Peru is one of the most culturally diverse countries on the planet, and consequently it offers infinity of flavors and culinary versions that make its cuisine the best in the world. For 4 consecutive years, Peru was awarded as the first gastronomic destination in the annual editions of the World Travel Awards, this ensures that your visit will not only be a heavenly journey of sounds and colors, but also unforgettable flavors that will melt your palate and will reduce it to a unique one: Peruvian flavor. But we all know that there is no good food without the company of a good Peruvian drink, and today you will know the drinks you have to try before you leave Peru.
First we have the delicious and famous Chicha Morada or purple corn; the history of this drink and its preparation date back to even older than the Incas times, and pre-Hispanic cultures which were very fortunate to have managed and come up with the preparation of this refreshing juice. In Peru we have more than 50 types of corn, more than any other country, and each and every one of these has a different use. This drink as its name implies is prepared with a particular species of corn, Ckolli –because of its name in Quechua-, which has the peculiarity of having a colored purple grain, but that is not the only ingredient used to prepare this drink, you also will need: pineapple, lemon, cinnamon, apple, quince and ending with the sweet touch, sugar to taste. Ah but if you thought it was just a refreshing drink you are wrong, for inputs using this is a perfect anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer. So Chicha morada is a refreshing beverage you should not avoid testing.
Have you ever heard the word Aguaymanto? Probably not, and in fact it is an fruit, an endemic product of Peru –with a funny name-, a kind of yellow small tomato covered with a gold leaf in the depths of its mysterious appearance, it carries a special and unforgettable flavor worthy of serving in multiple modes and versions. It has many culinary uses, from jams and delicacies to the rich food ideal to accompany any day, or better yet, to hydrate fatigue of a long walk soda. It is very simple to prepare the Aguaymanto shake and the fact of only listening it encourages you to taste it and refresh your palate as soon as possible. Just peel a hundred of these little tomatoes and blend them with about three cups of water and… voilà, ready to serve and enjoy the fusion amaretto Aguaymanto that will leave you feeling like you want more.
We have already shown you how to prepare our Chicha Morada made of Purple Corn, but now we will show you how to prepare a different beverage made from the fermented corn: Chicha de Jora which is a very popular and traditional drink of Peruvian Andean People was prepared hundreds of years ago by Pre-Inca cultures along with our Chicha Morada. Chicha de Jora is made from fermented corn but is has a very different preparation having this last one a more complex and rustic process. The taste of this Andean liquor is sour –depending on the degree of fermentation it has- however nowadays it can be sweet as well. You can taste both versions which will mark your palate the way you will not forget.
It is enough of drink and traditional Beverages now is time for liquors you will not be able to avoid tasting when you are in Peru. This liquor has a very funny name but is not very different from other worldwide. Uvachado is liquor from our jungle and even though many people think it is a kind of wine it is not. In fact it is made of grapes as well but the difference is this beverage has two important ingredients: our Peruvian Pisco and honey bee; so now you can imagine how sweet it tastes. Amazon people attribute this sacred beverage, mystical powers since it will not only give energy to your body but also happiness and joy and overall it will power your sexual instinct and desires… a really aphrodisiac drink for those passion times.
And last but not least, we cannot help talking about the worldwide famous Pisco Sour. This drink has left undeletable print in those very fortunate who had the chance to taste its refreshing bittersweet flavor. This exquisite Peruvian drink has lemon juice, Peruvian Pisco, Jelly syrup, egg white, ice and powdered cinnamon. You can find it at any bar within Peru but do not be that confident… four or five shots of this drink will make your pace being irregular and make your thoughts and feelings expressing to everybody so starting a good conversation would be an interesting idea. Pisco Sour is our Peruvian Flagship drink and it would be mortal sin not to taste it before leaving our country.
Being said this, let your experiences criticize our exotic Peruvian flavors and let your imagination kindly decode our history… we are pretty sure your palate will be the happiest.
By: Marcelo Olave