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Peruvian drink par excellence this brandy of originating grape of valleys of the coast of Lima until Is born and of Moquegua and Tacna, it has been elaborated in our country as of century XVI.

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

The name of this drink must to that it was the port of Pisco, near Ica from where the brandy embarked.


The Piscos is classified in five main categories.

Pure Pisco
Also Pure call of Ica is elaborated mainly with grape Breaks, but also the Mollar or the Current Black can be used.

It is the pisco of greater character and more appreciated by the understood ones. Figure between the best international alcohol by its lowest level of impurities, that in front of puts it in advantage the fine foreign alcohol. One is due to drink pure like licor, but also it can be used for cocteles.

Aromatic Pisco
It is obtained thanks to the fragant grapes like the Moscatel, Italy, Albilla and Torontel. As its name indicates it is a pisco of exquisite aroma. These piscos take the name of the used type of grape, for example Pisco Italy, Pisco Moscatel, etc.

Pisco Green Must
One obtains when distilling musts without the fermentation process is completed (all azucar has not been transformed into alcohol).

Shameed Pisco
Call thus because in their elaboration musts of different types from aromatic and nonaromatic grapes take part (Breaks, Italy, Moscatel, Torontel, Black Albilla, etc.) being able to be all or some of them and in different proportions.

Perfumed Pisco
When in the distillation fruits placed in a basket within paila with the purpose of extracting the aromas of the selected fruit are added. It is as well as the piscos of cherry, handle, lemon, maracuyá, etc. or even of cocaine are obtained.

Taken from: http://data.terra.com.pe/comidaperu/pis_zonab.asp


The Pisco, in addition to being the traditional drink of Peru from times of the Spanish Colony, and symbol of the peruanidad, also constitutes what in the international trade it is known like a denomination of origin. According to arranged by the Adjustment of Lisbon relative to the protection of the denominations of origin and the its registry and according to the definition established by the World-wide Organization of Propiedad Intelectual (OMPI), climate is understood by denomination of origin to the name of a country, a region or a determined place, that it is used to designate to an original product of them, whose qualities and characteristics must exclusively and essentially to geographic means, including the natural factors (geography, raw material, etc.) and the human factors (manual labor, art, talent, tradition, etc.).

On the other hand, the Organization the International of the Vine and Vino (OIV) consider, in addition to these elements, the factor of "notoriety" or "reputation" that must have the denominations of origin to be considered like such. One treats then, of an integral concept that has significant importance for the vitivinícola sector because economia, since they intend the "collective promotion" guaranteeing quality, origin and, in many cases, tradition and history of products constitutes a valuable legal instrument for the development of one that are fruit of the intimate bond between human groups and the Earth from where they come.

Also, the denominations of origin constitute a mechanism of defense of the consumer and of the free and loyal competition, because the Agreement on the Rights of the Intellectual Property related to Comercio (ADPIC), subscribed within the framework of the World-wide Organization of Comercio, establishes in Section III referred to the Geographic Indications, which "the countries will have to prevent the use of indications that suggest a product comes from a region geographic different from their true origin, inducing to the public error, and even, any other type of use that constitutes an act of disloyal competition."

As it is possible to be concluded, one of the elements indispensable for the recognition of a Denomination of Origin and/or Geographic Indication it is the referring pre-existence of a geographic one that indeed gives origin to the denomination of a product elaborated in that certain territory. It is in this context that the countries establish the suitable legal frame with the purpose of preventing that the use of a designation or presentation of a product indicates that this one comes from a geographic region different from its true place of origin.

Map of principles of the century XVIII that shows to the road of Pisco standing out the villa of Pisco. The engraving, of unknown author, belongs to the archives of the Real Library of Madrid.

(Taken from Chronicles and Relations that talk about to the origin and virtues of the Pisco. Traditional drink and cultural patrimony of Peru. Latin Bank 1990, First Edition, Files)

Within the reaches of this concept, the term "Pisco" is located like an exclusively Peruvian denomination of origin. In the first place, because it corresponds to a geographic place that has existed from beginnings of the Colony with that name, corresponding to a city, a valley, a river, a port and a province in the South coast of Peru. Also, it deserves to stand out that from the point of view of the legal dispositions that regulate the political demarcation of the Peru, the District of Pisco exists like so since Peru was constituted like independent Republic in 1821, and that the same one was elevated to the category of Province by means of Law of the Congress, of 13 of October of 1900, published in the official newspaper "the Peruvian", the 30 of October of 1900. Secondly, because the extraction, harvesting and later manufacture and elaboration of this drink are made to travás of exclusive a productive process of the developed and spread Peruvian technique in the producing regions.

In addition, porqué the grape used in its elaboration must to the tempered climate and to the tectonic formation of the ground, own of the province of Pisco, that extends to 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 the Pisco also has net Peruvian origin, going back to century XVII and continuing to date.

Like one of the many examples that can be mentioned, one of the testimonies gathered by the North American historian Herbert Asbury whom it investigated, among other aspects is transcribed next, the popularity of the Pisco in the coast the west of the United States:

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

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

"the Bank Exchange was specially famous by the" Pisco Punch ", invented by Duncan Nichol, one more of the reputed pluses barman... During the decade of 1870´s it was of distant spot the most popular drink in San Francisco, to grief that was sold to 25 cents the glass, a high price for those days. The descriptions of San Francisco in that period, abound in almost líricas references to their flavor and power, like "crème of crème" of drinks. Its base was the brandy of Pisco, that was distilled of the well-known grape like Italy or the Rose of the Peru, and was thus denominated due to the Peruvian port by where he was embarked (....) On the brandy in himself, (...) a connoisseur that proved it in 1872 sentenced: He is perfectly colorless, with a delicate fragrance, terribly hard and tastes that remembers the Scottish whiskey, but is much more delicate, with a marked taste fruit. Packaging in clay jars, wide comes in the part of above narrowing itself gradually downwards, that contain approximately five gallons each one."

Another outstanding example with explicit references to the origin and the prestige of the Pisco appears in the centennial "Bulletin of the War of the published Pacific" in 1980 by Beautiful the Andrés Publishing house of Santiago. In this bulletin the Chilean military who participated in the occupation of the Peruvian localities of Ica and Pisco brief the following thing very textually:

"... their main houses are destined to warehouses to keep the earthenwares (earthenware pitchers) from the famous brandy that has taken the name from the port (...) the city of Ica is a town of seven to eight thousand inhabitants, is surrounded by chácaras dedicated specially to the culture of vines that produce the famous Pisco. (...) the occupation troops are fed splendidly: good vegetables, abundant meat, fresh bread, a glass of pisco to the lunch and another one of wine to the food and, mainly, watermelons riquísimas, in abundance, that is favorite to manjar of our broken ones." (Report of Colonel Jose Domingo Arrunátegui. Bulletin of the War of the Pacific, Santiago of Chile, Beautiful Andrés Editorial, 1980)

According to the Peruvian legislation, the denominations of origin are property of the State and this one grants authorizations for its use. It is necessary to emphasize that to date no country has registered at international level - in the scope of the Agreement of Lisbon the denomination of Pisco origin. Within the framework multilateral from the OMC, one comes negotiating the establishment of a "Multilateral System of notification and registry of the geographic indications of wines and espirituosas drinks", process in which Peru comes participating actively. Nevertheless, yes it exists registered in some countries the Pisco word as "it marks", which is in opposition to the effective international norms that establish clearly that a denomination of origin cannot, in no case, registered being as it marks.

Source: http://www.rree.gob.pe/


Don Francisco de Carabantes stopped in the castle of stern of his carabela contemplated anxious the distant horizon, while it weighed the success of his bold adventure. He was anxious to arrive at Amérca and to listen to the warning of "at sight earth". In its dark and humid warehouses the ship took an appraised treasure. Many samietos of a grape gathered in the Canary islands (dark or perhaps tempranillo). It had to produce wine because the church and the colony required it. The year of 1553 ran as it attests lnca Garcilaso of the Fertile valley.

Thousand years before Chuquimanco, cacique of these earth to the south of Lima, contemplated in a warm one to get late flocks of small birds that furrowed the marine horizon, in search of rest islands. They were thousands of birds that Chuquimanco knew in its language quechua like pishkos. They inspired to their town potter and they gave its name him.

Thus it narrates it in 1550 Don Pedro Cieza of Leon in the General Chronicle of Peru: "... pisco it is name of birds".

Pishko gave name to a river, a valley and a town: Garcilaso of the Fertile valley in the Real Commentaries writes: ".. los of the valley of Pisco..."and Felipe Huamán Poma de Ayala in New Corónica and Buen Government (1615) relates: "this this villa of piscuy is a stuck pretty villa to the sea.". Pishko also gave name to a port: ".. this villa of Piscuy Port." And to a pitcher. Thus the Peruanidad of the Pisco narrates Angels Horseman in its book: ".. within the geographic area in which it was located Paracas a special one of extraordinary potters was developed chaste, the piskos, dedicated to the manufacture of beautiful ceramios of forna conical.... "

And this conteniente pitcher name to its content, baptizing the our Peruvian drink and imposing to him of the peruanismos, as Don Manuel Antonio asserts the Chilean lexicographer Roman: "Pisco: brandy very considered that makes anywhere in the world in well-known Peru and. It began without a doubt in the port of Pisco and for that reason it took that name.'

And the sarmientos arrived. Perhaps it brought Hernando de Montenegro, as it affirms Father Bernabé Cobo, or perhaps Marquess de Carabantes, according to Bow. The certain thing is that these grapevines quickly sank their deep roots of Spanish stem in warm and fertile sands of our coast, becoming Peruvian. The dark one became breaks. And its production was abundant, as much that soon this special brandy to all the colonies was exported. Nevertheless, Felipe II of Spain, in 1702, prohibited to concern these wines and brandies to the old continent.

In 1613 it appears the first document written about the production of grape brandy in the new continent. Lorenzo Villegas Orchards in its work "wine Production and its derivatives in lca. Centuries XVI-XVII "summarize the testament, of Pedro Manuel" the Greek ", inhabitant of the city of lca that in his last will it indicated to bequeath; among other many properties, "a Creole slave called Luisa, thirty tinajas of full vurney of brandy that ternan one hundred and sixty botixuelas of the this brandy but a great copper boiler to remove to brandy with their cover and tube. Two puntayas the one whereupon passes the sewer and other healthy ques but small that will primerá it.

And thus; of still, alquitara arabesque or racially mixed washboard and of Peruvian patrimony brought forth at the beginning of century XVI the brandy of pure grape.

SOURCE: Secrets of Kitchen of "the Commerce" Pag. 114,122 FUENTE: Secretos de Cocina de "El Comercio" Pag. 114,122


The Peruvian pisco is a aguardiante of grape, fruit of the fresh must distillation in stills that do not rectify the product. The pisco thus obtained must have a color is transparent slightly or amber, with a pure alcohol content that fluctuates around 42º GL.

Pisscu means to small bird in language quechua. It was the name of a generous valley where the cóndores abounded and where a descending culture lived on the Paracas, whose potters, also called piscos, they made tinajas where they fermented chicha and other spirits.

The grapevine in Peru
When the Spaniards arrived, they found that that region costeña reunited special conditions so that parra Mediterranean bloomed, and could make it thanks to the old knowledge of the Peruvians that knew to irrigate the coastal desert.

From the production, the Pisco name designated to the aguardiante of grape and to the port in which this one was embarked, as it consists in the maps of Peru from aims of century XVI. The export of our pisco had its apogee in centuries XVII and XVIII.

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

The Peruvian Literature of century XIX tells that when asking for it it was said "to take the eleven", by the eleven letters of the aguardiante, and in its Traditions, Ricardo Palm, famous Peruvian writer (1833 - 1919), quitapesares remembers like the "agitator".

Day of the Pisco Sour

By initiative of the Peruvian State from the 2003 it is celebrated the 8 of February like the day of the Pisco Sour. This festividad was restored looking for to promote this product beyond the national borders making know the origin unquestionable the traditional licor. The Pisco Sour is the most emblematic cocktail of those than they make with this brandy of Peruvian grape, but not the only one. Other drinks on the basis of pisco are the chilcano, the captain, among others.

(Source: Andean PROM Peru/)


Web site created on march 30 of 2005.
© Copyright 2005 Gualberto Valderrama C.