A few kilometers from Huacachina is the town of Ica, known for its high quality pisco (a white grape brandy). The town of Pisco is north of here, and is named such only because it has been a pisco-shipping port for hundreds of years.
I’ve been to plenty of vineyards, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen grapes growing next to bananas and papayas in the desert.
The Spaniards began planting the grapes in the 16th century, the hot dry climate was best suited for sweet white grapes. The wine is fermented in clay pots, which is a bit unique because of the Inca heritage. They began to export pisco back to Spain, and later up the Pacific to the the gold-rushers in San Francisco.
About this time of year is harvest time and they also have a barefoot grape-stomping party with a beauty queen and everything. We missed it by a week.
There was a laughable lack of cleanliness on just about everything being touched by the grapes or juice. you definitely couldn’t do this in the U.S. Everything was covered in sand and dirt… but we still drank it. And, it tasted pretty good.
Pisco Sour- The National Drink of Peru3 oz Pisco 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice 1/2 oz sugarcane syrup 1 egg white 4 ice cubes
Blend for 20 seconds. Drop 2 drops of Angostura bitters on top before serving in cocktail glass.
*I’ve found it easier, for $2.50, to just order one