TLK: Why a pisco bar?
RC: The tradition and culture of pisco makes it a spirit that is unique in the world, so there is something new to explore and learn. It is also a kind of living tribute to my grandfather, who taught me to love my country and its products above all things, and the best way was making a pisco bar for him to enjoy with friends, family and students. (He was a professor.)
TLK: Why pure pisco rather than cocktails?
RC: Many people exaggerate the importance of pisco´s alcoholic graduation. Pisco, depending on how you combine it, can captivate anyone with its aromas and flavors. Which is why drinking it pure is the best way to comprehend its character.
TLK: What is the best thing about living in the world of pisco?
RC: Being able to educate every person I talk to, just like my suppliers Cholo Matias and Torre de la Gala did with me, and in this way try to position Peru as having one of the greatest spirits in the world.
TLK: And the most difficult?
RC: Making Peruvians recognize the gem that they have in their hands, and taking care not to lose it [the culture of pisco]. Also, it is a shame to see the large scale pisco production which doesn’t appreciate the value of pisco and chases profit over quality.
TLK: What is the key to pairing pisco?
RC: Similarly to wine, you must know the processes, products, terroirs, and the ingredients which you are going to combine. Also key is the service temperature: ambient, chilled, or with a small ice cube.
TLK: Could you name four piscos that you like for pairing with food, and suggest what they might best accompany?
RC: Torre de La Gala Torontel with ceviche (It is heavenly with Isreal’s hot and cold ceviche wantan); Cholo Matías Albilla with a prawn dish; Torre de La Gala Negra Criolla with wine braised veal; and Cholo Matias Moscatel with seafood stir-fry.
TLK: Any tips for cooking with pisco?
Try flambéing; choose the varietal according to what you are cooking or drizzle a little pisco over your dish before serving to add aroma.
TLK: A pisco in the US that is good to try neat?
You can try Campo de Encanto Moscatel.
Next, a primer on pisco...