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A fun lesson in Peru's drink of choice, pisco

This week Peru celebrates its Fiestas Patrias with lots of celebrating with friends and family. You can celebrate at home, too, with a simple yet traditional summer cocktail called the chilcano.

Peru celebrates its independence over two days, July 28 and 29. Called Fiestas Patrias, Peruvians take this two-day holiday to celebrate with friends. And many will be drinking a traditional Peruvian cocktail, the chilcano.

The chilcano is actually simple to make, as long as you have one key ingredient, pisco. Pisco is a brandy made from grapes, making it taste smooth and delicious.

Here's the recipe so you can make a chilcano at home:

🇵🇪 1 shot pisco

🇵🇪 1 cup ginger ale

🇵🇪 2 teaspoons simple sugar

🇵🇪 A wedge of lime

🇵🇪 Directions: Pour all the liquid over ice and mix well. Garnish with the lime wedge.

I received the bottle of pisco that I am holding in this photo from a group of Peruvians at a county fair in Virginia. I asked them if they had pisco, and a woman said, "Yes, in my car!" 😮

As is usual in Peru, if a vendor likes you, they will put a little freebie in your bag. I got a shot glass with my bottle of pisco. What a lovely surprise! 😍

By the way, this particular bottle of pisco shown in my photo contains fruit called aguaymanto (Peruvian ground cherries). This type of pisco is typical in the Peruvian jungle.

This is the kind of story that YOU can experience, too, once you know Spanish well enough.

So if you're ready to step on the fun train of Peruvian Spanish and Peruvian culture, contact me to get started.


Jackie Donaldson is a language teacher and pronunciation specialist at Amidon Studios. She founded Amidon Studios in 2017 after managing a language institute in Lima, Peru. She's taught English and Spanish to students from all over the world while living in Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. When she's not working or studying, you'll find her gardening, playing with her cat Frankie, swimming, and exploring the globe.

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