For someone who drinks wine in amounts I would rather not admit to, I was pretty surprised I was not familiar with another beverage that is derived from the lovely grape. Pisco has been around for centuries and I only learned of its existence this week! But I must admit, if there was a best way to try the different Pisco Portón cocktails, it was at the amazing Paichẽ restaurant. Jennifer, the LA brand ambassador of Pisco Portón, took me to lunch at the Peruvian spot and with my permission ordered 5 different cocktails and the best variety of tartar in the house.
But first, a bit about the incredible white spirit. Pisco Portón is distilled in Ica, Peru and is proudly produced in the traditional way, using gravity with no artificial flavors or mechanical pressures. Even though many spirits are distilled to high alcohol levels and then diluted to proof, Pisco Portón is distilled to exactly 86 proof in custom made copper pot stills, in small batches and is never diluted. It’s rested for 5-8 months after its distilled in the oldest working distilleries in the Americas. Yes, it’s historic, but their environmentally friendly methods are also very nature conscious (hello, roof garden!). As Jennifer tells me more and more about this distillery I begin to start planning a trip there in my head. I also add someone on to my “must meet” list, after she tells me about their Master Distiller, Johnny Schuler, who happens to be the founder of Peruvian Academy of Pisco. Each bottle is individually numbered and is signed by Mr. Schuler. Now that’s what I call truly putting your name on your product. Literally.
The first cocktail I sip on is of course the Pisco Sour, the drink Pisco Portón is most known for. I can taste the egg white but the flavor is smooth and easy to drink. Next came the Chilcano De Clavos, The Last Ice Age, Peruvian Maid and my favorite.. the Lima Mule. A twist on the classic it was sweet enough with a bit of tartness.. I tried not to discriminate but I kept that glass closest to my reach. The amazing food- ceviches of yellow tail, jumbo scallop and salmon went perfect with the Pisco Portón cocktails, then again I am starting to question if there is anything that wouldn’t…
With 15 pounds of grapes in each bottle, I think I will be all set with antioxidants at my next fiesta.
Vilte S. Holstad is a publicist and freelance writer living in Venice Beach, California.