Tasting Notes: Pisco Porton

A smooth new pisco (let it overtake vodka...)

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These days, many versed imbibers have never even heard of pisco. But that wasn’t the case during the San Francisco Gold Rush of the mid 1800s. Chilean and Peruvian miners introduced the city to the spirit, which caught on and was often served up as a Pisco Punch (pisco, pineapple syrup, water, and lemon juice). A description of the “new” spirit that I adore comes from a Salt Lake City newspaper in 1903, which described it to the uninitiated. “‘Pisco,’ though a most innocent looking beverage, being colorless as water, contains more intoxication to the cubic inch than any other known liquor unless it may be the mescal [sic] of Mexico.” I can just imagine early 20th century teetotalers reading that account and shaking their heads in outrage as the country cascaded towards Prohibition. Those evil spirits!

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