This is a topic that i think that needs to be considered as important due to the confusion it can lead to. This is a distilled liquor that has become internationalized already and at least the most popular bars, as well as bartenders, didn’t think twice in order to launch different recipes. To be honest, this is such an honor, especially for Peruvians, to see our national beverage go through borders.
However, the biggest problem drives us to the discussion about if it’s originally from Peru or Chile… that’s why i’m writing this, i mean, not to cause any sort of fights between which country is better, because each one is different and has its own charms, but to clear things up.
So, actually, the real reason would be that Peru took so long to legalize the Name of Origin, then Chile took the advantage.
During the age of the Spanish Conquest, in 1570, the Spaniards were the ones who introduced grapes to our country [as well as other ingredients such as rice, beef, etc] and the ancient peruvians started to ferment this fruit.
It was forbidden to distill cane alcohol until 1613, but even since then they name the product as “Grape’s liquor from the region of Pisco”.
Years later, in 1814, there’s a written reference about one of author William B Stevenson’s trips to Peru, where he describes about a “colorless liquor, similar to cognac that they call pisco due to the place it was made”…
Now, it’s finally in 1931 when Chile decided to register a Name of Origin of “Pisco Chile”, but to make that kind of document there must be accredited by the place of origin, and sadly there was no place named Pisco there. Until 5 years later when they changed the name of a town called “La Union” in order to be named “Pisco Elqui”.
And what about Peru?
Well… it wasn’t until 50 years later that we register our Name of Origin. Why? I seriously don’t know the exact cause.
And then, another thing I’d like to clear about is the standardization of its recipe. And this is another BIG issue because there’s no official organization in charge of spreading the real measures, that’s why we can find in different media networks different amounts of pisco, syrup and lemon to pour in our final product… But the truth is that there’s ONLY ONE MEASURE IN ORDER TO BALANCE ALL FLAVORS : SWEET, SOUR AND BITTER, and these are:
- 3 ounces of Pisco
- 1 ounce of lemon juice
- 1 ounce of sugar syrup
- Ice cubes
- Dashes of angostura bitter