miércoles, 10 de febrero de 2010

Buying the right pisco for that sour


For those looking to make their own pisco sours, we consulted Livio Pastorino, professional pisco taster and editor of the e-mag El Pisco es del Perú (see our previous article on Livio's independent tasting association). Here is Livio's case for experimentation with pisco sours, and three suggestions for good Quebranta varietal piscos.

I suggest we celebrate National Pisco Sour Day by experimenting with different aromas and flavors.

While it’s true the Quebranta variety is usually used to make pisco sours, that doesn’t stop us from trying the other seven grape varieties for a good pisco sour. (There are four non-aromatic varieties: Mollar, Negra Criolla, Uvina and Quebranta. The four aromatics are Italia, Torontel, Albilla and Moscatel.)

A pisco sour with a Mollar pisco or an Albilla is extraordinary, an explosion of aromas and flavors. So, why not use a pisco Acholado, which is nothing more than a mix of Mollar with Italia, or Negra Criolla with Torontel.

In fact, you can make you own pisco sour acholado: use one ounce of Italia pisco with every two ounces of Quebranta pisco.

But careful! Mosto Verde piscos should not be used in cocktails. They are made for drinking pure only — 14 kilos of grapes to produce a liter of Mosto Verde pisco is argument enough for why.

Tasting Notes
Pisco Biondi, Quebranta from Moquegua, 2007.
At first impression, aromas of herbs, raisins, hay, green apple, and generous in its banana aroma. Taste: sweet, well-balanced, with a medium finish.

Pisco La Caravedo, organic Quebranta from Ica, 2004.
An enjoyable pisco. Fragrance: you get aromas of banana, green apple, peach and lime. Taste: it is smooth, sweet, with hints of hay and the same aromas we experienced in fragrance.

Pisco 1615, Quebranta from Ica, 2006.
Enjoyable in fragrance: herbal aromas along with hay, banana, raisins, apple, peach,
maracuya. Taste: a typical Quebranta. Round, well-balanced, with a final taste of
dried fruit, pecans and walnut.

NOTE: The picture here is Pisco 1615's Mosto Verde, which you don't want for pisco sours. Go for their Quebranta Pura.