Many times several travelers and newcomers ask us the same question: What is the best drink in Peru? And our answer through the years does not change, the Peruvian Pisco. This incredible liquor is the national drink of Peru and the pride of all the inhabitants of the Andean country. Together with the experts at Machu Travel Peru, we believe that telling you about this drink is essential for you to know Peruvian tastes. Join us to learn everything about Peruvian Pisco.
Everything you need to know about Peruvian Pisco
- What is Pisco?
- Pisco history
- Types of Pisco
- Peruvian pisco preparation method
- The Peruvian pisco in contemporary times
- Pisco rivalry
WHAT IS PISCO?
Pisco is a liquor with an alcohol percentage between 38% and 48%. It is very similar to brandy and is produced in both Peru and Chile. Pisco is not only the national drink of Peru but also of Chile. It could be said that their origin and true nationality is the cause of endless discussions and rivalries between the two neighboring countries. It is produced through the distillation of grapes from the Ica region and is mostly colorless. With this liquor, you can prepare one of the most traditional Peruvian drinks, the Pisco Sour.
The history of Pisco can be a bit misleading. Many Peruvian historians assure that the word comes from the city of Pisco, located on the southern coast of the country. It is a word of Quechua origin that translated means “Bird”, although some differ and suggest that it is translated to “clay container” due to the containers where it was kept. Its history dates back hundreds of years when the Spanish began to cultivate their grapes and produce the Peruvian wine that we know today. Peruvian Pisco was mass-produced until the earthquake in 1687, which destroyed a large part of the industry. In the following years, many Peruvian farmers decided to change their crops and start producing cotton. But in recent years, Pisco has indeed become popular again. Especially with the increasing demand for Peruvian cuisine on the world stage.
TYPES OF PISCO
Fortunately, there are several types of Peruvian Piscos to try and taste. But if Pisco is not to your liking, you can also opt for other traditional Peruvian non-alcoholic drinks. The variety of Piscos will depend largely on the kind of grapes that were used to produce the liquor.
PISCO PURO: Pure pisco is made with a variety of black Quebranta grapes and is usually very dry. This type of Peruvian Pisco is usually used in cocktails and mixed drinks.
PISCO ACHOLADO: This Peruvian Pisco is produced with a mixture of several grapes. If you are looking for what to drink in Peru, this is one of the best options.
PISCO MOSTO VERDE: This Peruvian Pisco usually has a much higher sugar content due to its grapes that do not ferment at all.
PISCO ITALIA: This Pisco is made with a much slower process using distilled fruit juice. Resulting in liquor with a unique flavor.
PISCO QUEBRANTA: The Pisco Quebranta is one of the most unique Peruvian Piscos in its preparation. They have aromas of fresh herbs and aromatic grapes are used for their preparation in addition to the Quebranta variety.
PERUVIAN PISCO PREPARATION METHOD
The preparation method will vary greatly depending on the variety of grapes and the type of Pisco to be produced. It is made by distilling fermented wine from fresh grape juice of eight specific strains to make a clear and transparent brandy. Peruvian Pisco’s traditional manual production methods stand out, so it tends to be more expensive than Chilean Pisco and is considered by many to be the high-end style of Pisco.
THE PERUVIAN PISCO IN CONTEMPORARY TIMES
Peru has several pisco producing companies. Some of these companies have modern equipment and the latest technologies available. These companies have concentrated on hiring high-level specialists in the different fields of production and marketing. This has allowed it to recover its previous level and even surpass it. Today Peru exports three times more than Chile due to its artisanal methods that have seen great progress in quality. Today Pisco and the different cocktails are one of the many national points of pride, as evidence of this you can find the Pisco Sour day to venerate this traditional drink.
There is fierce competition between Peru and Chile in many scopes. But one of their longest disputes has to do with Pisco. Pisco in Peru is only allowed to be produced in five regions authorized by the government. These areas are Ica, Pisco, Moquegua, Arequipa, and Tacna. Besides, only Peruvian Pisco can be distilled in the Peruvian way: in a copper still. Peruvian pisco must be bottled completely to the distillation power and must not be diluted. Also, it must be made from 8 kg of grapes. Although the Chilean Pisco company also has strict regulations on its production, the method is different. If you are looking to taste the true Peruvian Pisco, in our many tours in Peru you will have the opportunity to try this and many other drinks.
“IF LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, MAKE PISCO SOUR.”
We hope together with the experts from Machu Travel Peru to have clarified the most important aspects of Peruvian Pisco. Remember that this drink is not only marketed in Peru, it is even more likely that you will find a Peruvian Pisco abroad than a Chilean one. But if you want to try the original flavor, then you better start planning your next trip to Peru.