Distilled Spirits – Brandy – Peruvian Pisco (5)

Distilled Spirits – Brandy – Peruvian Pisco (5)

20th and 21st Centuries

Imagine a journey through time to the exotic flavors and names of the past! Many years ago, in 1901, a gentleman named Manuel Antonio Román, originally from Chile, was writing a book about curious words and phrases that people used in his country. In his book, he mentioned something called “pisco.” This pisco, he said, was like a magical liquid, lovingly made in Peru and also in Chile, which had become famous all over the world. It seems that in its beginnings, this magical liquid originated in a place called Pisco, in Peru. Imagine that, a magical liquid that came from a place called Pisco!

But that’s not all. Another gentleman named Rodolfo Lenz, in 1905, had a book full of words that came from the ancient languages of America. In his book, he said that pisco was like a delicious brandy made from grapes. And in Chile, he mentioned that the best pisco was made in a place called Huasco, in the north of the country. He also talked about how pisco used to be called “aguardiente de Pisco” because it came from there, from Pisco, and from another place called Ica. A little further ahead in time, a gentleman named José Toribio Medina, in 1928, wrote about pisco. He said that this magical liquid was like a brandy made from special grapes that came from a place called Pisco in Peru. But here’s the interesting part: it was also made in Chile under the same name! And guess what, sometimes even the bottle in which they stored this magical liquid was also called pisco. How fun!
And you know what else? Even in the great books of words, like the Dictionary of the Spanish Language, they said that pisco was like a grape brandy. They added that it came from a place called Pisco, in Peru. Even the famous Encyclopaedia Britannica mentioned pisco as a city in Peru known for its grape brandy! Now, can you imagine that in Peru, in 1964, they made a special law about pisco? It stated that there were rules for making this magical liquid. Only those who followed the rules could call it “Pisco” on their bottle, along with the place where it was made.
And then, in 1974, when an important man named Augusto Pinochet visited Peru, he received a very special gift: a bottle of pisco called “Demonio de los Andes.” What an exciting name! Finally, in 1990, Peru officially declared that “Pisco” was a name that only they could use for their magical liquid. And the following year, in 1991, they marked on a document exactly which places in Peru could make pisco. As the years went by, the amount of pisco produced changed. In the past, in the 19th century, there was much more production. But during the 20th century, production decreased a bit. But don’t worry, because in 2003, the Government of Peru decided to boost pisco production and take it to more places around the world. They wanted pisco to be famous and delicious everywhere.
And although the history of pisco is interesting, let’s not forget that it also became part of the celebrations and culture in Peru. Even the famous writer Mario Vargas Llosa talked about how pisco was like a magical spark at parties! So next time you see a bottle of pisco, remember the magical story behind that special liquid!

Distilled Spirits – Brandy – Peruvian Pisco (6)

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