Peru braces itself for Chilcano week, celebrating this tasty Peruvian Cocktail

It’s finally arrived: Chilcano week 2013!

This delightfully tangy Peruvian cocktail might have been overshadowed by the Pisco Sour as far as being Peru’s national drink is concerned, but that certainly doesn’t mean it can be overlooked.

(Photo Credit: Musuk Nolte, El Comercio)

Concocted of 3 basic ingredients – Pisco, ginger ale and lime – and with endless variations, the Chilcano is a popular hit at summertime, a refreshing accompaniment to the scorching hot sun that graces Peru’s capital. It’s a hugely popular drink at bars across the city, a local custom is to buy a bottle of pisco between friends and to prepare your own chilcanos into the wee hours.

Chilcano week will entail much of what you might expect. Events are taking place across the city, with all sorts of ridiculously tempting promotions being touted by bars and restaurants. Peruvian paper El Comercio rounds up the offerings nicely, our hat tip is Mayta restaurant in Miraflores who offer a selection of macerated piscos serving as a base for different types of Chilcano. Coca leaf Chilcano? Passion fruit Chilcano? Spicy chili chilcano? It’s all possible.

If you want to try a Chilcano in one of Lima’s best bars then you could perhaps be tempted by our Lima Bar tour. If you want to make one at home here’s how:


  • 6 measures of good quality Peruvian Pisco (Quebranta variety recommended)
  • 1 measure of lime
  • Ginger Ale
  • Ice
  • Angostura bitters (optional)

Add ice to the glass. Pour Pisco over ice. Add lime. Add Ginger Ale. Garnish glass with a slice of lime. Enjoy.

Adventurous mixologists might like to experiment with: fresh ginger, macerated pisco.

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