Meanwhile, Herbert Asbury, author of the novel Gangs of New York, the inspiration of Martin Scorsese’s masterful film of the same name, describes how in the late 19th century, the Pisco Punch was the finest and most popular cocktail in San Francisco. However, after years of interest and prestige, the famous spirit was almost forgotten for nearly a century and its consumption decreased.
Unlike the Italian grappa or the Galician orujo, pisco is made from newly fermented wine. The juice is extracted by stepping on the grapes barefoot; eight pounds of grapes are needed to make one liter of pisco.Pisco production only takes place in the coastal departments of Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna. It is controlled by medium size, artisanal companies, wineries that devote the utmost care to the elaboration processes to ensure the highest quality, often ignoring the profits because, for a Peruvian, making good pisco is a matter of patriotic pride.
Johnny Schuler Recipe
The Peruvian Denomination of Origin for Pisco includes more than 600 wineries. The following brands, available everywhere in the world, are regarded as the best in the market: Pisco Viejo Tonel Acholado, produced by Agroindustrial Viejo Tonel; Pisco El Comendador de Caraveli, produced by the Association of Pisco and Wine Producers of the Caraveli Province; Campo de Encanto Pisco by the firm ND, and Don Amadeo, produced and bottled by Alberto DiLaura Viccina. The best ways to enjoy pisco are neat, on the rocks or in delicious cocktails like the Pisco Sour, the latest trend in New York, Madrid, London, and Paris bars.
And finally, if you are wondering how does good pisco taste, Peruvians will tell you it is the flavor of their beautiful country, but the objective truth is that it has herbal aromas, a touch of orange blossom, spices and citrus flavors, and on the palate it gives a slight and comforting bite with a hint of burnt fruit, and sometimes apple, quince and lime. Without a doubt, it is a real treat. ■