When Mission Taco Joint (6235 Delmar Blvd; 314-932-5430) opened earlier this year, bar manager Joel Clark originally wanted to go extremely heavy on mezcals and pisco drinks and came up with a number of cocktails for the list.
"The 'Piscojito' was a natural one because everyone knows what a mojito is, but no one knows what pisco is," he says.
Widely known as the national spirit of Peru, pisco is very similar to a brandy, except they just distill the grapes instead of brandy's "kitchen sink" approach.
"With brandies you can take the grapes, skins, stems and everything and distill that or make it a liquor," Clark says. "With pisco, its a pure expression of the grapes of Peru. It developed because when the Spaniards came and brought the art of distillation to Peru and Chile and that part of the world, the locals took their fermented wine and put the distillation practice into effect, and pisco was born."
Pisco has three categories: aromatic, non-aromatic and acholado, a blend of the two other styles. This blend is the type of pisco used in the "Piscojito."
Next: The allure of pisco.
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