Lima is considered one of the world’s most exciting food cities. And over the last few years, it’s also earned a reputation for its creative cocktail scene thanks to vibrant spots including Carnaval, Bar Ribeyro, and Bijou Bar. At the forefront of the trend is Lady Bee, a new 20-seat cocktail spot in the Miraflores neighborhood. We dropped in on our recent visit to Peru and got to meet its husband-and-wife owners, Gabriela Leon and Alonso Palomino. Gabi is the culinary mastermind with a résumé that includes Copenhagen’s acclaimed restaurant Noma and Alonso is the mixology maestro. Together, they create sensational food and cocktail pairings for guests.
Rare Amazonian ingredients and pisco, Peru’s star spirit, are at the heart of their menus. Gabi spent time working as a chef in the Peruvian Amazon and developed relationships with local farmers who now provide ingredients for Lady Bee that include sacha culantro—an aromatic jungle herb she pairs with clams—Amazonian nut milk, basil, and mandarino lime. Jungle ingredients including Amazonian tangerine and honey also show up in cocktails. Alonso layers on umami flavors by using unique bone marrow washes and cured duck as a garnish. (Unexpected for sure, but delicious—trust us.)
We also love that the couple travel to the Amazon to participate in reforestation projects and that they showcase weavings and baskets from a women’s cooperative on the walls. One dollar from every drink sold is donated to the coop. Below, their education on the nuances of pisco and an easy cocktail recipe we can recreate at home.
The spirit is Peru’s signature and the star of the cocktail menu at Lady Bee. A type of brandy made from distilled grapes, pisco comes in three distinct styles and can be made from 8 grape varieties. The Miraflores cocktail is a simple recipe that allows the spirit to shine, says Alonso.
The Miraflores Cocktail
2 oz. Pisco
3/4 oz Lime
1/2 oz. Honey
Put everything in a shaker. Shake and serve in a coupe glass. Garnish with lime peel on the rim.