Aguardiente de Pisco as it full name, is the only type of brandy that comes from the grapes grown mainly 3 hundred kilometers to the south of lima in the Ica Valley.
The first grape vines were brought by the spaniards to be cultivated by the Piskos into the clear fermented brandy. The name comes from the “Piskos” whom were the native people that lived in this region centuries ago and for the port of Pisco, from whence the casks were shipped to Lima.
The production of Pisco has been kept unchanged in many ways. It begins with pouring the juice from the grape pressing into a puntaya or holding vat and left for 24 hours to begin fermentation. After the 24 hours the juice is poured though a series of troughs into vats and left to ferment takes about 10-12 days.
At this point, the wine is the transfered to traditional handmade mud and falca -copper still. Here it is carefully heated and distilled until the colorless spirit is ready to be transfered once again to the special clay pisqueras where it rests for another 2-3 months before being bottled.
The four types of Pisco:
Made solely from the black Quebranta grape. It’s quite dry and is mainly used in mixed drinks.
Made from either Muscat, Italia, Moscatel or Torontel grapes. It has an intense fruity aroma.
Blended Pisco made from a mixture of two or more varieties of grape. It is excellent drunk straight.
Pisco Mosto Verde
Made from grape juice which has not been allowed to ferment completely and therefore still has some sugar content. It has a sophisticated velvety texture and palate and is the most expensive of the Piscos to produce.
Typical Pisco Drink:
What You Need:
- 1/2 C Sugar
- 3 Tbsp water
- 7 1/2 oz Pisco
- 2 1/2 oz key lime juice
- 1 egg white
1. Dissolve sugar in the water in a saucepan to make a simple syrup. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Pour Key Lime juice, Pisco, and simple syrup and stir together so that they blend.
3. Pour mixture into a blender with ice (just enough so that the liquid doubles in volume) and blend on high just to crush the ice.
4. Add egg white and blend for 1 minute.
5. Transfer to glass or pitcher and enjoy immediately.
NOTE: Traditionally, a drop of Angostura Bitters is placed on top in the middle of each glass.
Check out how the Peruvians celebrated their National Pisco Day
Information gathered from this highly recommended book: Caster, Tony. The Art of Peruvian Cuisine Quebecor, Peru 2000. http://www.artperucuisine.com/docs/5.html
Tell us how you enjoy your Pisco below!