse, fresh ginger syrup, lemon juice and soda.

The pisco was launched by wine producer Miguel Torres Chile in 2014 as its first foray into spirits. It is made with a 50/50 blend of Muscatel of Alexandría and Rosé Muscatel grapes, grown in the Limarí valley to the north of Chile – an area renowned for calcium-rich soils that produce wines of higher acidity with a strong mineral character.

It is produced by a single distillation using a copper alembic still and rested for 60 days, giving it a more complex floral, mineral and flavourful character than less premium piscos.

The brand is named after Felipe Margutt Donaire, who helped fight for Chilean independence and was governor of Ovalle, the region of Chile where distilled spirits have been produced since the early 19th century.

The brand is already available through suppliers such as Enotria&Coe, Speciality Drinks and Venus.

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