You may be wondering what Pisco is and thinking that the answer will probably be that it’s another typical food, dessert, or the name of an exotic fruit that grows in the jungle. What can be so important to dedicate a whole blog talking about it?
Well, the word Pisco for Peruvians means a lot. It’s not only the name of a city but also the name of our national drink! You will understand better if I say that Pisco for Peruvians is like Tequila for Mexicans.
Pisco is a clear brandy made from distilling grape wine. These grapes are very unique because they grow in the cost valley regions of Peru, where the weather is hot and dry. It helps to produce sweet grapes. By law, Peruvian Pisco must be made only in these five departments: Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua, and Tacna. It can only be distilled once and for that we use a copper pot. Pisco does not contain water, preservatives, additives, sugar; the idea is to maintain the traditional production methods to ensure a high-quality product with an authentic grape taste.
The Peruvian Pisco is categorized into four different types:
- Pisco Puro (Pure): Pisco that is produced from one single grape variety.
- Pisco Acholado (Multivariate): Pisco which is generated by the blend of different grapes.
- Pisco Mosto Verde (Green Must): a kind of Pisco that has not been totally fermented.
- Pisco Aromatico (Aromatic): Pisco made with only aromatic grapes like, Torontel, Italia among others.
As I have been saying, Pisco is made with eight different types of grapes divided into two groups:
Negra Criolla Moscatel
The origin of Pisco is not clear, but one of the theories says that it was developed around the 16th century by Spanish people as an alternative brandy. I must tell you that Pisco is also produced in Chile, we have been arguing for years to which country Pisco belongs. The truth is that both are entirely different in the way they are produced, as well as, the ingredients. One substantial difference is that Chilean Pisco contains water.
The two most popular cocktails with Pisco are:
Pisco Sour: The recipe is based on a mix of three parts Pisco, two parts of sugar syrup, and one part lime. I will let you know the full recipe later.
Chilcano: a mix of Pisco, fresh lime, and ginger ale.
Nowadays, you will find various types of Pisco Sours and Chilcanos. Same basic recipe, but adding different ingredients like passion fruit, strawberry, lemon grass, ginger, and so on. This is when we learn that our creativity is endless. Almost every single restaurant has in their menus these amazing cocktails, so if you visit Peru try them, is totally worth it!