VSAG on Watch: Pisco Takes Center Stage

South of the border spirits are taking center stage as we see an influx of delicious, interesting new spirits coming from and inspired by the tastes of South America.

Spirits such as Brazilian cachaca, Peruvian pisco, and Bolivian singani (all of which are in the port wine, brandy, rum families but each have their own, distinct persona), are entering the U.S. market and being paired with citrus/fruits, chilies, and herbs making for some delicious, smooth, and flavorful cocktails.

All are quickly becoming favorites on the American bar scene, but we see a standout: Pisco.

What is pisco?

Pisco is described by Food lover’s Companion as: a clear to pale straw-colored, potent South American brandy that dates back to the Incas. Piscos are produced primarily in Peru and Chile and most are made from a 100 percent muscat-based wine, although some are produced from a blend of grapes. They’re aged in clay jars and have a spicy, exotic flavor.

What are some popular pisco cocktail selections?

A Pisco Sour style cocktail is a traditional favorite among pisco drinks. It’s shaken with citrus, sweetener, and of course, pisco.

Another great choice in Pisco Sour cocktails: A Strawberry Pisco Sour, like the one served at Farmers & Distillers, featuring Founding Farmers Pisco, a glorious blend of freshly distilled Peruvian grapes produced specially for Farmers Restaurant Group, which is infused with strawberry and thyme, lemon, gomme syrup, vanilla, and egg white. Delicioso!

 *photo: the delicious Founding Farmers Pisco