The Reverse Capitan

The Reverse Capitan

The Reverse Capitan

Presenting, The Reverse Capitan — a modern cocktail inspired by the traditional Capitan and the classic Manhattan, made using the sous vide technique to infuse the Pisco with orange and spices.

This cocktail is dedicated to the person who only a few weeks ago sent me an article on sous vide cocktails and opened the doors to a world that is exciting, modern, and spirited. Since then, I have spent countless hours in my Pisco Lab tasting different vermouths, experimenting with different sous vide Pisco infusions, and playing with different ratios.

The goal was to make a spirited cocktail, perhaps like El Capitan, an equal parts Pisco and Vermouth cocktail that was popular during the cold winters in the Lima of yesteryear. But it’s impossible to make a Capitan and not think of the Manhattan, and with those two cocktails in mind I must have made at least 26 different variations. All documented in my Pisco Lab notebook.

But when I made this version, I stopped. Drank it all, and made it again to make sure I wasn’t imagining it. And somewhere between the second and third glass I closed my eyes and saw that the this was the cocktail that a character in a Mario Vargas Llosa novel was drinking during a magical realism journey down a river that flowed the wrong way and took you to places that you had only dreamed of.

  • 2 oz. Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
  • 3/4 oz. Encanto Pisco Acholado infused with orange
  • 1/4 oz. Encanto Pisco Acholado infused with cloves and star anise
  • 2 drops Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Chuncho bitters
  • an expressed orange peel

Combine the Pisco, Vermouth, and bitters in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill. Served strained in a rocks glass with ice and garnish with an expressed orange peel.


1 serving


To make the Pisco infusions, I used a Sansaire sous vide machine and two jars, each filled to the brim with 1 cup of Pisco Encanto Acholado. One jar had an orange peel, and the other jar had 1 clove and 1 star anise. The jars were sealed and submerged in a water bath at room temperature, and the target temperature was set to 75°C. Once the target temperature was reached, I let the Pisco infuse for 1 hour. After removing the jars from the bath, and letting cool, the Pisco was strained and put in airtight jars.