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Pisco

Pisco is a type of brandy that originates from South America, specifically Peru and Chile. Pisco is made by distilling grape juice into high-proof alcohol. The name "pisco" comes from the Quechua word for bird, which is thought to be because early bottles of pisco were shaped like birds. It is typically clear, but can also be amber or yellow in colour. It's a drink often used in cocktails, such as the 'Pisco Sour'. It has a strong, grape-like flavour and a slightly sweet taste. Pico de gallo, a type of salsa, is also named after pisco because of its similar flavour profile.

Pisco is a versatile spirit that can be used in a variety of cocktails. Pisco Sours are a classic cocktail that is made with pisco, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg whites.

In Chile, Pisco is made in the Elqui Valley, where it is twice distilled in copper pot stills. Pisco is designated by ABV, and goes up in increasing strength from Regular at between 30% and 35% abv, through Special, Control and Reserve, up to Great with an abv of over 43%. Often, a higher ABV in a Chilean Pisco is indicative of a higher quality product with greater aroma and complexity.

In Peru, Pisco is distilled from fermented grape juice in copper pot stills. It is never diluted after distillation, and the designations describe the varietals of grape used. Pure is a single varietal Pisco (often Quebranta), Aromatic is a Muscat Pisco, Mosto Verde (Green Must) is distilled from partially fermented must and Acholado (Half Breed) is a blend of more than one grape type. As you might imagine, both Peru and Chile dispute the true originator of the drink, although both enjoy drinking it in a Pisco Sour.

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