A Conversation with Duggan McDonnell about the Pisco Punch, the Cocktail of San Francisco

The Pisco Punch at Cantina, San Francisco

The Pisco Punch at Cantina, San Francisco

San Francisco has attracted travelers and fortune seekers to the West Coast since the Gold Rush Days, a time when one of its most notorious neighborhoods was known as the Barbary Coast. At its border, in the heart of the City’s financial center is where the most important cocktail in San Francisco’s history was born, the Pisco Punch, at the Bank Exchange Saloon. You might think, then, that the Pisco Punch is the official cocktail of the City, but it isn’t. Not yet. Not because it lost out to the Martinez or to Boothby’s Manhattan, but because  in spite of San Francisco being a renowned culinary destination, it does not yet have an official cocktail. But that is about to change, and in this conversation with Duggan McDonnell, Barman and Founder of Campo de Encanto Pisco, Pisco Trail learned about his campaign to make the Pisco Punch the official cocktail of San Francisco.
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5 Pisco Sours for Peruvian Independence Day

5 Pisco Sours: Classic, Orange Marmalade, Habanero, Yerba Mate, Mardi Gras

5 Pisco Sours: Classic, Orange Marmalade, Habanero, Yerba Mate, Mardi Gras

Today more than ever, Peruvian Pisco has truly gone global as more and more bars around the world are including a Pisco drink on their cocktail program. And this Monday July 28, many of these bars from Lima, to Buenos Aires, to Mexico City, to San Francisco, to New York, to London, and New Orleans will be serving their take on the National Drink of Peru — the Classic Pisco Sour. To join in the celebration of Peruvian Independence Day and to celebrate the international appeal of the oldest distilled spirit in the Americas, let’s take a trip around the globe with these 5 Pisco Sour variations that you can make at home.
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May 30: Spring Pop-up Dinner at 18 Reasons

Seco de Cordero — Peruvian Lamb Stew

Seco de Cordero — Peruvian Lamb Stew

Join me for Pisco Trail’s next Pop-up Dinner at 18 Reasons on Friday May 30 at 6:30 PM.

The Peruvian flavors of Spring will feature a Seco de Cordero lamb stew with steamed rice, frejoles, and a seasonal salad, served with wine and beer:

There are only 25 seats available, so get your tickets here →





NOMADgardens: An Urban Oasis in SF

NOMADgardens Launch in Mission Bay

NOMADgardens Launch in Mission Bay

Last Saturday, I woke up excited for the day’s pop-up. No, I wasn’t cooking dinner at 18 Reasons, for a change, I was attending an event that had been in the making for over 3 years — the opening of NOMADgardens in Mission Bay. Why was I excited? Simple, as a cook, I have a profound appreciation for farmers, for those who cultivate land, grow crops, and care for animals that all become part of our meals. Here, in San Francisco, one group was creating a garden for people to grow their own food, that would also be a space for building community through events and workshops — a real urban oasis.
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Flavors of Peru Class at 18 Reasons

Flavors of Peru Class at 18 Reasons

Flavors of Peru Class at 18 Reasons

There is a saying about teaching a man to fish that I’ll re-interpret as follows:

Give a woman a fish, and you’ll feed her for day. Teach her to cook a fish using the flavors of Peru, and she’ll be a fan of Peruvian cuisine for a lifetime.

Now, that could’ve been our saying at 18 Reasons last week where a group of 12 students came eager to learn about the Flavors of Peru, and left true fans of seafood and dessert dishes that were spicy, citrusy, colorful, and sweet — all of which they prepared in the span of 2 hours before sitting down and enjoying a well deserved dinner.
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