Arrive in Peru and chances are you’ll soon be sipping a Pisco Sour. The tangy yellow elixir is a mix of pisco, Peru’s national firewater, lime juice and simple syrup, all topped off with a silky froth of whipped egg whites and a few dashes of bitters. It’s darn good, and it’s likely to be the only pisco cocktail you’ve ever heard of — but it’s not the only way to savor pisco.
Bright and grassy pisco is made from distilling fermented grapes of a single varietal, and much like wine, Peruvian piscos vary depending on the grape. Aromatic piscos are made from grapes like albilia and muscat, while pisco puro, often made with the quebranta varietal, is the best way to enjoy the liquor’s earthy kick.
Locals know that there are plenty of drinks worth mixing pisco into besides Peru’s signature cocktail, from citrusy punches to rich and creamy dessert tipples. Here are some of the best ones you’ll find around the country: