Thursday night I went to night school — a special session of Cocktail College at Bar Adagio featuring Encanto Pisco. And make no mistake about it, we were there to learn. Not just about the history of the first spirit distilled in the Americas but also to get hands-one experience by making our own cocktails after a demo by Bar Adagio’s Mixologist.
Being a keen student, I showed up early and sat in the front row of the classroom. Of course, all the students were welcomed with a shot glass of pure Pisco, and for some it would be their first taste. Others were year-long veterans of the Cocktail College, and I was excited to join them for this special session.
The folks from Encanto Pisco, fresh from a recent trip to the Ica Valley to make more Pisco, handed out class notes and lead a discussion about the history of Pisco. But they also encouraged us to describe what we were tasting — a blended “Acholado” grape that has the memory of the land it came from, and a true sense of place, all of which give it the purest of tastes.
Bar Adagio’s Mixologist, armed with Pisco, limes, lemons, sugar, pickled plums, ginger, ice, orange juice, bitter, and shakers, demoed how to make 3 different Pisco cocktails — the classic Pisco Sour, The Gilligan, and Tea for Two. And everyone jumped at the chance to make their own cocktails and get one on one advice from the mixologist.
It was great to meet other like-minded cocktail students, to chat with the mixologist, and to catch up with the folk at Encanto Pisco. I was also happy that events like Cocktail College are contributing to the Pisco renaissance here in San Francisco. Now, I have to get back to my homework assignment and make some more cocktails before the next session, ¡salud!