Climb to Wayna Picchu

I adore traveling. I love all the new sights, smells, and, most importantly, tastes.  Fiance and I were lucky enough to visit Peru for a conference in January and we took full advantage of the trip by building in some time in Cusco and a trip to Machu Picchu.

We ended our trip with a visit to Museo  de Pisco  (Pisco Museum) and learning as much as we could about pisco, Peru’s national spirit. While definitely an educational experience, the Pisco Museum’s large stock of piscos and other liquors, assortment of mixers, and highly skilled bartenders makes it a one of the most enjoyable bars I have been to.

I chose to do the guided pisco flights, four different half ounce pours. A charming bartender led us through the process and explained some history and the production process along the way, switching fluidly between English and Spanish to keep us on our toes. The entire process was about an hour, but I’ve condensed the information into a several bullet points.

  • Peru and Chile hotly contest over the origin of this South American brandy and both experiences a renaissance in interest in Pisco in the last several decades.
  • Pisco is made by fermenting the juice of any of the eight local grapes and then distilling it.
  • There are four different types of pisco: puro pisco (made from a single variety of grapes), pisco aromatico (made from one of the aromatic varities of grapes), acholado (a blend of two or more varieites of grapes), and mosto verde (distilled from particially fermented grape juice.)

I loved the mosto verde pisco. It was sweeter and much more sipable. Fiance also tried my flights and really enjoyed the pisco aromatico, while our friend favored the pisco puro.

Making a Pisco Sour

I’m usually the cocktail craftswoman in our house, but Fiance decided that he wanted to get hands-on and try their Pisco Sour Making lesson. The bartender seamlessly led Fiance through the process of crafting the deliciously tart and foamy cocktail.

While Fiance was busy making the drink, I noted the proportions and steps so that I could share this delectable Peruvian drink with you.

Pouring Pisco SourPisco Sour

2 oz pisco
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz simple syrup
1 egg white
Angostura bitters

  1. Combine the first four ingredients in a shaker without ice.
  2. Shake for one minute, add ice, and shake another 30 seconds.
  3. Strain cocktail into a chilled lowball glass. There should be between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch of foam.
  4. Sprinkle three drops of Angostura bitters to stain the foam.
  5. Serve immediately.

Along with several other souvenirs, we brought back two bottles of pisco, so we could keep a bit of Peru with us. Hopefully this post inspires you to try out a taste of Peru at home, or if you happen to be visiting Cusco, stop by the Pisco Museum.