Pisco Transcends Mere Spirituality; It Embodies Peru’s Soul and National Pride

Edited by Anna Popper

Photos by Bálint Hirling

The Embassy of Peru in Hungary hosted the first Pisco Masterclass in Budapest with the aim of introducing Pisco as the “Spirit of Peru” to an audience of professionals of the hospitality industry, to bartenders and staff of top tier bars and hotels as well as the media and liquor distributors at the exclusive Kempinski Hotel Corvinus in Budapest, which added to the event’s allure. This strategic initiative reflects Peru’s commitment to establishing Pisco as a recognised and appreciated spirit in Budapest.

In his opening address, H.E. Edgar Pérez Alván, Ambassador of Peru to Hungary, emphasized that Pisco is more than just a spirit; it is the soulful elixir of Peru, a source of passion and embodies national pride, indicating the importance of preserving and promoting this aspect of Peruvian identity. Ambassador Alván conveyed Peru’s ambitious vision to promote Pisco in Hungary and their proactive effort to introduce this drink to as many Hungarians as possible in the years to come.

The Pisco Masterclass

Led by mixologist Giancarlo Nazario in Budapest, the Masterclass offered insight into Pisco and was a significant event that attracted a diverse audience, including bartenders and procurement managers from premier establishments in the city. Nazario, who came from London for the occasion, shared valuable knowledge about Pisco, starting with its origin and history. The presentation highlighted the importance of Pisco’s denomination of origin and the unique characteristics that distinguish it.

During the Masterclass, Nazario elaborated on Peru’s commitment to maintaining Pisco’s integrity, underscoring that authentic Pisco is a grape distillate, a spirit made exclusively in Peru by means of the fermentation of fresh must, and is free from additional water, sugar, or additives. He also delved into the five authorized regions in Peru for producing protected Pisco, using a variety of eight grape types. He further explained the three distinctive types of Pisco – ‘puros’, ‘mosto verde’, and ‘achilado’ – each with its own unique preparation method.

Pisco’s quality is evidenced by the numerous awards it has won at international events, such as Vinalies International (France), Les Citadelles du Vin (France), Selection Mondiales dex Spiritueux (Canada), The International Wine & Spirits Competition (England) and CINVE (Spain), among others.

Nazario’s live demonstration showcased the versatility of Pisco by creating four enticing cocktails: Pisco Sour, Chilcano, Capitan, and Zamboni. Attendees had the opportunity to savour these cocktails. The event gained the attention of various media outlets, local liquor marketers, and international Pisco distributors from Germany and France, who presented their products and explored the business potential of the Hungarian market.

This event marks the beginning of a year-long project by the Embassy of Peru, extending into 2024, with the goal of elevating the presence of Pisco in Hungary. The proactive efforts demonstrate a strategic approach to integrating Pisco into the local drinking culture and creating lasting impressions on the Hungarian market. The Embassy’s plan to host ‘Pisco Nights’ throughout 2024 is a promising continuation of their efforts to promote Pisco in Budapest. These events, set in the city’s best hotels, bars and restaurants, aim to build on the success of the Pisco Masterclass. ‘Pisco Nights’ will serve as engaging platforms to familiarize with the Peruvian national drink.

With a special focus on the timeless Pisco Sour and the invigorating Chilcano cocktails, these events are strategically designed to showcase the versatility and appeal of Pisco. By featuring these iconic Pisco-based drinks, the Embassy aims to create memorable experiences for attendees, encouraging them to appreciate and incorporate Pisco into their beverage preferences.

Choosing premium venues enhances Pisco’s visibility and accessibility, reaching a diverse audience and fostering a positive association with the Peruvian spirit. This approach is intended to contribute significantly to the integration of Pisco into the local drinking culture and make it a celebrated presence in the bars of the Hungarian capital.

Overall, the Pisco Masterclass was a well-organised and impactful event with the possibility to leave a lasting impression on attendees and contribute to the growth of Pisco’s presence in Hungary. This occasion was the first step in a process aimed at introducing Pisco not only to the city’s hospitality industry, but also to connoisseurs and those who wish to discover new beverages.

Source: Embassy of Peru in Budapest

Photos by Bálint Hirling (Embassy of Peru) and DPA