Pisco, a distillate that fills Peru with pride


Pisco is the flagship drink of the country. Its legacy, tradition and history enriches the experience of traveling through Peru. Here you will find a little bit of its history.

Its name comes from a port and valley called Pisco, a city in southern Peru from which this distillate was shipped to be sent for the first time to Spain in the sixteenth century. Its name not only conveys an intense and original flavor; it also alludes to the Quechua word Pisccu, which means 'bird'.

Pisco, unlike wine, is distilled before two months of fermentation, which gives it an inimitable and unique aroma. This distillate differs from any other grape distillate in that it is created using the so-called "pisqueras" grapes, which are classified into two large groups: non-aromatic, comprising the quebranta, mollar, negra criolla and uvina; and aromatic: italia, moscatel, torontel and albilla.

One way of distinguishing pisco is through its flavour. Pure pisco is obtained from a single pisco grape. Pisco mosto verde is obtained by distilling fresh must from pisqueras grapes with interrupted fermentation, and acholado, mixing different pisqueras grapes. 


Although you can enjoy this drink alone, there are different cocktails to please the most demanding palates. Among the most famous are the pisco sour. The perfection of this drink is obtained thanks to the mixture of the acid of the lemon, the white egg, the sweet of the syrup of rubber and of course good pisco. On the other hand, the chilcano de pisco, due to its easy preparation, began to become popular in bars and later became an infallible protagonist in the menu of the most exclusive restaurants in Peru. 

Other ways to prepare this distillate are through Pisco Punch, a mythical cocktail created by Duncan Nicol in the city of San Francisco at the end of the 19th century. In addition to pisco, it also includes gum syrup, pineapple juice, and lemon juice. Another classic is the Capitán, whose history goes back to the 1920s in the Sierra de Puno, where army captains, after making their nightly rounds, requested in the cantina their favorite combination: vermouth and pisco. 

As you can see, pisco is history, culture, flavors, and tradition. This distillate has proved to be a multifaceted and universal drink, ready to satisfy the most demanding tastes, which makes it a must when visiting this country. 

For this reason, here are five travel experiences through pisco: 

Hotel Viñas Queirolo: Located in Ica, 4 hours from Lima. This luxury hotel of Peruvian tradition has about 400 hectares of vineyards of the brands Santiago de Queirolo and Intipalka. In its map of routes, people can take activities with medium or high difficulty as a bicycle, running and trekking of 3.5 km. or 8 km. At the same time, they offer related activities such as pisco tasting, food pairing workshops and a spectacular view of their vineyards. 

Hotel & Hacienda La Caravedo: Also in Ica, it is characterized by its modern and avant-garde infrastructure related to pisco, in spite of being one of the oldest wineries (1684), from which it conserves its main distilled atmosphere. This hacienda produces Portón pisco, for which it has 52 hectares of pisco grapes and an approximate production capacity of 2.5 million liters of pisco per year. In its boutique hotel, there are 5 family bungalows, pisco tastings, and Peruvian dance shows. 

Pisco Museum: With resto-bars in Lima, Cusco and Arequipa is a good alternative to try the best Peruvian cocktails based on pisco, as well as have classes of pisco through tastings. 

Pisco Bar: This resto-bar, located in the tourist district of Miraflores, offers pisco tastings, as well as lunches and dinners, pairing, shared by the mixologist Ricardo Carpio, in addition to a good selection of handcrafted piscos.

Bodega Torre de la Gala: Located in the valley of La Joya, just over an hour from the city of Arequipa. This winery distills very good pisco and offers guided tours, tastings, as well as lunches. 

If you want to know more about this emblematic drink or if you want more information about this destination, visit: www.peru.travel

By Mexicanist