Is Pisco Peruvian or Chilean? This question is the subject of an ongoing debate between Peru and Chile. Based on historical and etymological evidence that the first pisco was produced in Peru and because of Peru’s rich history of pisco production, we believe pisco is Peruvian.
However, the objective answer to the question is: legally, pisco is both Peruvian and Chilean; both countries call their grape brandy “pisco” and both have a protected Denomination of Origin for pisco.
You may think Peruvian pisco and Chilean are similar. After all, they are both brandies, made from grapes, in two countries with geographic, linguistic and cultural similarities. However, when you take a closer look and examine their distillation methods, geographical zones of production, resting techniques and other details, you will find that they are very different spirits.
Have you been wondering how to pronounce common terms used to describe Peruvian pisco? Below you will find a quick guide to help you learn how to use proper pronunciation on your next pisco-drinking adventure.
First, how do you pronounce our brand name? PiscoLogía is pronounced “Pees-koh-loh-hee-ah”
The three pisco types:
Pisco puro– Puhr-oh
A single varietal pisco made from wine from one type of grape.
Pisco acholado– Ah-cho-lah-doh
Made from more than one varietal. It can be a blend of grapes or a blend of piscos.
Pisco mosto verde– Moh-stoh vehr-day
Pisco made from musts that aren’t fully fermented and sugar is still present in the juice.
Victor Vaughen Morris often receives credit for inventing the pisco sour. While the cocktail became wildly popular in the 1920’s thanks to the American expatriate, evidence shows that pisco sours existed years before Morris began serving them at his bar in downtown Lima.
In his blog post “The Origin of the Pisco Sour”, Nico Vera shares a recipe from a cookbook published in Lima in 1903, The Nuevo Manual de Cocina a la Criolla. Made with “egg white, a glass of Pisco, a teaspoon of fine sugar, and a few drops of lime……all of this beaten in a cocktail shaker” (Nuevo), this unnamed creole cocktail is strikingly similar to the pisco sour served by Morris. Because this recipe began circulating in 1903, this could prove the pisco sour was being made in Peru long before the 1920’s.
We may never know who invented the pisco sour. However, its popularity hasn’t lost momentum since the 1920’s. Recently recognized as one of the most popular cocktails in the world (Wolinksi), the pisco sour continues to win over discerning drinkers around the globe.
“Nuevo Manual De Cocina a La Criolla – 1903.” Edited by S.E. Ledesma, Issuu, 20 Feb. 2013, issuu.com/davidpino7/docs/recetario1903.
Vera, Nico. “The Origin of the Pisco Sour .” Pisco Trail, 9 Dec. 2013, www.piscotrail.com/2013/12/09/culinary-history/the-origin-of-the-pisco-sour/.
“Victor Vaughen Morris.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Mar. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Vaughen_Morris.
Wolinski, Cat, and Helena Yankovska. “The 50 Most Popular Cocktails in the World (UPDATED 2019).” VinePair, 31 May 2019, vinepair.com/articles/50-most-popular-cocktails-world-2017/?fbclid=IwAR2QLQXeh5Vw_F1YaaUpyDlhu9Nc9I4HdaOD7dedVi-3YazgD-BiODCXEl4.
LIMA, Peru – Nov. 16, 2019 — PiscoLogía Quebranta, a single-variety Peruvian pisco made from Quebranta grapes, won a gold medal at the the most important wine and spirits competition in the world judged by women buyers – the Women’s Wine and Spirits Awards. Held in London at the Royal Yacht Club, 100 of the world’s most influential female buyers assembled for the historic occasion. Top retailers, importers, and hospitality entities were present for the blind tastings, including Waitrose & Partners, Bibendum, Enotria & Co, 67 Pall Mall, and The Arts Club.
The award reflects the quality and craftsmanship of the pisco, which is made in Azpitia, in the Denomination of Origin of Lima. “We are honored to receive this gold medal and celebrate the work completed with my partners Nati Gordillo and Kami Kenna. It is a culmination of years of dedication to the art of pisco making” said Meg McFarland, founder of PiscoLogía.
Made from 100% estate-grown grapes, PiscoLogía Quebranta is the quintessential craft pisco. Its aromas are grassy, herbal, and reminiscent of sweet caramelized banana. It tastes of toasted almonds, pecans and tart green apples.
About Topa Spirits, LLC
Topa Spirits, LLC is a 100% women-owned producer, importer and wholesaler of Piscología Pisco Quebranta and PiscoLogía Pisco Acholado.
Connect with PiscoLogía on Facebook, Twitter and www.piscologia.com for cocktail ideas, contests and breaking product news.
Ansley Coale from Craft Distillers discusses PiscoLogía Quebranta and Acholado’s unique qualities in the following video:
According to Ansley, PiscoLogía pisco is “incredibly clean and has nicely intense flavor, but high acid” due to the desert climate of our vineyards. In addition, he found the Quebranta to be “intense, incredibly elegant and structured with a beautiful mouth and a very nice, long, clean and balanced finish”. The Acholado is “fruit forward, with soft aromatics. It’s Quebranta married with the roundness and fruitiness of the Italia”.
Do you want to buy PiscoLogía Peruvian pisco to find out for yourself? Check out Craft Distillers’ Distribution Page for a distributor near you or visit Caddell Williams‘ website to purchase online. Flaviar will also ship PiscoLogía to your home.
I recently sat down with Nati over a delicious meal, as one always does with Nati, to conduct an interview for this blog post. Since forming the band of women that lead our company, we 3 PiscoLogía partners have never lived in the same city. My goal was to pinpoint exactly what makes Nati so special, as understanding each other helps our partnership thrive. I quickly discovered that besides being the most talented master distiller, Nati’s profound intuition is what sets her apart from others.
Nati’s intuition is manifested in the way she connects with nature. It all started in northwestern Peru, in the city of Piura, where Nati grew up among lush agricultural fields. She used to spend hours in orchards as a child, harvesting juicy guavas and other sweet treats. In her youth, Nati formed a special bond with Pachamama (Mother Earth), a bond that nagged her after starting a family in the bustling city of Lima.
In 1998, Nati’s yearning to connect with nature brought her to Azpitia, where she happened upon a plot of land for sale. At first glance, the sandy hills of Azpitia seemed inhospitable to plants. However, Nati’s intuition allowed her to recognize the unique terroir and immense potential in the barren, rolling slopes. First she would have to channel glacial meltwater from Andean Lagoons to bring life to her project. Then she would have to cleanse the soil of salt- residue from the briny Pacific Ocean mist that had accumulated for centuries.
She irrigated day and night to remove the salt and resuscitate the coastal desert. After a year, native plants began to appear, proving her land was ready for Quebranta, Italia and Torontel vines. Throughout the waiting process, Nati contemplated the circle of life that surrounded her, monitoring the moon’s phases, honoring Pachamama to bless her future crops and sowing native plants that would benefit her vines. She also studied the practices of those who came before her, adopting agricultural techniques from the Incas and viticulture concepts from the Spaniards.
Three years later, she rented a still to distill her first batch of pisco. Nati patiently supervised as the clear brandy collected in the well, drip by drip, for 33 hours. The experience gave her the confidence and determination to learn more. One course and a Sommelier degree later, and Nati was ready to buy her first 300L copper-pot still, which boldly shines in the distillery today.
Learning a trade and running a business can be tumultuous. However, one thing has always guided Nati: her intuition. It tells her how to raise her grapes, when to harvest and how to listen to nature. It gives her the insight to know when to cut the heads from the tails and how to care for the pisco after distillation. Her clairvoyance makes her treat the Earth with respect before reaping its benefits. That is why Nati’s pisco is so extraordinary. She creates delicacies with nature’s ingredients through a deliberate, respectful and loving process.
When I asked Nati what she wanted the world to know about her, she humbly answered that she believes in putting positive energy into everything she does. She stated that she likes crafting pisco because it is an act of giving to others. Her comments made me reflect on how lucky Kami and I are to work with Nati. Her quiet introspection completes the puzzle of our partnership, guiding us to make wise business decisions. I then realized that Nati isn’t the most talented master distiller AND the most intuitive; she is the most talented master distiller BECAUSE of her intuition.
Soon Nati’s daughter Beatriz will start her apprenticeship to learn how to distill pisco with her mom. Beatriz will learn well from her mom’s talent and sixth sense. We all know that the best pisco is made with more than just skill; you need positive energy, respect for Pachamama, and most importantly, intuition.
If you love Kami’s pisco cocktails, now you can download our recipe postcards! Click on the links below to learn more about the diverse ways to mix PiscoLogía. In addition to classic pisco cocktails such as the Capitán and Chilcano, you will also find new renditions of traditionally rum-based cocktails such as the Mai Tai and Piña Colada. Finally, if you are looking for something new, we know you won’t be disappointed by the spicy Bees Knees Stings or the Flor Canela.
Do you need high resolution files? Please contact us at email@example.com.
We are happy to announce that PiscoLogía Acholado and PiscoLogía Quebranta are now available for purchase through the LCBO in Canada! This was made possible thanks to a collaboration with the Unknown Agency, experts in growing new breakthrough beverage brands. Based in Toronto, the partners at the Unknown Agency establish routes to market, build volume and grow brand equity through sales, distribution, marketing and PR solutions.
Have you already purchased a bottle of PiscoLogía in Canada? Learn how to mix our Acholado or Quebranta in these cocktail recipes. For more information about availability in Canada, please contact the Unknown Agency:
After many months of preparation, we are pleased to announce that PiscoLogía has officially launched its FAME program (Female Advancement through Mentoring & Equality). By mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs, we promote economic empowerment of women and make strides to close the gender gap. Our goal is to positively impact families, communities and economies worldwide.
With more than 40 years of combined experience in the spirits industry, our team has a gamut of skills. We are specialists in marketing and brand strategy, new product planning and buildout, cost-reduction, supply chain management and beyond. If you operate a woman-owned enterprise or you are a male whose goods or services positively affect women, please click on the link to fill out the questionnaire below. We hope our free consulting services can help you grow your business.
1) The partners of Papalotzin will import and market 3 specialty mezcal brands crafted by small producers in Oaxaca. They will focus on sustainability, education and relationship-building throughout their supply chain. Through the FAME program, the PiscoLogía partners are assisting Papalotzin LLC with logistics, cost analysis and brand and market development. We look forward to seeing how our services will help Yesenia, Nick and the communities where the mezcal is made.
2) We began working with Toni from South Carolina in September. Toni will soon launch a Ready-To-Drink cocktail line that will shake up the industry with its unique formula and branding. It has been exciting to experience the start-up process again alongside Toni. Stay tuned for more information about her product!
3) In March of 2020, we were connected with a handmade jewelry company, Handcrafted by MM. It is run by a 1st grade teacher, who wanted to turn her hobby of making jewelry into a business. Through our FAME program, we assisted her with branding, content creation, SEO and web design. Product launch will happen in June of 2020.
If you think the pisco sour is the most Peruvian cocktail, it may surprise you to hear that we think the pisco & tonic should be the flagship cocktail of Peru. Quinine, the ingredient that gives tonic water its bitter taste, comes from the bark of Peru’s national tree, the cinchona.
There are 23 species of cinchona plants, six of which only grow in the tropical areas of the Peruvian Andes. The Cinchona officinalis (quina in Spanish) is among those 6 species. Quinine from this tree is not only used to make tonic water, but it also has been historically used to treat malaria.
You can make your own tonic water by soaking cinchona bark in carbonated water. However, it’s difficult to find. Sadly, cinchona trees are in danger of extinction.
We believe the pisco tonic should be revered as the quintessential Peruvian cocktail. Tonic, made from bark from Peru’s national tree + pisco + ice = the most Peruvian experience in a glass!
Pisco y Tonic
1.5 oz PiscoLogía Acholado
Top with Fever Tree Tonic
Serve over ice. Garnish with kalamata olives & lime peel