Chilcano de Pisco: A Peruvian Brandy Cocktail

Chilcano de Pisco: A Peruvian Brandy Cocktail

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
197 Calories
0g Fat
20g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 11mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 26mg 130%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 93mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Not to be confused with chilcano de pescado (a fish soup), a chilcano de pisco is a refreshing cocktail made with pisco, a unique brandy produced in Peru. It's simpler to make than the well-known pisco sour—you just pour the ingredients over ice and they mix themselves.

Pisco is a grape brandy that's popular in Peru and Chile. It's available in a range of sweetness from dry to semi-sweet, and the flavor can vary greatly depending on the quality, style, and region. High-quality pisco is very smooth, while lower-quality can be funky. It has herbal, almost smoky notes comparable to tequila. Pisco puro or pisco acholado tend to be best for mixed drinks.

Chilcanos are surprisingly good for such a simple drink. The lime, pisco, and ginger ale are combined to make something new and better. The sweetness and effervescence of the ginger ale marries nicely with the tart lime juice and herbaceous pisco. They're the perfect drink on a hot summer evening.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces pisco

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, from 1/2 key lime

  • 4 ounces ginger ale

  • Lime wedge or wheel, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chilcano de Pisco: A Peruvian Brandy Cocktail ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Fill an 8-ounce tumbler with ice cubes. Pour the pisco over the ice.

    Pour the pisco over the ice

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Squeeze the lime juice into the glass.

    Squeeze the lime juice into the glass

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Fill the glass with the ginger ale, and garnish with lime.

    Chilcano de Pisco: A Peruvian Brandy Cocktail, garnished with lime

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tip

This refreshing cocktail is easy to make as a pitcher drink. Scale up the ingredients and combine the pisco and lime juice. Add the ginger ale just before serving and serve in glasses full of ice. If desired, serve with a lime wedge or wheel.

How Strong is a Chilcano De Pisco?

Peruvian pisco can range from 38 to 48 percent ABV and is the only alcohol in a chilcano de pisco. Thanks to the addition of ginger ale, lime juice, and ice, the cocktail is a light one. If a 40 percent ABV (or 80 proof) pisco is used, this recipe will yield a cocktail with about 12 percent ABV, similar to a glass of white wine, making it a nice summertime drink.