Myth #12- Acholado piscos must be made from a mix of aromatic and non-aromatic grapes

This is the 12th in a series mythbusters to clarify misconceptions about Peruvian pisco!

 

Acholados can be made from a blend of any of the 8 grapes permitted by the D.O. in Peru. The blend does not need to contain both aromatic and non-aromatic grapes.

 

Another myth about pisco that requires clarification is the notion that an acholado must be made from a blend of at least one aromatic grape and one non-aromatic grape. To address this myth, we turned to Pepe Moquillaza, Liquid Story Teller, brand Ambassador and maestro pisquero, who stated: “traditionally an acholado was made from Quebranta and a mix of aromatic grapes. However, this wasn’t enforced in the legislation of the Denomination of Origin, so that requirement is no longer. Now you can mix grapes, fermented must or piscos of any of the 8 grape types permitted by the D.O.”

Here are the D.O. rules for acholados:

4.3 Pisco acholado is obtained from a mix of:

  • Pisco grapes, aromatic and non-aromatic
  • Musts of aromatic and non-aromatic pisco grapes
  • Completely fermented fresh musts (wine) of aromatic and non-aromatic pisco grapes.
  • Piscos made from aromatic and non-aromatic pisco grapes.

 

And just a reminder, those pisco grapes are: Quebranta, Negra Criolla, Mollar, Uvina (non-aromatic) and Albilla, Italia, Torontel and Moscatel (aromatic).

So there you have it- one can find all types of acholado piscos in Peru, and blends made from solely non-aromatic or aromatic grapes are permitted. The end result in the bottle comes down to the vineyard and the preferences of the master distiller.

What do Acholado, Pisco Puro and Mosto Verde Mean?

In lesson 2, you will learn about the differences between the 3 types of piscos: pisco puro, pisco acholado & mosto verde. What differentiates one type of pisco from another depends on the grapes, not in the varieties used to make them, but in the way they are used.

Pisco puro is made from one grape. For example, Quebranta is a grape used to make Peruvian pisco, just like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are grapes used to make wine. So, pisco puro de quebranta is a pisco made from just one variety, the quebranta grape.

Acholado means blend. An acholado can be made from a blend of grapes or a blend of piscos, which means a distiller can combine the grapes before distillation or the piscos after distillation. In the case of PiscoLogía, our master distiller Nati blends Italia and Quebranta piscos before bottling. This allows her to create the perfect formula in each batch once the flavors and aromas have melded during the resting phase.

Finally, a mosto verde pisco is made from musts that aren’t fully fermented, such that the yeasts haven’t completely converted all of the sugars from the grape juice into wine. This results in mosto verdes having a more silky texture and are more aromatic.

 

 

 

PiscoLogia Tasting Notes by Craft Distillers

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.

Pisco Cocktail Recipe Postcards

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 info@topaspirits.com.

 

pisco cocktail, pisco logia, acholado, quebranta, spicy cocktail

 

Bees Knees Stings

Capitan Perfecto

Dr. Hopeful

Flor Canela

Mai Nikkei Tai

Matcha Colada

Pisco & Tonic

San Martin Cocktail

Watermelon Chilcano

 

Pisco & Tonic – The Most Peruvian Cocktail

cinchona, pisco tonic, tonic, quina

Cinchona Bark

 

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 tonic, Peruvian pisco, piscologia, pisco cocktails, acholado

Pisco y Tonic

1.5 oz PiscoLogía Acholado

Top with Fever Tree Tonic

Serve over ice. Garnish with kalamata olives & lime peel 

 

 

Sources:

Cortijo, Roberto. “Peru in Danger of Losing Its National Cinchona Tree.” Phys.org, 18 Oct. 2018, phys.org/news/2018-10-peru-danger-national-cinchona-tree.html.

 

Riepl, Martin. “Quina, El Casi Extinto Árbol Medicinal Del Escudo De Perú Que Pocos Patriotas Conocen e Inspiró El Gin Tonic .” BBC News Mundo, BBC, 28 July 2017, www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-40744976.

Matcha Colada

piscologia, craft pisco, piña colada, peruvian pisco, pisco cocktail

 

Pisco replaces rum in this Piña Colada-style concoction, showcasing the versatility of Peruvian pisco and highlighting its longstanding relationship with the pineapple.

 

The marriage of Peruvian pisco and pineapple happened thanks to Duncan Nicol, but the pineapple had gained fame in the USA long before the Pisco Punch. In the 1700’s, the tropical fruit began to symbolize opulence in the colonies- one pineapple cost the equivalent of $8,000 in today’s dollars, due to its “perishability, novelty, exoticism, and scarcity” (Raga).

When Nicol opened the Bank Exchange, the fruit was still a symbol of great wealth, but it had become less expensive due to the increased movement of goods during the Gold Rush. Ships used to stock up on prospecting supplies in Peru en route to San Francisco, among the goods were pisco and pineapples. The fruit soon became more accessible, allowing Nicol to mix pineapple syrup and pisco to woo San Francisco’s wealthiest drinkers.

Luckily pineapple is no longer for the elite, so we can use it in our favorite cocktails without breaking the bank. For this Matcha Colada, a Peruvian piña colada, we recommend PiscoLogía Acholado, our special blend of Quebranta and Italia piscos. The pineapple and coconut will pair beautifully with the tropical flavors and aromas of the Italia.

For a special treat, add matcha syrup and matcha dust, a finely ground powder of green tea leaves!

 

Matcha Colada

2 oz. Pisco Acholado

1 oz. Coconut cream

.75 oz. Pineapple juice

.75 oz. Matcha syrup

Shake and pour over pebble ice. Garnish with mint bundle and matcha dust 

 

 

Source:

Raga, Suzanne. “The Super Luxe History of Pineapples.” Mental Floss, 25 June 2015, mentalfloss.com/article/65506/super-luxe-history-pineapples-and-why-they-used-cost-8000.

Myth #6- It doesn’t matter what grape variety of Peruvian pisco you use in cocktails

This is the 6th post of a series of mythbusters to clarify misconceptions about Peruvian pisco.

 

pisco types, peruvian pisco, piscologia

 

 

It does matter what variety of pisco you put in your cocktail. Every pisco type displays unique flavors and aromas that should pair with what you’re mixing.

 

Once again, we will turn to Kami to bust this myth about Peruvian pisco. She confirmed that each variety of pisco is unique, stating: “There are 8 grape varieties that can be used to make pisco, not to mention an infinite amount of Acholados, which are blends, that can take on any number of characteristics when combined. Blends aside, each of the 8 varieties offer us different flavor profiles”.

 

Kami continued to give us specifics about how different types of grapes are expressed in cocktails. “Uvina, for an example, is not a pisco I want to put into a pisco sour. It is one of the rare non-aromatics. It has vegetable, olive-like flavors – it’s really interesting. A cocktail made with Quebranta or Negra Criolla, two of the non-aromatics, are going to drastically change the profile of a cocktail originally crafted with the very-aromatic Italia. Aside from producers and brands of pisco, it is important to craft a drink around the explosive flavors of each grape variety. It’d be like pairing a sweet rose wine with a steak – no gracias”.

 

This confirms what we have said before- the type of pisco you put into your cocktail should be carefully chosen to match the ingredients. In doing so, you will create a harmony of flavors and appreciate the full potential of the clear Peruvian brandy.  

Myth#4- Quebranta is the best pisco for a pisco sour

This is the 4th post of a series of mythbusters to clarify misconceptions about Peruvian pisco.

 

pisco sour, pisco cocktail, peruvian pisco, piscologia

 

We think Acholado is the best pisco for a pisco sour.

 

Contrary to the belief in Peru that pisco sours should be made with Quebranta pisco, we prefer a sour made with pisco Acholado. It’s even better when the Acholado is blended with an aromatic grape like Italia. The floral, fruity notes of the aromatic variety pair well with the citrus in the cocktail.  

In a recent blog post we discussed the benefits of highlighting the characteristics of each pisco type when mixing cocktails. To do this, Kami envisions the 8 pisco varieties on a spectrum, drawing a parallel between their flavors and their sense of warmth. To her, the more aromatic the pisco, the cooler it is: “I love an Acholado or one of the aromatics for a pisco sour. I tend to think of Quebranta as warm, while Italia and Torontel are cool. I like my cool/floral/bright piscos with citrus and the “warm” Quebranta on its own or mixed into a Capitán or another booze-forward classic like a Negroni”.

With this advice from Kami, we encourage you to experiment by making pisco sours with different types of pisco. We are confident that you will agree- the floral, fruity notes of an Acholado work best with the sweetness and acidity of Peru’s most iconic cocktail.  

El Capitán, El Manhattan Peruano

capitan cocktail, manhattan peruano, capitan pisco, piscologia

Hoy presentamos otro coctel clásico peruano, el Capitán. También conocido como el “Manhattan Peruano”, esta mezcla de vermut y pisco representa la fusión de las culturas italianas y peruanas en Perú.

Según John Santa Cruz en ¡Que Pase El Capitán!, el vermut italiano se importó por primera vez al Perú en el año 1859. Sin embargo, no llegó a su cima de popularidad hasta después de la Primera Guerra Mundial, cuando los inmigrantes italianos en Perú empezaron a tomar el vino fortificado con pisco peruano. El trago económico fue nombrado por su precio, 20 Centavos.

Cuando el coctel 20 Centavos se puso popular fuera de los círculos de inmigrantes italianos, su nombre cambió a “Capitán”. En las alturas de los Andes en la ciudad de Puno, los capitanes militares paraban en bares durante sus patrullas en caballo cada noche y pedían el coctel 20 Centavos. Los bármanes les pasaban los tragos a sus clientes uniformados, diciendo: “Para usted, mi Capitán”. El  nombre “Capitán” pronto empezó a usarse, reemplazando el nombre 20 Centavos. Desde entonces, ha sido parte de la cultura coctelera en Perú´.

Nuestra socia Kami creó su versión del Capitán con PiscoLogía Pisco Acholado, vermut seco y vermut dulce:

Capitán Perfecto 

  • 2 onzas PiscoLogía Acholado 
  • 1/2 onza vermut seco
  • 1/2 onza vermut dulce
  • Aceituna negra envuelta en nori

Mezclar todo. Servir con la guarnición de aceituna con nori.

Fuente:

Santa Cruz, John. “¡Qué Pase El Capitán! Crónicas Desde Perú .” Gastronomía Alternativa, www.gastronomiaalternativa.com/ga-23_19-que-pase-el-capitan.html.

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