Foodtripper.com - For people who travel to eat. Sunday 31 August 2014 Contact Us | About Us | Sitemap
TV Presenters course eventbrite
Search Foodtripper
Newsletter Updates
RSS RSS
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter

Peru: In search of the perfect Pisco

Peru: In search of the perfect Pisco
In Lunahuana village, chickens are soaked in Pisco before roasting. As the deep brown birds come out of the oven, their sizzling skin is given another misting of Pisco to give it an boozy warmth.
 
Journey down the Pan American Highway south from Lima and barren, desolate theme sets in. The landscape here is dusty, deserted and not naturally welcoming.
 
But venture inland, towards the massive peaks of the Andes, and the adobe houses are suddenly, colourfully adorned with a surprising garnish – thick, healthy-looking grape vines. Then there are broad fields of them, set out in those mesmerising parallel lines which span valleys. This is Peru's wine country – an oasis of verdant splendour in a rugged, rocky world.
 
The wineries along the Rio Canete produce some reds, but it's not their forte and it shows – they are sweet and lack the power of their Chilean and Argentinian cousins.
 
The main focus in this part of the world is Pisco, a grape brandy which has become a bit of a national sweetheart.
 
First introduced by the Spanish settlers in the 16th century as an alternative to imported brandy, Pisco is now one of the proudest elements in the Peruvian culinary armoury.
 
Sometimes it's sweet and mellow, but others are more similar to tequila or vodka and can get as fierce as 48%. Here in Peru, it's made from eight different types of grape – aromatic white grapes and non-aromatic red grapes.
 
In Lunahuana, a tiny village an hour or so from Canete, the method of making Pisco hasn't changed much. When the grapes need pressing, the locals come, armed with a few bottles of last year's vintage, and dance barefoot on the fruit. Once fermented, the liquid is distilled using ornate copper equipment and left to age in huge metal vessels – never in oak barrels.
 
The end product is surprisingly drinkable and flavours vary depending on the grape and the method of production. Mosto Verde is best imbibed neat – fermentation of this Pisco is cut short before distilling to make a sweet, softer drink. The Italiana is floral while the acholado blend has a taste of orange to it.
 
But the the Pisco Sour is where you'll most likely enjoy this spirit. Made up of Pisco, lemon juice, egg white, ice, sugar syrup and Angostura Bitters, it's blended up to a sharp, foamy cocktail. Most bars in Lima say they make the best Pisco Sour, but it's hard to encounter a really bad one.
Like most good spirits, Pisco has made its way into the kitchen. At Pisco Pollo in Lunahuana, chickens are soaked in the spirit for a few hours before being roasted. As the deep brown birds come out of the oven, their sizzling skin is given another misting of Pisco to give it an alcoholic heat. By the sea, it's whisked into a cream and pecan sauce for sea bass, while it is also dropped into hearty stews in the highlands.
 
The locals all have their own way of testing the quality of Pisco, but the popular method is to turn the bottle upside down and rotate it in a whisking action – if the clear liquid forms a long, thin whirlpool, you're on to a good tipple.
0 Comments | Add a comment

ADD A COMMENT



Fields marked with ( * ) are compulsory.

First name *
Last name *
Email address *
(will not be published)
Location
(optional)
Comment
Subscribe to Foodtripper.com newsletter?
3 February 2012
Meet our regular columnists
Lily The PInk
Food tripper ebooks banner

EVENTS CALENDAR

JulAugust 2014Sep
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567

Editor's Choice

Editor's  Choice
16/05/2014
Spring has made an appearance, at last and we have al fresco ideas from picnics in the park to sky-high snacking in London and all over the world.
12/01/2014
Helen Hokin: I’m considering relocating to Barbados. I could swap my reindeer onesie for a designer one-piece and save on heating bills without the hassle of switching suppliers every other month.
01/11/2013
Travelling to a different part of the world usually means sampling the local cuisine, but if you’re headed somewhere as uninhabited and challenging as the Antarctic, then you only get to eat what you bring with you.