The Spirit Of San Francisco Returns Thanks To Duggan McDonnell Of Cantina And The New Encanto Pisco

The spirit of San Francisco returns

You might call pisco San Francisco's most iconic spirit.

The City by the Bay has had a centuries-long history with the Peruvian grape brandy. It began when explorers and gold miners traveled around the tip of South America to get here, stopping in Peru to replenish supplies and pick up some pisco while they were there.

Now, Cantina owner Duggan McDonnell is restoring San Francisco's connection to the spirit with the brand-new Encanto Pisco.

Encanto, created by McDonnell along with sommelier Walter Moore and Peruvian master distiller Carlos Romero, is an acholado (blended) pisco distilled in Peru from aromatic and nonaromatic grapes. As a result, Encanto has both a lush body and a nuanced floral aroma.

Though the spirit hit San Francisco only last weekend, Encanto is already on the shelves in 30 bars, restaurants and liquor stores, including La Mar Cebichería Peruana, Taverna Aventine and The Jug Shop.

McDonnell notes that Encanto was designed to be cocktail-friendly, so it's an ideal base for such popular drinks as the Pisco Sour and the San Francisco-born Pisco Punch. It's also a fine substitute for vodka in drinks like the gimlet.

Or visit Cantina and have a cocktail with the guy who made it.

Cantina, 580 Sutter St. (at Mason St.), 415-398-0195 or; also available at Cask, 17 Third St. (at Market St.), 415-424-4844 or