Friday, May 13, 2016

New Bolivian Booze's Popularity Soars in DC, Moves into MD/VA

From our friends at Chufly Imports...

Rujero Singani Brings Bolivian Booze and Traditions to Maryland and Virginia

Vermilion, Hank’s Pasta Bar in Northern VA and Bad Decisions in Baltimore among those joining The Gibson, Dram and Grain, Jack Rose and more than 50 locations in DC already featuring Rujero

Chufly Imports introduced Rujero singani - Bolivia’s national spirit - to the U.S. beverage market in April 2015, and today announced Rujero’s long-anticipated arrival to Maryland liquor and Virginia ABC stores and on the menus of several prominent restaurants in Northern Virginia and Baltimore. This latest move comes on the heels of a successful launch in Washington, DC, with Rujero now available in more than 50 of the most notable bars, restaurants, and liquor stores in the nation’s capital. Chufly Imports plans to expand Rujero’s distribution to additional cities including New York, Philadelphia, and Portland later this year.

Since breaking into the DC-bar scene, Rujero has been warmly received by many of the city’s most renowned and exclusive establishments including The Gibson, Dram and Grain, Bourbon SteakJack Rose, The Quill, and Compass Rose. The talented women and men behind these bars are mixing up creative new cocktails featuring Rujero, as well as introducing the spirit into classics like the Sazerac, Negroni, and Old Fashioned.

Trevor Frye, Head Bartender at DC’s Jack Rose Dining Saloon and Owner of Dram & Grain said this about Rujero: "The floral qualities of singani challenge the American palate because it is something we are not accustomed to. To me, that opens up endless possibilities and allows the opportunity for creativity.  I have had a lot of fun finding new ways to work Rujero into some of our featured cocktails and have also had a lot of positive feedback when substituting Rujero for gin in classic cocktails like a Negroni."

Vermilion Restaurant, a renowned establishment located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, VA and voted one of Virginia’s 50 Best Restaurants by Northern Virginia Magazine, was one of the first locations in Virginia to add Rujero to its bar menu. William Morris, Executive Chef at Vermilion and a fixture in Washington’s culinary scene said, “Rujero’s singani caught me off guard. Beautifully smooth and full flavored. I’m looking forward to pairing it with our food.”

The talented bartenders at the recently opened and highly anticipated Hank’s Pasta Bar, in Alexandria, VA have also taken note and now feature Rujero singani in their bar programNot to be left out of the mix, one of the most well-known and highly trafficked establishments in Baltimore, Bad Decisions, has also caught wind of the unique and attractive flavors of Rujero and currently features two Rujero-inspired signature drinks - Singani Sour and Bolivian Moonlight - on its spring cocktail menu. Baltimore-based retail locations Wine Underground, Spirits of Mount Vernon, The Wine Source and Canton Crossing Wine & Spirits are also offering Rujero to its customers.

Hailing from Bolivia's picturesque southern valleys, singani has been quietly distilled for nearly 500 years. The remarkably aromatic spirit is widely recognized by millions of Bolivians as the national spirit and has been consumed for centuries throughout this idyllic Andean country by its cheerful and warm people. What differentiates singani from other grape-based spirits like pisco, cognac or grappa is the extreme elevation of the vineyards and distilleries in Bolivia - Rujero’s centuries-old vineyard sits at approximately 6,900 feet above sea level. As a point of reference, Ica, Peru, home to many piscos, reaches only about 1,300 feet. At this extreme elevation, the very nature of the grape changes due to the intensity of the sun, resulting in a much more aromatic and flavorful grape.

Rujero is proud to be Bolivia's most authentic distillery, steeped in tradition. Its vineyard, among the oldest in the southern valleys of Tarija, Bolivia, was founded by Jesuits more than 200 years ago. Incredibly, the original grapevines are still thriving, growing alongside ancient peppercorn trees. Even the original buildings built by the Jesuits are still used today to craft Rujero’s trademark small-batch singani. The noble Muscat of Alexandria grape - the primary ingredient in singani - thrives in the singular terroir of Bolivia's high elevation valleys, yielding a complex, yet subtle bouquet of aromatic and floral notes. The resulting spirit is as diverse and beautiful in its taste as the land and country surrounding it.

“People often ask me to describe Rujero, which is difficult to do since it’s like nothing else,” said Ramon Escobar, founder of Chufly Imports. “But, the best description I’ve heard so far goes as follows: ‘if a fine tequila made love with a smooth pisco on a bed of rose petals, the baby would be Rujero.’ As someone who grew up with singani, I wanted to share this little-known spirit from my father’s country with the rest of the world. It has been amazing to see how well-received our singani has been in the DC area and we’re excited to introduce even more people to this really cool part of my culture.”

Escobar founded Chufly Imports with the mission of introducing the world to the high quality products and traditions unique to Bolivia, while giving back to the very people that produce them. Every bottle of premium Rujero singani that the company brings to the American market is crafted in Bolivia and benefits dozens of families. In fact, as a general rule of thumb, every hectare of grapevines planted in Bolivia lifts a family out of extreme poverty. Every step of the process is done by Bolivians - from the harvest and fermentation, to the distillation, bottling and labeling.

Join Chufly Imports in sparking a singani revolution that brings a new staple to liquor cabinets across the country, while also bringing new economic opportunities to this remarkable Andean nation.

Additional information on Chufly Imports can be found online at To learn more about Rujero singani and for locations where it is available, visit

Chufly Imports was founded by Ramon Escobar, a first generation Bolivian-American with deep roots in Cochabamba. Ramon spent much of his life having to explain his unusual heritage to people - its location on a map, the languages spoken, the terrain, the cuisine, the coca leaf. Over the years, he shared Bolivia’s culture and traditions with friends, including Rujero singani. So, after much prodding from friends, Ramon launched Chufly Imports - named after the traditional singani cocktail: The Chufly = Rujero + ginger ale + squeeze of fresh lime, on ice.

Chufly Imports is also launching Aranjuez wine this Spring, expanding its portfolio of premium Bolivian adult beverages.