Traditional Singani drinks


1.  Takesi Trail  (Yungueña)
  • Singani and orange juice
  • pre-chill everything so you don't have to use ice
  • it will taste better if you squeeze the orange juice yourself

The Takesi trail descends from mountain valleys where Singani can be found to the tropical highlands called the Yungas ("warm land") where oranges grow at over 5,000 feet above sea level, yungueña means "from the yungas".  [pronunciation yoon•gus]

2.  Té con té  (tea with "tea")
  • 1-2 fingers of Singani in a cup
  • fill with hot, very black tea
  • sweetener optional
  • stir
  • cinnamon stick optional

Perfect on a chilly afternoon or evening, maybe at the lodge après ski (see Stories).

3.  Limonada caliente  (hot lemonade)
  • 1½ oz Singani in a heat-resistant glass
  • fill with hot tart real lemonade
  • sweetener optional
  • drop in 2 slices lemon

Popular on a cold day just before the game or just out and about on an Autumn day.

4. Sucumbé
  • heat 1 qt milk hot (just short of boiling)
  • 2 T sugar or other sweetener to taste into milk
  • separate yolk and white from large egg
  • beat yolk into milk
  • beat egg white separately into froth
  • remove milk from heat, milk will still be very hot
  • mix whites into milk so that it's frothy
  • add 1 cup Singani (away from any source of heat), stir
  • pour into cups, grate nutmeg on servings

A favorite on St. John's day, when the nights are cold and everyone celebrates with a bonfire.

Well, it appears that Bolivia must be a very cold country or something...

Note on sucumbé

Never pour alcohol into or onto anything near a source of heat or flame.  Turn everything off and move away to another location.  You are making a drink, not a fire-bomb.  The history of sucumbé is that it may be associated with Bolivia's tiny African-American community.  Central Africans were brought to the Potosi by the hundreds of thousands in 1585 to work the mines, but it was found Africans did not adapt well to life at 14,000 feet, and the average lifespan of an African miner was just a few weeks.  After being whittled down to a few hundred, the survivors were transplanted to the tropics to work plantations.  On the mountain was learned how to warm oneself with a drink made from milk and liquor.  Bolivians everywhere still drink sucumbé today.

Meaning of

We have not found anything that clarifies the origin of the word sucumbé.  Among the African-decended population of the Dominican Republic the word cumbé means drunk or inebriated.  There may also be a link to the word "cumbia", an African-influenced dance from Colombia.

Pronunciation of

Soo • coom • bay

5. Sucumbé shortcut (shh!)
  • no egg
  • heat the milk in a microwave (a stovetop will carmelize and change the taste, but you may prefer it)
  • make sure it's nice and hot but not scalding
  • sweetener optional but it's traditional
  • add Singani
  • use a cappuccino maker to froth the milk
  • vanilla bean stirring stick is a nice touch