December 03, 2013

PISCO: Now Available in Lebanon and the Middle East

In March of 2013, the two sisters Yasmina and Elissa, traveled to Peru for one month, in order to volunteer and teach English to orphans. As they roamed the streets of the country and took in the sights and sounds, the heritage and diverse Peruvian cuisine, they came across the Pisco drink.  Upon to returning to Beirut after their one month mission, they were keen to share their experiences with family and friends, expressing their excitement for all they saw, tasted and felt. And so, together, along with the Owners of Maillon Group, Joy and Jessica Azoury, they decided that the best way for others to truly experience the sights and sounds of Peru, was by introducing to the region Peru's local drink: "Pisco". Pisco is a colorless or yellowish-to-amber colored grape brandy produced in winemaking regions of Peru and Chile. Pisco was developed by Spanish settlers in the 16th century as an alternative to orujo, a pomace brandy that was being imported from Spain. Pisco_Drink_Lebanon Peruvian pisco is produced only using copper pot stills rather than continuous stills – like single malt Scotch whiskies and unlike most vodkas. Peruvian pisco is never diluted after it is distilled and enters the bottle directly at its distillation strength. A Peruvian pisco peculiarity is that the first part of the distillation (called the heads) is kept, and then mixed in with the rest of the distillate. Re-adding the 'heads' adds in more 'character' to the variety of pisco and this is the way that the Peruvians traditionally liked it. Many types of grapes were used to produce pisco, leading to a wide variation in flavor, aroma, viscosity and appearance of the liquor. This harmed attempts to export the product under a single denomination since there could be enormous differences between the contents of bottles sold as pisco. As such, a number of regulations were established and set a baseline for a product to carry the name. Pisco_Drink_beirut Pisco Sour: The Peruvian Pisco Sour uses Peruvian pisco as the base liquor and adds Key lime (or lemon) juice, syrup, ice, egg white, and Angostura bitters. The cocktail originated in Lima, Peru, and was invented by Victor Vaughen Morris, an American bartender, in the early 1920s. The Pisco Sour underwent several changes until Mario Bruiget, a Peruvian bartender working at Morris' Bar, created the modern Peruvian recipe of the cocktail in the latter part of the 1920s by adding Angostura bitters and egg whites to the mix.

Pisco is now available in Lebanon exclusively at Cinco lounge, Sofil Center, Achrafieh

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