What’s shakin, cocktail fans?
Welcome to Episoe 167 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast! I’m your host, Modern Bar Cart CEO, Eric Kozlik.
Thanks for joining us for another interview episode, where we tracking down the best and brightest minds in the spirits and cocktail world so that we can share their secrets with you. This time around, we have the privilege of chatting with Melanie Asher, founder of Macchu Pisco – a brand that’s been bringing delicious Peruvian brandy to the United States since 2006.
In this fascinating conversation and tasting with Melanie, some of the topics we discuss include:
Her journey as an entrepreneur – from hustling flowers in Peru at the age of 6, to mergers and acquisitions for international spirits companies, to founding her own Pisco brand.
How Pisco is unique from other un-aged fruit brandies from around the world, including which grapes can be used to make it and what other production considerations are required by the category’s geographical denomination of origin.
Then we get into the tasting, where we sample Macchu Pisco’s premium base expression, as well as 3 different varieties from the “La Diablada” collection, including a custom blend made for the Founding Farmers restaurant group, and wrapping up with a pour of Ñusta – an ultra premium bottling that only gets produced in the order of about 100 bottles per year.
Along the way, we talk about what it takes to run a spirits brand, how Melanie thinks about blending in the un-aged spirits space, what to drink with Keanu Reeves, and much, much more.
This is one of the first in-person interviews we’ve been able to conduct in quite a while, and boy are we glad we could make it happen because Melanie tasted us through 6 (count em, 6) different Pisco expressions from the Macchu Pisco portfolio. And just like it’s not every day that you get to cozy up with six delicious bottles, it’s also pretty rare to encounter makers like Melanie with so much passion and expertise across so many different subjects.