Peruvian Brandy Cocktail – Ginger & Lemon Pisco Drink

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It’s been awhile since I shared a boozy drink with you guys and I figured the long weekend would be the perfect time to do some recipe testing. The natural choice for the booze?  Pisco, a colorless grape brandy made in Peru that’s most commonly associated with Pisco Sours.

And that’s exactly what I had intended to make, but unfortunately the recipe is sort of tough to halve or quarter and I’m guessing that it’s a pretty strong drink since its primary ingredient is, you guessed it, pisco. Since it was midday and I still had a lot of work to do and errands to get done, I went with this Chilcano de Pisco. Also known as Peruvian brandy, it’s a much lighter drink with ginger ale, a couple squeezes of lemon and a drop or two of bitters.

Well, it was a good 11th hour switcheroo. I do love ginger and citrus combinations and this drink was no exception. Feel free to use lemons or limes here… there doesn’t seem to be a consensus out there. Probably because it’s great both ways?

Chilcano de Pisco – Ginger & Lemon Pisco Drink

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 10 minutes


2 cups ginger ale
1/3 cup pisco (see alternatives)*
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
2-3 drops bitters
crushed ice
lemon or lime slices for garnish (optional)


In a large jar, combine the ginger ale, pisco, lemon or lime juice, and bitters. Quickly stir to mix. Divide evenly among four glasses filled with crushed ice. Enjoy your Peruvian brandy cocktail!

Note: the Whole Foods ginger ale that I used was basically colorless. Using a “regular” ginger ale will probably give you a slightly darker drink.

* You can substitute pisco for white tequila or un-aged brandy.

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