Peru's national drink Pisco is in India

Updated: Sep 29, 2019, 08:13 IST | Kasturi Gadge | Mumbai

Peru has gained the Geographical Indication for its potent national drink in India

As sake is to Japan, vodka is to Russia and rum is to Mauritius, pisco is to Peru. Until recently, there were disagreements between Peru and Chile with respect to the origin of their beloved drink. But thanks to India's Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), pisco is now recognised as having originated in Peru. Which means that the board has recognised the rights of Peruvians to sell the drink in India.

To celebrate the occasion and promote the Peruvian national drink, Embassy of Peru, hosted a Pisco Day at The Clearing House in Fort. Speaking at the event, Fabio Subia, head of the consular section and cultural attaché said, "Pisco got its name in the 16th century. The locals started brewing this drink in an area which was populated by birds. In Quechua, the ancient language of Peru, these birds were called Pisco. And so the area of came to be known as Pisco, as was the drink."

Pisco is here

Incidentally, Peru produces eight different styles of grapes and each one of them is used to make a unique blend of pisco. It's the purest form of alcohol that one can get through the distillation process. The clear drink has little body but is loaded with aroma depending on the type of grape used. If you are feeling adventurous then pisco can set you off for the night, but the best way to drink it is by creating delicious cocktails.

"One can usually combine pisco with the same things as gin, but it has a completely different character. So the safest ingredients to pair it with will be ones that are loaded with vitamin C. Citrus flavours combine well with its floral notes," he says. Just like wine, it can be used in cooking and, according to Subia, his best combination is with chocolate desserts as it balances the sweetness. Subia adds, "There are a total of eight regions in Peru that hold the official rights to produce the drink. It has to contain 12 per cent glucose, and they have to follow a strict procedure to be able to be known as pisco. No water can be added to the mix. It is a high spirit and contains around 40 per cent alcohol."

Fabio Subia
Fabio Subia

Speaking about the first time he drank pisco, Subia says, "I was studying in the US and for my 21st birthday, my friends bought a bottle of pisco to celebrate. This was also my first drink as the legal age for drinking in the USA is 21. We created a Pisco sour, which wasn't high on taste, but left us with great memories."

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