Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tart, sweet and refreshing

Pisco originated in Peru after the Spanish conquest. This aromatic brandy is the base of the national cocktail: the Pisco sour. Made from distilled grapes, pisco and pisco sour have been in the center of a controversy about its origin with its southern neighbor country: Chile.
Peruvians and Chileans have kept a grudge since the War of the Pacific that started in 1879 where Peru and Bolivia lost a big portion of their territories. The pisco issue has deepened into the old animosity.

Some say that the problem is that Peru failed to register the name pisco as France did with Champagne, for example.

The Peruvian Pisco sour cocktail is a blended mixture of pisco brandy, lime juice (Peruvian limes are very acid,) sugar or simple syrup, egg white and ice. Some recipes call for a couple drops of Angostura bitters and a little sprinkled powder cinnamon over the foamy top. In 2003, February 8 was institutionalized as the “National day of the Pisco Sour.” If you want to keep Peruvians on your side, you don’t want to make comparisons with its Chilean counterpart.

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