Singani

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Singani is a drink which is derived from grapes which are not quite destined for wine.  It comes from the region of Tarija and is the key ingredient in a drink called a “Surefly,” when mixed with Sprite and a dash of lemon.

The origin of the Surefly, as legend has it, invovles a British train conductor (or airline pilot, we’ve heard two versions but the drunk train conductor seems more viable) who ran out of whiskey in Tarija while making his routine overland trek across Bolivia.

Desperate for a drink, the his local colleagues provided him with a bottle of Singani, which he mixed in the same manner which he normally took his whiskey during his night run.

The next morning, to his delight, he discovered the greatest side effect of Singani, that being the absense of hangover symptoms.

This revelation caused him to spread the word that his new elixir was a “Surefly.”

This smooth liquor is unique to Tarija and is one of Bolivia’s countless unique gastronomical treasures.

2 thoughts on “Singani”

  1. The “surefly” story is quite apocryphal, gaining currency mainly by repetition. There actually is no cocktail in Bolivia with this name. There is however the “chuflay” which best evidence suggests is a mispronunciation of the railroad term “shoofly”, referring to a short length of railroad track that serves as a workaround in difficult terrain. The key reference is “El Diccionario de Bolivianismos” by Bolivian author Nicolas Fernandez Naranjo. Also, Singani is not generally made from grapes “not quite destined for wine”, but rather from specially cultivated high-altitude strains of Muscat alexandrii selected for their high aromatic content, a signature of Singani. The strains are encoded in law as Singani is both a certified Domain of Origin and a Geographical Indication, both pedigrees on file in the WIPO database in Lisbon. Those interested in Singani may wish to see http://www.SinganiUSA.com for additional information.

    1. Thanks for checking us out and clearing this up. The story came to us in Cochabamba over a few chuflays and I knew there had to be a more accurate account.

      Do you visit Tarija often? Great Singani site and I must say you are doing a great service by importing Singani.

      Thanks again and all the best,
      Sil