You definitely have tried Piscola, you may have tasted Piscola blanca and you love Pisco Sour. But if you think you know everything about pisco, then take a trip to Chipe Libre in the heart of Barrio Lastrarria.
A new republic is born, La Republica Independente del Pisco. Its imaginary borders go from the region of Lima (former Peru) to Choapa (former Chile), covering the vineyards where the sweet brandy is produced. Chipe Libre (Chi-le, Pe-ru) is then the embassy of the Republic in Santiago: a restaurant relatively new to the scene that aims to bury the old hatchet between the two countries arguing about their national drink.
The place is beautiful from floor to ceiling and divided between two cozy atmospheres: the inside with wood decorations and fancy furniture, and the outside with covered terrace offering a Zen-like break near a singing fountain. Sixty-eight different piscos are displayed on the shelves, all produced in the new Republic and with controlled origins. The menu offers to mix pisco with a soft-drink or to taste it pure and discover each one's various colors, smells and tastes. The prices for the tastings go from CP $1,000 (US$1.50) up to CP $28,000 for the Horcon Quemado 1909 thirty year-old: a true treasure.
Cocktails are not cheap, like anything in Lastarria, but the tasty sours and the happy hours (from 6-8pm) remain affordable. The mixologists behind the bar will create surprising, fruity, spicy and colourful cocktails to the more adventurous, and in the kitchen the chef prepares "Chipean" specialities that come fancy, as beautiful as they are tasty. The staff is really helpful to match their food with the numerous wines from the cellar and the decadent desserts are perfect for a treat.
The place has made no mistake: the decoration, the staff, the food and the piscos make it a great spot to impress a date, or visiting friends and family. The only annoying thing that might ruin your tranquil experience are the big, noisy and smelly heaters, but fortunately summer is coming.
Run to discover the new Republic before it gets too touristy! If you forgot your passport, no big deal: you will get one for free. No visa issue in this “country” since the stamp says “residencia permanente”. The passport is a loyalty card and gets a new stamp for CP$25.000 or more spent. The 10th stamp offers a free meal for two (CP $50,000).
La Republica Independiente de Pisco
José Victorino Lastarria 28
(2) 2664 0584
12pm–12:30am Monday to Thursday; 12:30pm–1am Fridays and Saturdays
Metro U. Catholica
No website, but you can check out their Facebook