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Peruvian Pisco Shines


If we say pisco, do your thoughts immediately turn to Pisco Sour? Sure, that’s a great drink, but pisco is so much more than the lemon and egg white shaken concoction. Producers are using interesting distillation methods  (including a pechuga mezcal-like one that’s distilled with pork) and different grape varietals to produce spirits with character. Shake, stir or sip these bottles from Peru–it’s never been a better time for pisco.


Grape Expectations for Peruvian Pisco

By Kelly Magyarics, DWS

Author (and winner of the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature) Rudyard Kipling called pisco “the noblest and most beautiful product of our era.” He went on to say he theorized it’s made from “little cherub wings, the glory of a tropical sunrise, the red of sunset clouds and fragments of ancient epics written by the great fallen masters.” That romantic, idealized version of the spirit may be a bit over the top, but it also kind of sums up the optimism of producers and bartenders right now. Peruvian pisco is hot, its use goes way beyond the Pisco Sour, and it’s time to squash notions that it’s not as “serious” as other types of spirits.

Because pisco is often unfairly lumped into the same category as low-end vodka and rum, there is a price-to-quality assumption among consumers that’s just not quite accurate. “A common misconception about Peruvian pisco is that it’s just a strong neutral spirit and it should be inexpensive,” notes Diego Loret de Mola, founder of BarSol Pisco. “Like winemaking, terroir, weather, altitude and geography have tremendous influence in the tasting profile of a pisco.” Keep in mind: for Peruvian pisco, grapes are the only permitted ingredient. It’s naturally fermented and it can’t be brought to proof with water, adulterated with any flavoring, or even aged in wood. Its very methods of production mean it feasibly can’t – and shouldn’t – have a cheap price tag. Read the entire article on Nightclub and Bar.

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