Pisco, Kappo Pisco, Capel Pisco, Campo de Encanto Pisco, San Francisco, Eric Alperin, Ciaran Wiese, Fred Dexheimer, Erik Adkins, Where to drink Pisco, Pisco Sour, How To Drink Pisco, Bitters, Bittermens, Bartender’s Recommendations, Bartender’s Favorite Pisco, Which Pisco To Buy, How To Choose Pisco, Pisco Punch, Long Time Coming, Cocktails, Drinks, Alcohol, Pairings


Drink | Pisco

What Is Pisco?

Pisco is a distilled spirit (aguardiente) made from grapes. It looks pure and clear, but Pisco is deceptively strong, sneaking up on you unexpectedly.

What Are Its Origins?

The spirit has been made in South America since the late 1500s, although there is a rivalry between Peru and Chile on who can claim bragging rights to being the original producers.

How Is It Made?

Pisco must follow strict and traditional production methods. It’s produced from a single distillation of young wine made up of one of eight different grapes. Nothing extra can be added, not even water. What is distilled is what goes into the bottle.

How to Use It?

The classic and traditional cocktail to make with pisco is a Pisco Sour (see recipe below) and the recipes differ slightly from Peru to Chile. The Peruvian Pisco Sour recipes generally include pisco, egg white, simple syrup, lime juice and Angostura Bitters, whereas the Chilean version uses sugar instead of the syrup and excludes the bitters.

Beyond the Pisco Sour, there’s the Pisco Punch (made with pisco, pineapple chunks, syrup, water and lemon juice), the Piscola (pisco, lime juice and cola), or the Pisco Sidecar (pisco, Cointreau, lemon juice).

Which To Try?

Here are 3 piscos to try, all recommended from top bartenders.

Capel Pisco (Chile)

“Bold, robust, and at the same time, as delicate as a flower. A source of contention amongst Peruvians and Chileans, nuff' said.”

- Bartender Ciaran Wiese of Scott & Co. in Tucson, AZ

Kappa Pisco (Chile)

“I just got my hands on some very memorable Kappa Pisco. The Marnier-Lapostolle family makes it. I make the most typical drink with it, but I love it: the Pisco Sour.”

- Bartender Eric Alperin of The Varnish in Los Angeles, CA

Campo De Encanto Pisco (Peru)

A product of a partnership between a sommelier (Walter Moore), a bartender (Duggan McDonnell)  and a distiller (Carlos Romero).

- Recommended by bartender Daniel Shoemaker of Teardrop Lounge in Portland, OR


Here two cocktail recipes, one classic and one creative, highlighting the qualities of pisco.


Bartenders’ Tips, Recommendations & Recipes

Pisco: Campo de Encanto, Kappa, Capel

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Classic Recipe | Pisco Sour

Recipe by F.E.D.


1 drink

Glass: Cocktail Glass / Coupe

Garnish: Angostura Bitters

Ice: Large Cubes (For Shaking)


- 2 oz. pisco

- 0.75 oz. simple syrup

- 0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice

- 1 egg white

- 5 drops Angostura Bitters


1) In a cocktail shaker, add pisco, simple syrup, lime juice, and egg white.

2) Briefly “dry shake” the ingredients without ice to emulsify the egg.

3) Add ice cubes and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. The drink should be shaken enough to produce a foam on top.

4) Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.

5) Top with 5 drops of bitters. For a fancy touch, take a stirring straw and swirl through the bitters in the foam to create a pattern.


The key to this cocktail is the tart component. Lemon juice is generally used in the U.S. to make a pisco sour, but it is traditionally made with South American limes, which are much tarter than American limes. If you can find real Key Limes, give them a try in this cocktail.

For a variation on the bitters, the team at Bittermens recommends using their Boston Bittahs with pisco.



- Classic Recipe: Pisco Sour

- Creative Recipe: Long Time Coming

Creative Recipe | Long Time Coming

Recipe by Daniel Shoemaker, Teardrop Lounge in Portland, OR


1 drink

Glass: Cocktail Glass


- 2 oz Encanto Pisco

- 0.75 oz Cherry Digestif

- 0.5 oz Port Reduction

- 8 drops Truffle Bitters


1) Stir ingredients over ice.

2) Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cherry Digestif

We pit Lapin cherries from Hood River every August, to can house brandied cherries for the year. We then steep all of the pits in GNS for 2 months, adding bittering agents (licorice root, dandelion root, Chinese Angelica, quassia, gentian) as well as caramelized sugar, at the end.

Port Reduction

Tawny port, a little sugar, spices (star anise, clove, allspice, cinnamon) reduce by 1/2.   

Truffle Bitters

Just what it sounds like. I steeped Oregon white truffles (very fragrant, but delicate) in rye whiskey 4 separate times over the course of 2 years to extract enough of the truffle note. A ton of spices, bark & herb, then barrel-aged for 6 months in Oregon oak.