Pisco is a Peruvian aguardiente from the coastal valleys of Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna regions. It is a spirit drink made from fermented grape juice, only pure grape juice is used and not the skins (orujo) or the stems (escobajo). Grapes need to be uvas pisqueras, that means from the varieties Quebranta, Negra Criolla, Mollar, Italia, Moscatel, Torontel and Albilla. The distillation is made in traditional copper alembics and falcas in a continuous distillation process. It is not rectified by adding water or aged in wood.
Types of Pisco
This pisco is made of only one variety of grapes (monovarietal). There are two kinds of pisco puro:
- Non aromatic: Made of the varieties Quebranta, Negra Criolla and Mollar. Their aroma is not too complex but they have a very rich flavor. Pisco Quebranta is very popular among Peruvian people and is usually and simply known as Pisco Puro.
- Aromatic: Made of the varieties Italia, Moscatel, Torontel and Albilla.They have a complex and strong aroma. The most widely known is Pisco Italia.
It is made of a blend of two or more varieties of grapes. It can be blended at the very beginning by mixing different varieties of grapes (the old traditional way) or it can be blended much later after getting monovarietal piscos and mixing them.
This pisco has a slightly different way to be made. Before distillation, the fermentation of the grape juice is interrupted not allowing a complete fermentation of it (that is the origin of the name of it). In this way a smoother and velvet mouth feel. It is usually made of Quebranta or Italia but it actually could be made of any variety.
3 ounces of pisco, 1 ounce of fresh lime juice, 1 ounce of simple syrup (can be replaced with 3/4 ounce of white sugar), 1/4 ounce of egg white, Angostura bitters and 3 or 4 ice cubes.
Put the pisco, lime juice, syrup, egg white and the ice cubes in a cocktail jar and mix thoroughly (you could use a blender if you don´t have a cocktail jar). Serve in a glass and add a couple of drops of Angostura bitters.
Chilcano de Pisco
2 ounces of pisco, 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice, dry ginger ale, lime slice and ice cubes.
In a tall glass, mix the pisco and the lime juice. Add the ice cubes and the lime slice. Fill up the glass with ginger ale.
In some bars you can ask for a res, i.e. a whole bottle of pisco, soda (ginger ale), lemon, plenty of ice and some syrup, in order for you to prepare your own chilcanos
2 ounces of pisco, cola soda, lime slice and ice cubes.
Put the ice cubes in a tall glass. Add the pisco and the lime slice. Fill up the glass with the soda.
Some LinksCONAPISCO: Pisco's National Commission (in Spanish)
Pisco: Agencia Peruana de Noticias (in English)
Pisco del Perú (in Spanish)
PiscoesPeru.com (in Spanish)