“Pisco Sour Day” celebration in Peru challenges Chile

Merco Press

Peru begun on Saturday the celebration of “Pisco Sour Day”, a cocktail considered national cultural heritage and whose origin denomination is under dispute with neighbouring Chile. The celebration includes huge open parties, free tasting, dancing, gastronomy related to the emblematic drink also called the “flag liquor” of Peru.

This year’s celebration is particularly significant for Peru and its ongoing international dispute with Chile over the origin of the drink: Peruvian exports for the first time surpassed those of its southern neighbour.

Pisco sour cuisine also has a special chapter this year with ice creams; pisco cream filled chocolate cakes and the ladies’ “raspadillas” ice chips mixed with pisco syrup.

A pisco sour to be considered original and good quality must have three tots of pisco, one of fresh lemon juice; white sugar; white of an egg and chipped ice.

The cocktail was declared Peruvian cultural heritage in October 2007.

Since then the government decreed that the first Saturday of February be declared the National Pisco Sour Day.

Furthermore under the previous administration of President Alejandro Toledo (2001/2006) it was institutionalized that Pisco Sour replaces wine and sparkling wine at official celebrations in Government House, ministries and Peruvian embassies.

Peruvian pisco exports have climbed 17 times in six years and the main markets are the US, Spain, Chile and Colombia.

“In 2002 we exported 80.000 US dollars and last year we jumped to 1.4 million US dollars, surpassing Chilean exports”, said Production Minister Elena Conterno.

In the same period pisco production soared four times from 1.5 million litres to 6.59 million litres.

Chile produces a similar drink with the same name and this has triggered dispute over the origin denomination with Peru.