The South American grape brandy flames existing tensions between Chile and Peru, but for everyone else it’s just a delicious drink.
Pisco is made in both Peru and Chile, with the neighbors arguing over who it belongs to. Chilean production centers around the Valle del Elqui, worth a visit for the spectacular scenery as well as the booze, while Peruvian pisco is made in the coastal areas south of Lima.
Whichever country you find yourself in, you’ll be treated to some great cocktails. The classic choice is the pisco sour, with lemon juice and egg white, but you can also mix it with cola or lemonade if you’ve not got the chance to make cocktails.
Purists argue you should drink pisco without a mixer, but for most people that will be difficult the first time. If you treat yourself to a good shot, get it over ice and wait for the water to take a bit of an edge off the alcohol.
Look out for brands such as Barsol, Machi Pisco and Santiago Quierolo. Whether you’re in Lima or Santiago, don’t be surprised to find locals ordering pisco rather than beer. Follow suit to find out for yourself about one of South America’s best-known spirits.