Let’s Talk About Pisco! And…The Hibiscus Pisco Sour

Hibiscus Pisco Sour - Bit By a Fox Blog
Find the recipe HERE!

What exactly is pisco, you ask? You’ve definitely heard of it. You might have even tried it. Probably in the form of a Pisco Sour. And you probably know that it comes from Latin America. But, what is it made from? Is the flavor like tequila? Or is it neutral like vodka?

First of all, what you need to know about pisco is that it is a brandy made from grapes. But unlike grappa or other aguardientes made from the solid part of the grape – byproducts of wine production, the leftover pulp, skin and seeds – pisco is made by distilling the fermented grape, the solid and liquid together. It is essentially wine that is distilled.

Pisco is produced in designated regions in both Peru and Chile with both countries claiming ownership of the spirit. The dispute is fierce and even the etymology of the name pisco, is still hotly debated. Since both countries were once part of the same Spanish viceroyalty when the conquistadores first brought grape vines to the region in the 16th century in order to make this beloved spirit, it makes sense that there is some confusion as to its exact genesis. The point is, pisco has been so incredibly popular for centuries in Peru and Chile that they’ve BOTH adopted it as their national drink. Update: Peru wins, according to the EU. 

Why isn’t pisco as popular over here? Pisco gained popularity in San Francisco and other parts of California during the Gold Rush era in the late 1800s and early 20th century, but after prohibition, for many years, it was difficult to find this South American liquor. Most pisco producers are very small and don’t export outside of their countries. But that’s slowly changing. Pisco is making a comeback! Let’s be a part of it!

Tonight at Atlantic Cellars from 6-9pm, I’ll be making a Hibiscus Pisco Sour cocktail with the incredibly smooth, versatile and delicious Capurro Premium Pisco from Peru:

Capurro Pisco BottleThe Capurro family has been producing premium pisco for 5 generations and over 100 years. They even received a double gold medal at the San Francisco world spirits competition in 2008. But it’s only in the last few years that they have had distribution in the states. In September 2012, they had a limited release of their product in Miami and the South Florida area, and then eventually made their way up the East Coast.

Capurro Premium Pisco is made in the Nazca desert, using a secret family recipe. The especially warm weather makes the family estate-grown grapes sweeter and riper than most pisco grapes. It is also, apparently, the only vintage dated pisco on the market, making this hand-crafted and terroir driven pisco, one of the most special.

Hibiscus Pisco Sour Pic - Bit By a Fox Blog
I hope you’ll join me tonight anytime between 6-9pm at Atlantic Cellars to taste this premium pisco on its own as well as in my delicious, ruby hued cocktail – the Hibiscus Pisco Sour! Pick up a bottle of your own Capurra Pisco as well as the recipe to this yummy drink. Salud!

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