Glen Hooper, cocktail and Pisco expert, introduces Greek bartenders to the Peruvian distillate and details the history of this exceptional type of brandy.
Pisco is a type of brandy and is the national drink of Chile and Peru. It first appeared in 1600 and it is considered as the first distilled spirit of the New World. Its name comes from the port of Pisco in the Peruvian area called Ica. The word is related to “pisquo” which is the old Peruvian word for the “flying bird” (probably because of the birds that lived in the area). In 1600 due to high growth of vines in Peru, Pisco production was a common activity.
According to the first historical reference, in 1613, “Pėdro Manuėl the Greek”, a resident of Ica, left a document about the distillate and its production method. In 1700, the production of Pisco surpassed that of wine in Peru and soon it was exported everywhere. Pisco became popular on the West Coast, especially San Fransisco, during the days of the Gold Rush. The Pisco Punch was created during the late 1800s by Duncan Nicol, bartender at the Bank Exchange and Billiard Saloon in San Francisco. In 1916, another bartender in Peruvian“Morris” bar, created the Pisco Sour cocktail.
Despite the fall of Pisco in America because of Prohibition, Pisco Sour became a favorite among locals and tourists. In 1968, Peru was impaired by the military forces of Coup d’Etat, which lasted until 1980. This affected the crops and Peru stopped Pisco exportation. Hopefully, since 1990, Peru has been regaining its financial stability and development and Pisco production began to flourish again. Today, Barsol Pisco is one of the most qualitative Pisco’s around the world, and is officially imported in Greece through Sky Spirits.
Sky Spirits’ representatives along with John Samaras, organized a one day seminar about Barsol Pisco. Glen Hooper, cocktail and Pisco expert, introduced us to the Peruvian spirit and explained everything relative to this exceptional type of brandy. During the seminar, we also had the honor and the chance to learn a lot of interesting historical facts from Mr. Jorge E. Román Morey, the Ambassador of Peru in Greece. Watch the video and have a taste!