Hollywood film director Steven Soderbergh has put his faith in Bolivian grape spirit Singani 63, for which he has become the sole importer in the US.
The director, known for his diverse back catalogue including Sex, Lies & Videotape, Oceanâ€™s Eleven, Solaris and Magic Mike, first came across the spirit while filming Che with Benicio del Toro in Bolivia in 2008.
Singani 63 is made from Muscat of Alexandria grapes grown in high the Bolivian Andes. Distilled then aged in steel for six months, it retails for around $30 a bottle.
The story goes that the casting director gave Soderbergh a bottle on the first night of the shoot and he was impressed by the spiritâ€™s clean, aromatic, floral character.
â€śI could drink it on the rocks. It landed me in a place that felt really good and did so in pretty short order, and I also noticed, the next day, I felt fine,â€ť Soderbergh told Slate magazine.
On returning to the US, he sought out an import licence to bring the spirit to the US, initially for friends and family, importing his first 250 cases in 2012.
â€śI knew nothing about importing alcohol. I knew people who worked in bars,â€ť Soderbergh admitted to Wine Spectator.
Over the last three years Soderbergh has been growing the project and spreading the word of Singani 63 in the worldâ€™s top mixology markets. Soderbergh works with Casa Real distillery to produce the spirit, with â€ś63â€ť referring to his birth year.
Produced since the 16th century, Singani is the national drink of Bolivia and boasts a DO, though it remains little known outside of the county.