You Are Here: Home, Facts about peru, Pisco

Custom Search within Peru Travel Confidential Website


Pisco is a brandy of grape made from Quebranta grape. The Quebranta grape is a mutation of the black grape brought by the Spaniards. The Peruvian brandy of grape is unique, because it's produce with pure grape juice. No softener it's added to the drink; so to produce one liter you need seven kilos of Quebranta grape. The Peruvian brandy of grape is ready when it reaches 43 proof degrees of alcohol.

The imagination of the Inca People, the Spaniards black grape and evolution, are the ingredients of the Peruvian brandy of grape. The Pisco start to be produce over 400 years ago. It was export illegally to Europe and Central America, because back then the Spaniards didn't approve its production and trade.
  • 1
    • pisco bottle
      Peru exports this brandy of grape to Europe for more than 400 years.
  • 2
    • peruvian pisco
      The brandy must stay a minimum of three months inside these containers before bottling.
  • 3
    • pisco cocktails
      The aromatic properties of this brandy of grape is inspiring great and delicious cocktails.

The Pisku people, who use to live in the south of Lima, are the inventors of this drink. The word Pisku means bird. The area where they use to live was full of seabirds, reason of their name. The Piskus had great pottery skills and their most important product was a large conical container to ferment corn to make Inca beer. We know these containers with the name of Aryballos.

The Aryballos containers the Piskus made start to be use by the Spaniards to ferment grape, so they could make wine. Then, the Pisku people copy the procedure of grape fermenting and add their own ideas. Years after, the Spanish black grape mutate into the Quebranta grape, so the Piskus could make their first brandies. The name of the alcoholic drink the Pisku people made inherit their name.

Decades after and just because misspelling of the name Pisku, it change into Pisco. This drink is Peruvian, there's no doubt about that. It's incredible but few years ago, the Peruvian government and the Chilean government had a legal battle about the ownership of this Peruvian brandy of grape. All this happened because many years ago a Chilean business man wrote an international patent saying, the Peruvian brandy of grape was invent in Chile.

How it happen? Here we explain; over a hundred years ago, Lima city had a hotel own by a Chilean. One day, the bar of the hotel was visit by an American guest, who wants to drink a whiskey sour. But, the bartender didn't have any whiskey in the bar; so the bartender suggests using Pisco instead of whiskey. The guess accept the offer and many years later the bar of the hotel became very popular because the new cocktail.
  • 1
    • riedel pisco glass
      The special design Riedel glass to drink this Peruvian brandy has a beautiful tulip shape.
  • 2
    • pisco sour
      The real name of this Peruvian cocktail should be Pisku sour.
  • 3
    • pisco sour peru
      Another presentation of what we believe should be calling Pisku sour.

The new cocktail was calling Pisco sour. It was so successful that in few years the cocktail recipe travels around the world becoming a famous Peruvian cocktail. The beginning of the problem was because the Chilean owner of the hotel made an international patent saying, the Peruvian brandy of grape was originally from Chile. Several decades after the brandy of grape and the idea of the cocktail went under the Chilean government protection.

The Chilean government needs to back up the story of the ownership, so they change the name of towns and grow a similar variety of grape like in Peru. What it's worst; they lie to their people and build a Chilean national identity around the drink. After more than one hundred years of legal fights within Peru and Chile, the international authorities finally give the legal ownership of the brandy of grape to Peru.

The Peruvian brandy of grape is the biggest symbol of national identity. The Peruvian government celebrates the international authorities decision with a special petition to the international glass maker company Riedel. They order to design and make a special glass to drink Pisco. The result is a marvelous tulip shaped small glass, that presents this delicious drink with all it greatness to the world.
Share |

Subscribe to our Newsletter




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you the Peru Travel Confidential Newsletter. See back issues.

SBI Video Tour!