A hella-cool Peruvian cocktail pop-up is making the rounds in Dallas, and the fanfare for it is building. Last week at People’s Last Stand, Jerry and I had the pleasure of catching up with Coctelerìa Clandestina, a recurring event hosted by Peru-born brothers and barmen Daniel Guillen and Christian Armando.
We’ve known Christian for quite a while, having met him at the 2014 San Antonio Cocktail Conference and then becoming absolute fangirls (sorry, Jerry) for his fine cocktails at Dallas drinks den The Standard Pour. We made Daniel’s acquaintance at this year’s SACC, where he won a cocktail competition. Both brothers — who collectively call themselves Los Cantineros — are quite passionate about the craft of the cocktail, and they’ve been sharing their knowledge about Peruvian/South American drinks history through the Coctelerìa events, with Daniel at first hosting solo and Christian joining him at PLS … and going forward! More on that in a sec …
The PLS party featured a fantastic menu of $5 drinks showcasing not only the brothers’ flair behind the bar but a love and pride of Peruvian/regional flavors and traditions. When we landed at the bar and greeted Christian, instead of asking us which drink we wanted to start with, he said, “we’re gonna do a course” — well, OK! We kicked off with two shot-sized amuse bouches: Crema de Lúcuma, a silky, milky, vodka-and-pisco-based delight; and Marciano Rosado, a fruity pisco-and-gin-based sip served up like an old-school popsicle, in plastic. From there, we enjoyed a play on a Moscow mule with tamarind and mint; the Sudaka en Botella, a fizzy, passionfruit-flavored cocktail served in a bottle; the Teodoro, a spicy take on a hot toddy; and a bourbon-based beverage with chicha morada, a nonalcoholic Peruvian drink made from purple corn. Quite the cocktail journey, and every drink showed wonderful balance and an expert mix of great and complex flavors.
Of the pop-up bar series, Daniel says: “My mission when I started Coctelerìa Clandestina was to showcase the Latin craft of “cocteles” (cocktails in spanish) of Latin and South America. My brother and I have taken our Peruvian roots to boost not only our country’s culture, but of the whole South Continent. Our aim is to start/impulse the lost craft of cocktails below the border and to nurture our heritage exposing it through our pop-ups.”
If you missed this cocktail showcase, there are more Coctelerìa Clandestinas on the horizon — the next one is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Fort Worth bookstore-turned-bar Thompson’s, starting at 8 p.m. Daniel tells me the brothers have four additional Coctelerìas slated and hope to debut the event in Austin “by the beginning of next year.” Sounds like the start of an empire — cheers, guys!