Pisco is for sipping
For decades the world market for pisco has been controlled by a handful of plus-sized distillers located in Valle de Elquí in the Chilean desert southeast of La Serena. But today it is the grapier, more artisanal Peruvian pisco, made by more than 300 rustic mom-and-pop distillers scattered across the southern coast of the country, that has carved out a name for itself among mixologists.
Most Americans who have tried pisco have done so only when it has provided the punch for to a Pisco Sour cocktail, which combines pisco with lime juice, egg whites, simple syrup and bitters. But pisco purists are hoping that these finer liquors can compete with the recent influx of premium sipping tequilas and mezcals that have hit the U.S. market.
In Lima’s top bars and restaurants, premium piscos are sipped straight in snifter glasses, as well as being featured in a dozen or so cocktails — including variations of the Pisco Sour that use passion fruit or the Amazonian camucamu juice instead of lime.
Photo credit: Nicholas Gill/For The Times