The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2010

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Page 83 of 104

P Beyond the Pisco Sour The Fallen Angel by Erick Castro of Rickhouse in San Francisco 2 oz. pisco ½ oz. Aperol ¾ oz. lemon juice ½ oz.egg white Barspoon of raspberry jam Dash simple syrup Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously with no ice for approximately 10 to 15 seconds. Next add add ice and shake vigorously until the drink takes on a voluptuous creamy texture. Strain into a chilled coupe Garnish with one raspberry. isco can deliver an array of characteristics, from fl oral and fruity to herbal and savory. Its distinct aromatics—sometimes reminiscent of grappa, sometimes of tequila and, oftentimes, of rum— vary depending on the grapes used and its country of origin. The Peru versus Chile bout hasn’t quite made it to the last round—at least not yet. The match is ongoing, but the odds seem to be in favor of the former. It’s a fact that while Chile produces more than 90 percent of the world’s pisco, it is Peru that focuses on the spirit’s artisanal side. Peru utilizes up to eight varieties, with Quebranta favored as the most suitable, while Chile’s three grape varietals tend to lack the subtle aromatics. But the difference is not only in the types of grapes used. In Peru, where pisco is produced in the valley of Ica, the brandy is distilled in copper pot (alembic) stills, the result being more retention of fl avor. In Chile, pisco is distilled in vertical columns, diluted with water and aged in oak. Showing it takes pisco seriously, Peru has gone so far as to create its own regulatory body, the Consejo Regulador del Pisco, set up in 2006. Quality and standards have been established by this organization, responsible for overseeing the processes of individual producers and for shutting down any illegal practices. 21st-Century Pisco With a new outlook on production and its own governing body, Peruvian pisco produc- ers are making headway on their marketing and export ventures to the States. Pisco O won Best Pisco of Show and a Double Gold medal in this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Macchu Pisco was heralded with the distinction of being selected as one of THE TASTING PANEL’S “Most Unique Brands of 2010” (see our July issue). And leading the way for the category, Barsol Pisco—another San Francisco World Spirits Double Gold winner—carries more than 100 years of experience in its single-batch production. The Cocktail that Forged Pisco’s Path: The Pisco Sour As a call at the bar, pisco doesn’t often get to play in the same sandbox as tequila or rum when it comes to being an established identity or as a choice for sipping straight up. Enter the Pisco Sour. Although pisco’s history dates back to the 17th century in Peru, it wasn’t until the 1850s that Peruvians who ventured to California during the Gold Rush seeded this spirit’s popularity on the West Coast. For many decades thereafter, from pre-Prohibition well into the mid-20th century, the Pisco Sour—pisco combined with egg whites, bitters, lime juice and simple syrup—was the top-selling tipple in San Francisco. august 2010 / the tasting panel / 83

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