Before we talk about pisco I’d like to address the elephant in the room… Who would win- Chuck or Daniel-san? I think we all know it’s a pretty stupid question and it would be like placing Steve Urkel in a ring with Mike tyson- it’s like making a movie that pits Batman against Superman…
The grass is green, trees are blooming, and flowers are blossoming here in Missoula. Spring is here and there’s no better way to celebrate than sippin’ on a Kick in the Pisco.
This drink came about serendipitously behind the bar last year when one of the bosses asked for a shot. I had just made a habañero maple syrup that day and was anxious to use it so I mixed in some pisco, lime, and St. Germain- The Kick in the Pisco was born.
Pisco is a brandy. It is distilled from fermented grape juice. If I were to describe what it tastes like with a single word, I’d have to say, well, pisco. It’s a little spicy, it’s a little sweet, it’s a little fruity- it’s smooth and sharp. It really has it’s own personality- with different moods, depending on where it’s made, and with what grapes it’s made with.
Pisco is only made in two countries- Chile and Peru. There is a long standing debate between the two countries about who the mother of pisco is… By most accounts, pisco was first made in the 1600s by the spaniards. Peru achieved independence in 1821, Chile, in 1818. So really, Peru and Chile are the step grandchildren of pisco. Most likely, the first whispers of independence in either country probably smelled of pisco.
One night at the bar, I made some shots with pisco for some young ladies.
“Wow! What was in that?” they asked.
I said, “Pisco and other stuff.”
“It’s a brandy made in South America,” I informed.
The conversation ended when one of them replied, “I thought mexicans only drank tequila.”
I almost opened my mouth to let her know that Mexico is not in South America and that being half mexican myself, her comment was slightly insulting. Instead, I poured myself a shot of tequila and figured I would just let college do that for her.
The kick in this cocktail comes from habañero maple syrup. It is very easy to make and has a complexity that is indescribable- well almost- it really just tastes sweet and spicy.
You will need:
12 oz pure maple syrup (not that pancake sugar shit)
12 oz hot water
4 thinly sliced habañeros (seeds and all)
Combine all ingredients and stir. Let it sit for 24 hours and strain the habañeros out. If you don’t plan on drinking this in one sitting add an ounce of your favorite high strength booze to the mix so it keeps longer. It should stay good for a few weeks. Or just make less- like a 3oz-3oz-1 habañero ratio.
*WARNING* After handling habañeros wash your hands thoroughly. Otherwise, the oils will be transferred to whatever you touch. And the oils are HOT and they BURN! So don’t go rubbing your face, or your dog’s face, or your partner’s face, and definitely not your partner’s pisco! (See what I did there- I used pisco in place of- well, you got it right?)
Ah, St. Germain. A liqueur made of little starry flowers hand picked and bicycled down to the village to be turned into a luscious nectar. Sounds charming, doesn’t it? The following excerpt and photos are taken directly from the St. Germain website.
Descending the hillside, these diligent flower-gatherers carefully usher the umbrells of starry white flowers back to the village, often by bicycle. In just a few short weeks, all of the elderflowers that will become St‑Germain for that year will be harvested. And then… Fini. That is why each bottle of St‑Germain is individually numbered: to reflect the year in which the flowers were picked. St‑Germain is made in a slow, charmingly inefficient way, utilizing age-old French techniques. Hence, as a liqueur it is at once complex, pleasing and exceedingly rare. Neither passionfruit nor pear, grapefruit nor lemon, the sublime taste of St-Germain is a flavor as subtle and delicate as it is captivating.
Amazing, right? Just think, every time you have a cocktail with a splash of St. Germain in it you are not only tasting a wonderfully made liqueur, but you are tasting a true tradition, rich with integrity that has been in every bottle since their humble beginning… in 2007. Can’t you just taste that old man’s love?
Now I know, you probably would like to visit this magical distillery, I would too. But, they don’t allow visitors, and nobody really knows where the village is. However, rumor has it that it is just down the road from another well known factory.
The Other St. Germain
While trolling the internet for images of the golden liqueur I ran into this guy who struck my fancy, St. Germain, who is “the Lord of the Seventh Ray, who is the Master of Alchemy.” I don’t fully understand, but he is some sort of prophet who reincarnates himself and is responsible for stuff like- well, a whole bunch of shit. Here is who he has been: Ruler of a Golden-Age civilization, High Priest on Atlantis, Prophet Samuel, St. Joseph (Jesus’s father), St. Alban, Teacher of Proclus, Merlin, Roger Bacon, Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Bacon, and Le Comte de St. Germain, or “The Wonderman of Europe”.
If this guy is for real, then I am a firm believer that his current incarnation is this guy- my dad.
1 1/2 oz pisco
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz lemon/lime juice
2 teaspoons habañero maple syrup
Combine ingredients together, add ice, give a quick shake, and pour over a large rock. Garnish with a pretty flower.
One more thing…
When ordering a Kick in the Pisco be careful with your words. A Kick in the Pisco will get you that golden adult beverage up there. Ordering a Kick in My Pisco might get you something slightly different…