Only during summer, by the end of February/March, when the grapes has reached their highest sugar levels, are cut. Meantime, the whole complex (the Agar) is carefully cleaned and desinfected first step prior to full & short production. Different grape variety (1-2) gives different pisco flavours and bouquets, they can be pure of each type or blended between them. After forming a big cone pile (3-4) the grapes are squeezed with a wooden huarango press. The fresh grape juice is filtered and placed in botijas, (05) top sealed for 15 days until correct fermentation & alcoholic levels are achieved. It’s cousin, Cachina (06) is a young 5-7 days fermented juice, it’s sweetness flavour makes it a very tricky drink specially for ladies.
After the fermentation process is completed, this juice is placed and sealed inside the alembic (07) which sits over the fire place. Guarango logs (08) for the heating process are placed inside the chimney. Fire is started (09) heating the alembic, making the fermented juice steam. Inside a water pool that has a submerged coil (10) hot vapors are cooled down and condensed.
Pisco begins to exit,(11) first drops known as “the head” is pure ethyl 90° alcohol which is discarded. Using an alcoholmeter for testing, when pisco reaches 80º and down to 40°Gl, is collected and mixed in a pool, counted (12), then transferred to casks. After a 6 months minimum aging (13) it is finally bottled. Don Matías Grados (14) the oldest & most respected Iqueñan Sommelier undergoing a taste test early in the morning at his artisan distillery after cooking pisco all night.( 15) 925 Sterling Silver Somellier Cup.
Two of my favorite Pisco Sour recipes:Pisco Quebranta, Pisco Puro or Pisco Acholado are highly recommended. The use of fresh squeezed sour lemon is a must, add a dash of angostura bitter on center top.
Traditional : 3 oz. pisco, 1 oz. sour lemon, 1 oz. corn syrup or sugar, 1/2 egg white, 6 ice cubes.
Famous Maury Hotel: 4 oz. pisco, 1 1/2 oz. sour lemon juice, 1 oz. corn syrup or sugar, 1 egg white, 6 ice cubes.
Using a shaker, mix all ingredients, hand shake well until foamy & cold, do not use a blender, it’s a crime. Serve & Cheers.!