Pisco is a unique liquor distilled from grapes in Peru or Chile, and it’s a close cousin to brandy, which is distilled from wine. Peruvian Pisco is not aged, and Chilean Pisco is usually aged in barrels, which means that Peru’s Pisco is colorless and Chile’s is a faint yellow/brown color.

I tried two types: Pisco Port贸n from Peru, and Don Quixote “Pisqo Brandy,” in the style of Chilean Pisco, from here in New Mexico. When tasted straight, Pisco Port贸n reminded me of stems and reeds, earthy and aromatic. It has a flavor that I haven’t really experienced yet in spirits – falling somewhere between tequila, vodka, and grappa. Don Quixote Pisqo was more similar in flavor to brandy, with a desert spiciness to it and a really crisp and clean finish.

I made Pisco Sours with both types of Pisco:

Pisco Sour

  • 2 oz pisco
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • shake all ingredients hard in a cocktail shaker with no ice to froth the egg white
  • add ice and shake again to chill
  • pour into an old fashioned glass and top with 3 drops of bitters (exclude the bitters when using Chielean piscos)

Pisco sours

Pisco Port贸n was the best fit for this particular cocktail. The intense flavor of Don Quixote’s Pisqo overpowered the聽 ingredients, so I think Pisco Port贸n is going to be a better fit in mixed drinks, while Don Quixote’s Pisqo Brandy is better to sip unmixed, and it’s spicy character makes it a great complement to a cigar.

Pisco聽Port贸n will run you about $40 a bottle and Don Quixote Pisqo is available at the distillery or online for $42.

3 thoughts on “Pisco

    1. greg Post author

      Hey Ceasar,

      I hadn’t heard of Capel, so I did some looking around the web. Looks like most of their stuff is “traditional” Chilean Pisco, but they have that “Transparent Double Distillation” version that’s still aged 5 months. Looks good – have you tasted it?

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