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Pisco


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The name "bell ringer" I am given to understand, referred to the motion the bartender makes in shaking out the rinse of apricot brandy, which is not unlike the motion of the arm one makes when ringing a hand-held bell.

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  • 1 month later...

I was making Wondrich's Mississippi Punch (2 brandy, 1 dark Jamaican rum, 1/2 batavia arrack, 3/4 lemon, 1/2 rich simple) tonight, and I started wondering how pisco would sub into these sorts of brandy drinks. Has anyone fiddled around with that substitution -- recognizing that there's a big difference requiring serious modifications?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I was in my local liquor store today and decided to put a bottle of Pisco in my basket. The on;y had two brands. Barsol and Capel. I recalled someone here saying the Barsol wasn't so great, so I picked up the Barsol. First up later tonight will be a Pisco Sour. I'll be checking out the other recipes here, too. Hopefully, I can make some with what I have on hand.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I recalled someone here saying the Barsol wasn't so great, so I picked up the Barsol.

Wow, so it's like that? Damn.

Some of the big US chains are also carrying Don César, whose acholado was very highly recommended to me by two different Peruvian bartender friends, and I have to admit it's my favorite so far, as well. The version I've seen on shelves here though is the Don César pisco puro, made from a single grape variety, and I haven't tried it yet.

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oops.. I meant to say I bought the Capel. I guess I misread the earlier post about Barsol. Oh well. I thought it made a decent Pisco Sour. But I guess I should use it all up before picking up a bottle of the Barsol.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been finding the La Botija Tabernero pisco quebranta to resemble a genever-style gin, and so, following Dave Wondrich following Jerry Thomas, I made an Improved Pisco Cocktail using Kubler absinthe, Luxardo maraschino, Angostura, and the pisco. It can't quite hold its own the way that, say, Genevieve can, but it's still an interesting experiment.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 4 weeks later...

we have been using BarSol because that's is what is available. I am quite happy with it (ignorance is drunken blissfulness?). The bottle of Don Casaer was disappointing at best, I have not tried any aged pisco.

A note on the pisco/cachaca thing. Pisco is unaged brandy, like grappa, but the BarSol is much smoother than a very popular brand of grappa that we use, in fact it would take some serious flavors to marry with the grappa, but the Pisco seems to be a very nice cocktail ingredient.

Oh and according to a regular who drinks Pisco Sours at the bar and tells great yarns of stories from her travels in South America. It is customary when ordering a Pisco sour to say "Pisco Sour" as a sort of snarl, in a way as though you detest the thing.

now if you'll excuse me I have some new pisco cocktails to mix up.

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  • 2 months later...
oops.. I meant to say I bought the Capel.  I guess I misread the earlier post about  Barsol.  Oh well.  I thought it made a decent Pisco Sour. But I guess I should use it all up before picking up a bottle of the Barsol.

you made a mistake by buying that Capel, it is from chile, therefore is not Pisco. its an agua ardiente. its made with lesser quality grapes and water is added at the end. it is also not from the town of Pisco where Pisco is from. do everyone a favor and put that crap down the drain. buy only real Pisco.

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we have been using BarSol because that's is what is available.  I am quite happy with it (ignorance is drunken blissfulness?).  The bottle of Don Casaer was disappointing at best, I have not tried any aged pisco.

A note on the pisco/cachaca thing.  Pisco is unaged brandy, like grappa, but the BarSol is much smoother than a very popular brand of grappa that we use, in fact it would take some serious flavors to marry with the grappa, but the Pisco seems to be a very nice cocktail ingredient.

Oh and according to a regular who drinks Pisco Sours at the bar and tells great yarns of stories from her travels in South America.  It is customary when ordering a Pisco sour to say "Pisco Sour" as a sort of snarl, in a way as though you detest the thing.

now if you'll excuse me I have some new pisco cocktails to mix up.

where are you getting your barsol from? are u ordering it online or do you have a purveyor?

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What can people here tell me about domestic pisco, ( meaning in my case, from the US)?

I saw that Eje was using a California pisco in one of his recipes recently, and I'm anxiously awaiting a sample of pisco from Todd Leopold, whose Denver distillery makes a pisco that won some awards last year and which is about to hit the California market (as well as a couple of selected others) within the next couple of months. This is also, BTW, the base with which he makes his unique absinthe.

As much as I love pisco, both for sipping and making sours, I find it ridiculously hard to get decent bottlings, as the three or four distributors that have a stranglehold on the US market only circulate a handful, and none of them are even in the top ten lists of people who know their pisco.

I've been ordering it on the net from Peru, with shipping times and charges that make it a rare and exotic treat. I'd drink a lot more of it if I knew of viable domestic brands. I have high hopes for the Leopold.

Anybody know of other domestics?

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I'm anxiously awaiting a sample of pisco from Todd Leopold, whose Denver distillery makes a pisco that won some awards last year and which is about to hit the California market (as well as a couple of selected others) within the next couple of months. This is also, BTW, the base with which he makes his unique absinthe.

...

I've been ordering it on the net from Peru, with shipping times and charges that make it a rare and exotic treat. I'd drink a lot more of it if I knew of viable domestic brands. I have high hopes for the Leopold.

Anybody know of other domestics?

I don't think you'll be disappointed. Leopold's Pisco (Style American Brandy) is perhaps the best I've ever had, and my collection includes several that have been purchased in Peru and were sold as fine 'sipping' Piscos. I still have about 1 oz remaining from one of several bottles of the Leopold that I bought back in '06 direct from their former Ann Arbor location (along with a bottle of their gin that is for some reason labeled 'Lemon Flavored Brandy'...I'm sure Todd had a good reason). I've been bugging them about twice a year by e-mail to see when the Pisco will be available again, because I refuse to kill the bottle until I'm assured of a future supply. It is amazingly floral, sweet and strong (90 proof) but delicate.

eta: Clarified the name of the product...the bottle I have is clearly marked 'Pisco Style' American Brandy.

eta2: Not domestic, but I wanted to throw in a plug for Montesierpe. It's a very funky pisco that makes a unique sour and is very enjoyable in applications like slings & punches. BevMo in CA carries it, and it's quite reasonably priced.

Edited by KD1191 (log)

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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  • 2 weeks later...

Was sad to hear from Scott Leopold today that their pisco will probably not be available again until next spring. They use it as the base for their absinthe, and apparently that ate up more of their supply than they initially expected.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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  • 2 months later...

Oh, yeah, I remember seeing that! So props to you prior to Vic.

It went well. I added ~2 oz of Luxardo Maraschino to the punch itself, and I also muddled the rinds of three lemons with some demerara sugar before mixing everything else up. It was very good indeed, and went very well with the spiced potato, sweet potato, and taro chips I had out as a pre-dinner snack. I also froze a chunk of the syrup-drenched pineapple onto the bottom of each punch glass to good effect.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Enjoying tonight's cocktail, the award-winning Que Lastima from Blair Reynolds of Trader Tiki's Booze Blog:

2 oz pisco (La Botija Tabernero)

3⁄4 oz lime

1⁄2 oz cinnamon 2:1 syrup (5 drops cinnamon tincture + 1/2 oz gum syrup)

1⁄4 falernum (Taylor's)

1 Fee's OF bitters

1 dash pimento dram (homemade)

It's a great drink, one I'm surprised I haven't made sooner. It'd probably be terrific batched; next time, I think I'll toss an egg white in there and put a few drops of the tincture on the meringue.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 2 years later...

A trip to Peru helps me to understand a little more about Pisco, that I didn´t find in Chile.

They hv 3 type of Pisco to be more easy to understand:

1 - Aromatic - Pisco Italia for example: that are made from just one grape specie, like Italia, Torontel, Moscatel or Albila

This is to drink straight, not to make cocktails, so quality should be good for a better taste.

2 - Non Aromatic - Pisco Quebranta - only one grape, Quebranta Grape - used for cocktails

3 - Blended - one more grape. Pisco Acholado - used for cocktails and for infused pisco

Infused Pisco is usually for Chilcano cocktail, that is pisco (infused or not), a fruit juice and gingerAle, lot of ice, long drink, good for summer.

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  • 3 years later...

Suggested a Pisco Sour at Attaboy a couple of nights ago and was given a Parasol.  Can't vouch for the measurements but the ingredients here sound right (via Food and Wine):

 

1/2 oz lemon

1/2 oz lime

3/4 oz simple

1 oz pisco

2 oz Aperol

egg white

angostura bitters

 

Shake. Strain. Coupe.

 

I would guess that what I had wasn't quite so Aperol heavy.  Maybe equal parts pisco and Aperol?  Or 2 oz pisco/1 oz Aperol?  Regardless, it was a fantastic cocktail.  If you're in NYC get down to Attaboy. 

 

I've gone a little pisco crazy this summer.  I think I've gathered 10+ different labels in the past few months.  The variety is striking.  I'd be interested in reviving this thread and exchanging tasting notes with fellow piscophiles while the warmer weather is still upon us.

 

-Mike

 

 

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