So…what’s Pisco? Here’s the 101.
Pisco is the Peruvian grape “aguardiente” obtained from the distillation of recently fermented musts exclusively grapes (grape juice). It has been produced since the 16th century on the mid-south coast of Peru, including the departments of Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua, and Tacna.
Lexicographers, chroniclers and historians state the word “pisco” comes from the pre-Hispanic Quechua word “pisko” meaning “bird” as the Incas were captivated by the huge number and diversity of birds in this coastal region.
There are two groups of grapes for producing the pisco:
- Aromatic grapes: Albilla, Italia, Muscatel (Moscatel) and Torontel
- Non-aromatic grapes: Mollar, Black (Negra Corriente), Quebranta and Uvina
According to the Peruvian Ministry of Production’s Technical Norms, these are the types of pisco you can get from these grapes:
- Pure (Puro): From Quebranta, Mollar or Black grapes
- Aromatic (Aromatico): From Muscatel grapes
- Green Mosto (Mosto Verde): From the distillation of grape musts in fermentation process (this refers to the musts in which sugar has not been transformed into alcohol)
- Blended (Acholado): From the distillation of musts of different grape varieties
And now you wonder which one of these grapes and types of piscos is best for the pisco sour?!?!? Well, the most preferred is the Pure type of pisco from Quebranta grapes. There are other drinks you can make with pisco, such as Chilcano, Pisco Libre, Fruit Cocktail, Captain, Bible, Pisco Sunrise, among many others.
Even President Bush and global world leaders got a kick out of the Peruvian pisco sour!
Stay tuned for some easy-to-make recipes coming up soon!