Food & Drank: Chilean drinks – Pisco: pruébalo


his Founders Day, break out of the mold of jungle juice and watery beer and try some fancy drinks hailing from the Southern Hemisphere. After coming back from semesters abroad, we’d love to highlight some drinks that are popular in Latin America, especially Chile. Pisco, a liquor distilled from Muscat grapes, is the national drink of Chile. In Chile, pisco is cheap and easy to find. Let’s just say it’s the exact opposite here. Luckily, it’s not impossible to find, and has even been called the fastest growing liquor in the United States, according to the National Commission of Pisco of Peru. It’s a spirit similar in taste to rum; some would call it a “rumstitute.” You can find it at larger liquor stores, like Big Top. There is a heated rivalry between Chile and Peru regarding many things: territory disputes, soccer matches, and of course, pisco. Peru has a historic town named Pisco, and argues that pisco production began after the Spanish brought grapes to Peru in the 1500s. Pisco production has been documented as early as 1684 in Peru, while the earliest mention of Pisco in Chile was 1671. So, while Chile isn’t necessarily disputing the origin of pisco (although Chileans aren’t quick to admit that), they do assert the superiority of Chilean pisco, both in taste and prevalence. Chilean pisco is much more widely distributed worldwide than the Peruvian variety, so Chileans would argue that if or when people from outside the Andes think of the spirit, they are in fact thinking of the Chilean product. Regardless of where your loyalties lie, mix up your drink repertoire with some of these cocktails. Piscola Piscola or pisco and coke, is probably the most ubiquitous and simplest way to serve pisco. When ordering at a bar or club, the glass would be filled half or 3/4 of the way with pisco, and then you could dilute the drink little by little. I’d recommend getting ice and then filling 1/3 of your glass with pisco and then top off with Coke. Caipirinha This traditional Brazilian drink is made with cachaca, a sugarcane based liquor. Caipirinhas are simple to make, but complicate things in the morning. 1/2 lime, quartered 1 teaspoon white sugar 2 1/2 fluid ounces cachaca 1 cup ice cubes Combine in a glass. Pisco sour (Chilean way) Bottles of premade mixes of pisco sours are really popular in Chile and come in a variety of flavors. I have yet to encounter any such product in the US, so in order to enjoy a pisco sour, you’ll have to make it from scratch. Just as with any drink, there are plenty of variations, but this is a pretty basic recipe that you can then tinker with: -4 cups ice cubes -1 cup pisco -1/3 cup lemon juice -1/3 cup white sugar -1 egg white -aromatic bitters Fanschopp 1 part beer 1 part orange fanta combine & enjoy Terremoto Another uniquely Chilean drink is a terremoto (or earthquake). It’s most commonly associated with and served during the fiestas patrias, or the day (really weeklong) celebration commemorating the beginning of the independence process in Chile. A terremoto is a drink of mythic proportions. As legend has it, German reporters were in Chile following the 1985 earthquake and to beat the summer heat, added ice cream to their drink and reportedly said, “now this is an earthquake” after feeling the effects. There are lots of skeptics with regards to the origin of the name, but the story and the drink are nonetheless epic. And while this may seem like a fun, frilly drink, don’t be fooled – they don’t call it the terremoto for nothing; the sugar and alcohol pack a punch. -Put 3 scoops of pineapple ice cream in a glass -Fill with white wine -Add a bit of fernet, an Argentine liquor, or rum -Throw in a dash of grenadine -Stir