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kappa-21It’s no wonder KAPPA Pisco recently won the prestigious Double Gold Medal at the 2012 San Francisco Spirits Competition.  It was also awarded a Double Gold Medal in the “Packaging” category for its stunning and strikingly sober midnight blue bottle designed by the renowned designer Ora-Ito http://www.designboom.com/eng/interview/oraito.html.

Kappa is the 10th letter of the Greek alphabet and is at the source of many scientific names — in mathematics, the kappa curve is named after this letter and in astronomy, Kappa Crucis, HD 111973) is a star in star cluster NGC 4755.  It is at the same time a giant, aggressive salamander in the Japanese folklore; a hairy, scary legendary creature in the Finnish folklore, and the name of another giant; Frank Kappa, photographer of the great wars of the 20th century — whose works I recently saw at an exhibition in Verona, Italy; just to mention a few acceptations.

The Kappa we’re talking about is a pisco named after the star in the Southern Cross constellation,  produced by The House of Lapostolle — of the Marnier Lapostolle family who produces the famed orange liqueur Grand Marnier. This is an ultra premium pisco coming from the Elqui Valley in Chile, made from two varieties of aromatic Muscat grapes:  Moscatel Rosada and Moscatel de Alejandría, grown in Lapostolle-owned vineyards.

The pisco industry in Chile — a bone of contention with their Peruvian neighbors who have long claimed that pisco is theirs — has grown both in quality and in quality in the past few years.   The many pisco distilleries are now going through more elaborate double and even triple process of distillation, aging in wood barriques for longer periods of time to obtain more complexity and depth of flavors.

In Kappa, the double process of distillation and the techniques of vinification used in Cognac results in a smooth  85% proof pristine liquid with subtle fresh citrus flavors,  delicate notes of honeysuckle and rose petal flavors in the mouth, and a menthol and verbena finish.

Just out for the summer, Kappa is great for making refreshing fruit cocktails and of course the classic Pisco Sour. Just like Cognac it is great with tonic water, a few drops of lemon and a couple of mint leaves.

Classic Kappa Pisco Sour:

$34 to $36 / kappapisco.com