Chilcano de pisco is not the most popular drink in Peru, nevertheless this is the week for celebrating this drink. Between the 10th and the 19th events will crop up in bars around the country to promote this cocktail. Organized by the writer and researcher Manuel Cadenas Mujica, the even will be carried out for the fourth year in a row.
Chilcano is kind of the step-sister to the much more well known pisco sour, though it is a wonderful drink in its own right. Nevertheless, it is surrounded by a bit of rumor and scandal. Its origins seem doubtful to many. Some wonder if it is even Peruvian.
Never in doubt, though is the beauty and taste of this amazing combination. If truth is in the drinking you will know it is a delight.
Nevertheless, Soledad Marroquin, the expert in pisco, claims that this cocktail was brought to Peru by Italian immigrant. It is a version, she holds, of their beverage buon giorno (good day) made from distilled aguardiente made from grapes mixed with ginger ale.
Even though not all agree with Marroquin, and the origins of the drink are veiled in the mists of the past, where some prefer to keep them, we all know that its key ingredient could not be more Peruvian. This is pisco, the brandy-like beverage that comes form Peru’s colonial days.
We Peruvians should enjoy our national beverages. During this week let us break our habits and have a good chilcano, at the same time we learn more about it. It is refreshing and it is a great means of opening your appetite before any meal.
Chilcano de Pisco
5 ice cubes
1 ounce of pisco
juice of a medium lime
1/2 cup of ginger ale
2 drops angostura bitters
1/4 cup simple syrup
1) Place the ice cubes in a receptacle.
2) Add good quality pisco. The better the quality, the better the resulting beverage.
3) Add the lime juice. When we say the juice of half a lime, this does not mean that we squeeze it completely dry. Nor do we simply ad two or three drops, we add the juice of half a lime without exaggeration or shortfall.
4) Add the ginger ale. This drink adds sweetness to the cocktail. If you do not have ginger ale, you can add simple syrup to get the sweetness. But you should only use the simple syrup (1/4 cup) or a teaspoon of sugar if you do not have ginger ale.
5) Mix and serve.
Add the drops of angostura bitters.
Depending on the taste of each person you can add more pisco or more lime juice. The balance depends on the genius of the mixer and the pleasure of each. You find what your perfect balance is.