When describing Pisco to consumers in the states, Catalina Bentz, founder of Catan Pisco compares the Chilean grape brandy to vodka and tequila offspring.
“If vodka and tequila had a baby,” the result would be Pisco. “Vodka is a clean, completely versatile spirit, while tequila offers a more complex and flavorful finish—just like our pisco,” describes Bentz, founder of Catan Pisco. Catan’s tall frosted glass bottle even aligns with premium vodkas familiar with American imbibers. Oppositely, the clear liquid imparts ripe melon and peaches, then shifts into soft floral aromas like magnolia and orange blossom, before a mellow finish enters (like tequila). A pleasant, lingering tangerine zest keeps you enticed in between sips.
“As soon as people try it, they’re shocked at how much they love it. The whiskey drinkers that only drink brown spirits are the ones [impressed] when they try Catan,” she smirks. “My favorite is a Pisco Paloma or a Catan & Tonic (called PisTon in Chile).”
She admits recipe development took sixteen months before debuting her craft brand. 100% organic Pedro Ximenez (PX) grapes are hand-picked from a fair-trade certified vineyard in Ovalle, Chile. “The [vineyard] location sits in a valley which allows natural irrigation from the Andes mountains providing amazing soil for our vines,” she explains. Through CATAN H2O, 1% of proceeds per purchased bottle are donated to fight the scarcity of water caused by droughts, agriculture emergencies, and privatization in Chile.
Meticulously double-distilled, the organic purities of the PX grapes yield a silky-smooth spirit. Later, the liquid undertakes steel tank aging reaching 40% ABV which determines its ‘Reserve style (according to Chile’s pisco classifications). “We hope that our next SKU will be a barrel-aged Grand Reserve at 45% ABV,” Bentz reveals.
Her pisco took home gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and ‘Best in Show San Diego Spirits Festival. “My discriminating palate [has] served me correctly, and since then, we continue to win golds and I couldn’t be more proud,” Bentz concludes.
- 1 ½ oz. of Catan Pisco
- ¾ oz. triple sec
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 1-2 oz. grapefruit juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
Preparation: Add all ingredients to the shaker, fill with ice and shake. Strain into a Collins glass and garnish with a grapefruit peel.