Peru Peru is the ideal spot to sample Pisco in all its forms. Photo: Manuel González Olaechea y Franco

Published on November 29th, 2011 | by admin

Peru is the ideal spot to sample Pisco in all its forms. Photo: Manuel González Olaechea y Franco

Pisco: How to Pour the Nectar of the Peruvian Gods into your Peru Vacation

BY MAUREEN SANTUCCI
Although pisco is referred to as a brandy, it has more of the feel of tequila to me than any brandy I’ve tasted. Made from grapes, it is the national liquor of Peru — and can be a tasty part of any Peru vacation or Lima travel experience. There are three varieties of Pisco, which are categorized according to the grape that is used: Pisco Puro, Acholado and Mosto Verde.

Pisco Puro
Pisco Puro is one that is made with just one variety of grape. This can be further broken down into those that are aromatic and those that are not. The non-aromatic Pisco Puro is made from a single non-aromatic grape such as the Quebranta, the Mollar, the Negra Criolla or the Uvina. Pisco Puro that is aromatic is made from a single variety of grape such as the Italia, the Moscotel or the Torontel. These grapes produce different aromas and flavors, depending on the grape and the region in which it is grown.

Pisco Acholado
Pisco Acholado is the probably the most popular type of pisco and is formulated by using two or more types of grapes. Of these, there will be at least one aromatic and one non-aromatic variety. The grapes can be mixed before or after the fermenting process but it is considered to be better to mix them after, thereby offering a greater amount of control over the result. To achieve the proper blending of the different grapes, the overall process to produce this type of Pisco takes longer than the Pisco Puro type.

Pisco Mosto Verde
Pisco Mosto Verde also uses different types of grapes. In addition, the fermentation process will be interrupted so that distillation can occur while there is still some sugar present. This produces a smoother variety of pisco with intense aromas and flavors. 

Where to Taste It
The best place to do your pisco tasting is to visit Ica, where most of the country’s Pisco is produced. However, if you don’t have the time to go there, you can find good places to get a bit of history and sample some of the different varieties in other cities. 

For example, when visiting Cusco, you can pay a visit to El Pisquerito. The bar is owned by Hans Hilburg and Rachel Lujan. Pisco is Hilburg’s passion and he is a walking encyclopedia on it. Well-known in the world of pisco, he is a legend for the many pisco cocktails he has developed. With so many places giving away free but substandard pisco sours, it’s worth going just to make sure you know what one should really taste like.

In Arequipa, you can visit the Biondi store where you can also get a lesson about varieties of pisco, sample them and purchase some great gifts to take home with you. The store is located just across the street from the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. If you want to bring home something for your friends and family that is quintessially Peruvian, pisco is hard to beat.

This is a sponsored post. 

It is possible to tour some of Peru’s finest vineyards for some Pisco-tasting during your Peru vacation package. Contact a Peru travel agency for more details.

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