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PISCOLITA!!! Chilean or Peruvian?!

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Right now there is a dispute going on between Chile and Peru. But it is not a political or social issue they are arguing about. It is all about a drink. A drink? you might ask. Why would they fight about something like that. Well the issue is, that it is considered as a national drink – but by both countries. A national drink as part of a country’s cultural identity is obviously difficult to share. I chose to talk about that topic because it does not only talk about a current dispute but also tells us about the values of cultural identity.

Pisco (from Quechua: pisqu, little bird) is a liquor distilled from grapes (a brandy) made in wine-producing regions of Perú and Chile. It is the most widely consumed spirit in Perú, Bolivia and Chile. The right to produce Pisco as an exclusive cultural commodity has been the center of a dispute between Chile and Peru because it is produced and consumed by both Chileans and Peruvians, and both countries consider it their national drink. The iconic cocktail in these countries is the pisco sour.
There is a permanent debate between Perú and Chile as to the rightful owner of the “pisco” denomination. Perú claims proprietorship on the basis of historical arguments, mainly that pisco originated in Perú and is still made in the traditional way only in Perú, where the regulations ensure this. Many also push the argument that Chile simply “stole” pisco production from Peru during the War of the Pacific and, therefore, cannot claim it as a national product. Chile also claims that its larger production and marketing efforts have popularized pisco, and that what the world recognizes as pisco today is the Chilean variety.
Both nations have established decrees, laws, regulations, treaties, etc. in order to protect their pisco product as the canonical pisco, though their efforts have been markedly opposite. Chile has concentrated on internal regulations, specifying from what a “pisco grape” is to what a “pisco bottle” is, in order to establish standardization among its products. Perú, on the other hand, has focused on the international arena, preferring to establish trademarks and treaties with other nations in order to cement its status as a purely Peruvian product; though years after Chile standardized everything relating to pisco internally, Peru has begun to do the same, with an application for international registration of an appellation of origin “pisco” as a Peruvian product, they requested this in 2005 to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). Peru won their appeal being recognized at the creators of “pisco”, but that just means they were the original creators. The term “pisco” is allowed to be used by many countries including Peru and Chile because it is a general term that describes the alcoholic drink.
Fortunately the United State is one of the many countries that recognize “Pisco” as a distinctive Chilean product. Because of this and the TLC (Free trade area) connection between the United States and Chile, you can find and enjoy “Pisco” any time you want.
In Chile “piscolita” is the name of our typical drink!
The typical ways to drink this are:
• Piscola / “piscolita”! or Combinado Nacional: Pisco + Coca Cola
• Pisco Sour: Pisco + lemon or lime+sugar+ice
• Pisco with any fruit: the most common is with mango
• Pisco con Palta: Pisco + Avocado. Now it is really famous with pisco+abocado because Chile is one of the biggest producers of avocado in the world. This drink helps represent our two most important products!!
If you want more information about Pisco, recipes, history or more you can check this Links (one in Spanish and the other one in English)
If you are 21 or older! SALUD! and enjoy your PISCOLITA!! If not, I’m sorry but you need to wait!

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