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Peruvian drink par excellence this grape liquor coming from the valleys of the coast of Lima to Nazca and of Moquegua and Tacna, it has been elaborated in our country starting from the XVI century.

Pisco is extracted by distillation, by means of the application of heat in a still, to the musts that are recently fermented grape juice, being obtained its unmistakable flavor and highlighting the fact of being a distilled nobleman a hundred pure and natural percent from its beginning.

The name of this drink is due to that was the port of Pisco, near to Ica from where he/she went aboard the liquor.


Piscos is classified in five main categories.

Pure Pisco
Pure call of Ica is also elaborated mainly with grape it Smashes, but you can also use the Lean one or the Average Quarter note.

It is the pisco of more character and more appreciated by the experts. It figures among the international best alcohols for their low level of sludges that puts it in advantage in front of the foreign fine alcohols. He/she should drink pure as liquor, but it can also be used for cocktails.

Aromatic Pisco
It is achieved thanks to the fragrant grapes as the Muscatel, Italy, Albilla and Torontel. As their name it indicates it it is a pisco of exquisite aroma. These piscos takes the name of the used grape type, for example Pisco Italy, Pisco Muscatel, etc.

Pisco Green Must
It is obtained when distilling the musts without the process of fermentation (all the sugar has not become alcohol) is completed.

Pisco Acholado
Called this way because in their elaboration musts of different types of aromatic and not aromatic (it Smashes, Italy, Muscatel, Torontel, Albilla Quarter note, etc.) grapes intervene being able to be all or some of them and in different proportions.

Perfumed Pisco
When in the distillation fruits are added placed in a layette inside the paila with the purpose of extracting the aromas of the chosen fruit. It is as well as the cherry piscos is obtained, mango, lemon, maracuyá, etc. or even of coca.

Taken of: / comidaperu / pis_zonab.asp


Pisco, besides being the traditional drink of Peru from times of the Spanish Colony, and symbol of the peruanidad, also constitutes what is known in the international trade like an origin denomination.

According to that had by the Arrangement relative Lisbon to the protection of the origin denominations and their registration and according to the definition settled down by the World Organization of the Intellectual property (OMPI), he/she understands each other for origin denomination to the name of a country, of a region or of a certain place that is used to designate to a product native of them whose qualities and characteristic they owe you exclusive and essentially to the geographical, included mean the natural (geography, climate, matter prevails, etc.) factors and the human (manpower, art, genius, tradition, etc.) factors.

On the other hand, the International Organization of the Vineyard and the Wine (OIV) considers, besides these elements, the factor of "fame" or "reputation" that should have the origin denominations to be considered as such. It is then, of an integral concept that you had significant importance for the viticultural sector because it constitutes a juridical valuable instrument for the development of an economy, since they have for object the collective" "promotion guaranteeing quality, origin and, in many cases, tradition and history of products that are fruit of the intimate bond between human groups and the earth of where they come.

Also, the origin denominations constitute a mechanism of the consumer's defense and of the free and loyal competition, because the Agreement on the Rights of the Intellectual property related with the Trade (ADPIC), undersigned in the mark of the World Organization of the Trade, settles down in the Section III referred to the Geographical Indications that "the countries will impede the use of indications that you/they suggest that a product comes from a geographical region different from its true origin, inducing the public to error, and even, any other use type that constitutes an act of disloyal" competition.

As you it can conclude, one of the indispensable elements for the recognition of a Denomination of Origin and/or Geographical Indication is the pre-existence of a geographical referent that in fact gives origin to the denomination of a product elaborated in that certain territory. It is in this context that the countries establish the legal appropriate mark with the purpose of impeding that the use of an appointment or presentation of a product indicates that this comes from a geographical region different from its true origin place.

Map of principles of the XVIII century that shows the bay of Pisco standing out the village of Pisco. The engraving, of unknown author, belongs to the files of the Real Library of Madrid.

(Taken of Chronic and Relationships that refer to the origin and virtues of Pisco. Traditional drink and cultural patrimony of Peru. Latin Bank 1990, First Edition, Lima)

Inside the reaches of this concept, the term "Pisco" is located like an exclusively Peruvian origin denomination. In the first place, because it corresponds to a geographical place that has existed from beginnings of the Colony with that name, corresponding to a city, a valley, a river, a port and a county in the south coast of Peru. Also, he/she deserves to stand out that from the point of view of the legal dispositions that you/they regulate the political demarcation of Peru, the District of Pisco exists as such since Peru was constituted as independent Republic in 1821, and that the same one was high to the category of County mediating Law of the Congress, of October of 1900, 13 published in the official newspaper "The Peruvian", October 30 of 1900. In second place, because the extraction, gathering and later production and elaboration of this drink is carried out to travás of a productive exclusive process of the Peruvian developed technique and diffused in the regions producers.

Also, reason the grape used in its elaboration is due to the temperate climate and the tectonic formation of the floor, characteristic of the county of Pisco that extends to the valleys of the departments of Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua and some valleys of the Department of Tacna where similar conditions exist. On the other hand, the reputation of Pisco also has Peruvian net origin, going back to the XVII century and continuing so far.

As one of the many examples that can make an appointment, it is transcribed one of the testimonies picked up by the North American historian Herbert Asbury who investigated, next among other aspects, the popularity of Pisco in the coast west of the United States:

Old engraving, "Taking pisco in a bar in San Francisco, United States"

(Taken "The Barbary Coast: An informal history of the San Francisco underworld" Herbert Asbury, New York 1933)

"Bank Exchange was specially famous for "Pisco Punch", invented by Duncan Nichol, one of the more most reputed barman... During the decade of 1870's it was from a distance the most popular drink in San Francisco, to weigh that it was sold to 25 cents the glass, a high price for those days. San Francisco's descriptions in that period, are plentiful in almost lyrical references to their flavor and power, as "the crème of the crème" of the drinks. Their base was the liquor of Pisco that was distilled of the well-known grape as italia or Rosa from Peru, and it was denominated this way due to the Peruvian port for where it was embarked (....) On the liquor in yes, (...) an expert that proved it in 1872 sentenced: It is perfectly colorless, with a delicate fragrance, terribly strong and he/she has a flavor that remembers the Scottish whisky, but it is much more delicate, with a marked pleasure to fruit. He/she comes packed in clay jars, wide in the part of up being narrowed gradually down that you/they contain five gallons approximately each one."

Another outstanding example with explicit references to the origin and the prestige of Pisco appears in the centennial "Bulletin of Guerra from Pacific published in 1980 by Santiago's Beautiful Editorial Andrés. In this bulletin the military ones Chilean that participated in the occupation of the Peruvian towns of Ica and Pisco they consign the following thing textually:

"... their main houses are dedicated to cellars to keep the cancos (botijas) of the famous liquor that he/she has taken the name of the port. (...) The city of Ica is a town from seven to eight thousand inhabitants, it is surrounded of chácaras dedicated especially to the cultivation of vineyards that famous Pisco takes place. (...) The occupation troops feed splendidly: good vegetables, abundant meat, fresh bread, a pisco glass to the lunch and another of wine to the food and, mainly, watermelons riquísimas, in abundance that is the favorite dish of our broken ones." (Inform of the Colonel José Domingo Arrunátegui. Bulletin of Guerra from Pacific, Santiago from Chile, Beautiful Editorial Andrés 1980.)

According to the Peruvian legislation, the origin denominations are property of the State and this grants authorizations for their use. It is necessary to highlight that so far no country has registered at international level - in the environment of the Agreement of Lisbon - the origin denomination Pisco. In the multilateral mark of OMC, one comes negotiating the establishment of a Multilateral "System of notification and registration of the geographical indications of wines and spirituous" drinks, I process in which Peru comes participating actively. However, yes it exists registered in some countries the word Pisco like "mark", what is contrary to the international effective norms that establish clearly that an origin denomination is not able to, in any case, to be registered as mark.



Don Francisco of stopped Carabantes in the castle of stern of his caravel contemplated restless the distant horizon, while it pondered his daring person's success it risks. It was anxious to arrive to Amérca and to listen the "earth warning visible ". In their dark and humid cellars the ship took a valuable treasure. Many samietos of a grape picked up in the islands Canaries (the tight one or maybe the tempranillo). He/she should take place he/she came because the church and the colony required it. He/she ran the year of 1553 just as he/she testifies him the lnca Garcilaso de la Vega.

A thousand years before Chuquimanco, cacique of these lands to the south of Lima, contemplated in a warm one to grow dark avecillas flocks that furrowed the marine horizon, in search of islands of rest. They were thousands of birds that Chuquimanco knew in its Quechua language as pishkos. They inspired to their town potter and they gave him/her their name.

He/she narrates this way it in 1550 don Pedro Cieza of León in The General Chronicle of Peru: "...pisco is name of birds."

Pishko gave name to a river, a valley and a town: Garcilaso de la Vega in the Real Comments writes: ".. .those of the valley of Pisco. .." and Felipe Huamán Poma of Ayala in New Corónica and Good Government (1615) he/she relates: "this this piscuy village is a beautiful village hit to the sea. .". Pishko also gave name to a port: ".. this village of Piscuy Port." And to a pitcher. He/she narrates this way it Ángel Gentleman in their book Peruanidad of Pisco: ".. inside the geographical area in that Paracas was located a special breed of extraordinary potters, the piskos, it was developed dedicated to the production of beautiful ceramios of conical forna.... "

And this pitcher containing name to their content, baptizing our drink and imposing him/her the most Peruvian in the Peruvianisms, like the lexicographer Chilean don asserts Manuel Antonio Román: "Pisco: very dear liquor that is manufactured in Peru and known in the entire world. It began without a doubt in the port of Pisco and for that reason he/she took that name. "

And the vineshoots arrived. Hernando of Montenegro maybe brought them, like the Father affirms Bernabé Cobo, or maybe the Marquis of Carabantes, according to Knot. The certain thing is that these vines quickly sank their deep roots of Spanish shaft in the warm and fertile sands of our coast, becoming Peruvians. The tight one was made it smashes. And their production was abundant, so much that soon this special liquor was exported to the whole colonies. However, Felipe II of Spain, in 1702, it prohibited to care these wines and liquors to the old continent.

In 1613 the first document written about the production of grape liquor in the new continent appears. Lorenzo Vegetable gardens Villegas in their work "Production of wines and their derived in lca. XVI-XVII" centuries it summarizes the testament, of Pedro Manuel "The Greek", resident of the lca city who indicated to bequeath in their last will; among other many properties, "a Creole called slave Luisa, thirty vurney tinajas full with liquor that ternan hundred and sixty botixuelas of the this liquor but a big boiler of copper of taking out liquor with their cover and canyon. Two puntayas the one with which it passes the pipe and the other one healthy what a but small that the first.'

And this way; of still, arabesque alquitara or mestizo falca and of Peruvian patrimony the liquor of pure grape sprouted at the beginning of the XVI century.

SOURCE: Secrets of Kitchen of "the Trade" Pag. 114,122


The Peruvian pisco is a grape aguardiante, fruit of the distillation of fresh musts in stills that they don't rectify the product. The pisco this way obtained he/she should have a transparent or lightly amber color, with a content of pure alcohol that fluctuates around 42º GL.

Pisscu means avecilla in Quechua language. It was the name of a generous valley where the condors were plentiful and where a descending culture of Paracas lived whose potters, also called piscos, they manufactured the tinajas where they fermented the chicha and other alcoholic drinks.

The vine in Peru
When the Spaniards arrived, they found that that coastal region gathered special conditions so that the mediterranean vine flourished, and he/she could make it thanks to the knowledge of the old Peruvians that you/they knew how to irrigate the coastal desert.

Starting from the production, the name Pisco designated to the grape aguardiante and the port in which this was embarked, like it consists in the maps of Peru from ends of the XVI century. The export of our pisco had its acme in the XVII and XVIII centuries.

The varieties of the pisco are defined for the flavor and not for the aroma and four types are recognized according to the input used for their elaboration: pure pisco, fact with varieties of non aromatic grapes; aromatic piscos; pisco acholado, originated in the mixture of broths of different grape varieties; and pisco green must, obtained of the distillation of broths incompletely fermented.

The Peruvian literature of the century XIX bill that when requesting it it was said to "take the eleven", for the eleven letters of the aguardiante, and in their Traditions, Ricardo Palm, Peruvian celebrated writer (1833 - 1919), he/she remembers it as the "hothead quitapesares."

Day of Pisco Sour

For initiative of the Peruvian State from the 2003 takes place February 8 like the day of Pisco Sour. This festivity was established looking for to promote this product beyond the national frontiers making know the unquestionable origin of the traditional liquor. Pisco Sour is the cocktail more emblemático of those that are manufactured with this Peruvian grape liquor, but not the only one. Other drinks based on pisco are the chilcano, the captain, among other.

(Source: Prom Peru / Andean)


Page created web March 30 of the one 2005.
© Copyright 2005 Gualberto Valderrama C.