VIDEO: What is Pisco?

The 101 behind the popular Peruvian spirit
What is Pisco?

Saul Ranella of La Mar Cebicheria explains the origins of this popular liquor

spirits, brandy, pisco, pisco sour recipe
Ali Rosen

Pisco is similar to brandy, but clear.

What is pisco, exactly? Saul Ranella, the cocktail director at La Mer Cebichera, explains that the spirit behind your favorite pisco sour recipe is a non-aged brandy that's made out of grapes. The spirit, which is the oldest spirit in the Western hemisphere, isn't as dark as its European and American brothers. "With pisco, we're making the best quality wine we can make, and then we're distilling it to a clear distillate," says Ranella. Start with a Peruvian pisco for a versatile spirit, perfect for a simpe pisco sour.