Essentially a distilled Peruvian grape spirit or aguardiente, pisco (PEE-sco) was developed in Peru by Spanish settlers in the 1600s. Whether puro (one grape variety) or acholado (a blend), unoaked Peruvian pisco is delicate, floral, earthy, aromatic and grapey—a stark contrast to its robust, oak-aged Chilean cousin of the same name. Peruvian brands to look for include Macchu Pisco, Gran Sierpe, La Diablada (when you can find it) and BarSol.
Like rum to the mojito and cachaça to the caipirinha, pisco is probably best known in its namesake cocktail, the Pisco Sour. A very tasty example of this elegant classic can be found at Caña Latin Kitchen & Bar at Town Square, which also serves a dessert-like drink—the Delicioso—made with pisco, guava, fresh lime and agave nectar.