The first thing on your “to-do” list upon arriving in Peru should be to taste their signature drink, Pisco. This pure distilled drink represents more than an unrivalled flavor, it is the reflection of Peruvian history and culture. It is not aged nor is it a liquor (it is a pure distilled drink) and 1.6 million liters was consumed nationally in 2017.
The historical legacy of pisco appears more than 400 years ago, its name derives from the port and valley located in the south of Peru that bears the same name. According to history, in the 16th century it was sent for the first time to Spain. In addition, the word Pisco has its origin in the Quechua language "pica" whose reference is bird, in this way, the drink also evokes the diversity of birds in the south of the country.
Every fourth Sunday of the month of July, there is a celebration in honor of this treasured drink, which consists of the distillation of Pisco grapes, producing an unparalleled aroma and flavor. The pisquera grapes are divided into aromatic (Abila, Italia, Moscatel and Torontel) and non-aromatic (Mollar, Negra, Quebrante and Uvina). In fact, pisco itself has divisions of pure pisco that is obtained from a single variety of pisco grape, pisco mosto verde is obtained from the distillation of fresh pisco grape musts and the pisco acholado that stems from the mixture of pisco grapes, fresh musts and piscos.
The preparation of this drink is not limited to Peru, as Chile produces it as well. However, Peru is the only country that produces pisco with all the must, lime and Ica, representing 80% of the national production.
Diana Ramírez R.
Image credits: RPP News