Chilcano Cocktail Week 2013 is soon upon us

Chilcano Cocktail Week 2013 is soon upon us

Peru is set to celebrate it’s Fourth Annual Celebration, Chilcano Cocktail Week (Jan. 11-17, 2013).

Inasmuch as there is a grain of truth in every stereotype, let’s take four and throw ’em together. Then we can compare that to some historical facts, and finish off with a recipe that you can mix up yourself. Hopefully, that will shed some light on the why’s and wherefore’s of this festivity.

Peruvian Chilcano Cocktail

1. Writers and journalists like to drink.

2. Peruvians are obsessively proud of their sublimely pure and powerful distilled grape spirit, Pisco.

3. Peruvian apéritifs are among the world’s most seductive and wonderful cocktails.

4. “Hair of the dog that bit you…” An alcoholic beverage is a surefire remedy for a hangover.

It was four years ago that journalist and author Manuel Cadenas led a group of Pisco enthusiasts and connoisseurs in a campaign to highlight the refreshing virtues of the Chilcano. The idea was to promote Peru’s traditional alcoholic spirit, revive a flagging cocktail, and, not least of all, boost internal pisco consumption.

They pushed for this one week to fall in early January, when the balmy Southern Hemisphere summer really starts to heat up.

The history of the Pisco Chilcano can be traced to the Italian-Peruvian immigrant community, which was concentrated in the mid-20th century in the capital, Lima, and in the neighboring port city of Callao.

It was a simple, cool and smooth drink shared with family and friends on hot summer days. It also was considered a restorative remedy for a bad hangover, similar in its curative effects to “Caldo de Chilcano de Pescado,” a traditional fish broth — thus deriving its name.


Highball Glass
½ teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (optional)
4-5 ice cubes
Lime slices
2.5 oz Quebranta Pisco
Juice from one lime, squeezed just before serving
½ oz simple syrup (optional)
4 oz Ginger Ale
3 drops of Angostura Bitters



Rub rim of the highball glass with freshly grated ginger and add slice of lime and ice. Pour in the ingredients in the order listed, then gently stir. Top off with three drops of bitters.

Bartender Celin Collazos of the Bar La Plaza in the Casa Andina Select Miraflores Hotel demonstrates the creation of a perfect Chilcano Cocktail (Click to View)

Bartender Celin Collazos of the Bar La Plaza in the Casa Andina Select Miraflores Hotel demonstrates the creation of a perfect Chilcano Cocktail (Click to View)

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Authored by: Rick Vecchio

Rick Vecchio, Fertur’s director of development and marketing, was educated at the New School for Social Research and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He worked for Pacifica Radio WBAI and as a daily reporter for newspapers in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Then in 1996, he decided it was time to realize a life-long dream of traveling to Peru. He never went back. While serving as Peru country manager for the South American Explorers from 1997-1999, he fell in love with Fertur's founder, Siduith Ferrer, and they married. Over the next six years, he worked as a correspondent for The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Siduith built the business, which he joined in January 2007. Now he designs custom educational and adventure tour packages for corporate and institutional clients, oversees Fertur’s Internet platform and occasionally leads special trips, always with an eye open for a good story to write about.

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