Peru: 6 basic things you didn’t know about Pisco

Peru: 6 basic things you didn’t know about Pisco

Pisco is the national drink of Peru, a distillate still not very widespread in the world but which holds great surprises: we tell you about it.

When Pizarro’s men arrived in Peru , the visit was not entirely unexpected for the Incas. Unaware of how things would go then, they welcomed these bearded men who had come from afar with curiosity and generosity,Peruvian winemakers began distilling surpluses and pisco was bornable to move on the backs of large animals never seen before (horses). The natives offered their guests chicha , a fermented drink made from maize pre-chewed by women, for which Europeans showed little enthusiasm. On the other hand, the wine brought from Spain had great success among the Incas. Too bad he was poisoned… With the army’s leaders knocked out in this way, it was easy for Pizarro and company to capture the emperor and slaughter his soldiers. Although the history of wine in Perubegan in a tragic way, the South American country became a major producer immediately after colonization, so much so that the Spanish authorities were forced to take protectionist measures to put a stop to imports into the motherland. This led Peruvian winemakers to distil surpluses: thus Pisco was born , a brandy that over time has become a real national drink .


  1. Origins of the name . The most accredited etymological hypothesis favors the word pisqus which, in the ancient Quechua language, means bird and from which the toponym of Pisco, a coastal town, famous for the large quantity of small birds and later for the production of the distillate derives. .
  2. Vines used . The pisquere grapes, white or red, can be of 8 varieties equally divided between the four aromatic Moscatel, Albilla, Torontel and Italia and the remaining non-aromatic Mollar, Negra criolla, Uvina and Quebranta, considered the best.
  3. Production areas . The first cuttings in South America were planted in Cuzco and the first wine was also produced here. Viticulture is currently concentrated on the coastal strip of 5 departments: Lima, Ica (the area with the highest winemaking vocation), Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna. From the capital Lima to the border with Chile, the so-called Ruta del Pisco is an interesting enotourist itinerary.
  4. Types of Pisco . The Peruvian Pisco is absolutely clear, since after distillation it is never aged in wood. There are 3 types on the market: Pisco pure (from single- variety grapes); Acholado (obtained from a blend of different varieties) and Mosto Verde . The latter, the most valuable, is obtained from not completely fermented must which therefore retains a significant residual sugar and many more aromatic hints of the fruit. It should also be noted that, in the Green Must, the grape / distillate ratio is double compared to the other types of Pisco.
  5. The tasting . Pisco has extremely varied aromatic profiles: as a beginner, in a tasting of various labels, one might even think of being faced with different drinks. Given the high alcohol content (38-48 ° C), care must be taken not to excessively stimulate the olfactory receptors. To better appreciate the bouquet it is good to drink it in small sips, pushing the liquid with the tongue towards the palate, holding it in the mouth before swallowing it.
  6. Cocktail . Drinking Pisco by itself, straight, is the best way to appreciate its characteristics, however it is a distillate that also lends itself well to mixing. The most famous cocktail is undoubtedly the Pisco Sour , whose recipe includes egg white, sugar syrup, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a couple of drops of angostura. Equally popular, especially among Peruvians, is the very refreshing Chilcano de Pisco , based on ginger ale, lime juice and the inevitable angostura.

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