Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Drink of the Week: La Mar's Vamos Pa' Chicha 

Wednesday, Jun 13 2012

When you've been to enough bars and had enough cocktails, you learn to glean information from the contents of a drink. Tease through the evidence in the ingredients like a CSI (Cocktail Special Investigation) detective and you can find the (figurative) fingerprints of the maker — or fascinating motives and backstories.

Sit at the bar at La Mar and order up a Vamos Pa' Chicha ($12, pisco quebranta, chicha morada, orange-passion fruit reduction, lemon, cane sugar) from bar manager Joselino Solis, and you'll find Peruvian influences: a pisco from the quebranta grape and a special unfermented and sweetened blue corn drink called chicha, texturally similar to the Mexican horchata. In the ingredient lineup, it was the passion fruit that stood out — as possibly out of place.

But Solis explained that he's incorporated a slight tropical slant to most of the house cocktails to meet expectations of a clientele that assumes that because Peru is in South America, the whole country is tropical, despite the fact that roughly half of Peru is high plains and desert, including its capital and most populous cities. But when it tastes like this, does that really matter?

The starchy richness of the drink with bright floral tropical flavors, savored with an order of cebiche mixto ($15), will dispel even the worst bout of overanalysis.

Case closed.

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"