Anyone who has been paying close attention to the culinary trends of right now is very much aware that the next “it” cuisine is that of Peru, a cuisine that has been slowly and quietly trying to break into the American palate for at least a decade. A handful of chefs and food writers had heralded the advent of Peruvian cuisine in this country years ago, but it had been premature, and many food enthusiasts were left waiting for a wave of Peruvian restaurants - both haute and humble - that never seemed to arrive. This country wasn’t ready yet. Not only did we lack the food culture that we have today with all its foodie bloggers and gourmet food trucks, it was almost as if gringos had yet to resolve their issues with Latin American cuisine. Although many Latin Americans were already fans of the varied and sophisticated cuisine of Peru, the general American population still thought that Latino cuisines were either confined inside a tortilla or served with a heap of rice, beans, and plantains. Peruvian cuisine did not fit neatly into any of those compartments. With the rise in Latino chefs and the spread of Nuevo Latino cuisine, Americans began to understand that Latin American cuisines could be elegant and sophisticated and complex. We began enjoying spicier, bolder flavors. We started to become huge fans of ceviche to the point that almost every menu now features it. We were also about to be introduced to a chef who was steadily building momentum in Peru and who would introduce the rest of the world to Peruvian cuisine.
Pisco, a Peruvian grape-based liquor similar to brandy, can be summed up simply as “a tale of sublime culture, flavor and mystery concocted into one mighty fine beverage.” Pisco has had a longstanding history in South America and is among one of the world’s oldest distilled liquors. But not many have tried this versatile, clear liquor or have even heard of it. Thankfully for mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts, pisco is currently having its second coming in North America and can be found on cocktail menus around the country once again.
Props to you, San Francisco. In the latest copy of GQ, four hometown bars have made it into the Top 25 Best Cocktail Bars in America. Here are the places you should hit after work as voted by GQ.
In the number five spot is The Alembic. The employees are tattooed and the drinks are strong. The favorite was the Vasco da Gama, a drink served on the rocks with Buffalo Trace bourbon, masala-spiced apple syrup and Islay scotch. Not a whiskey/bourbon/scotch sort of person than gin it is. The Gilded Lily is a sparkling Chartreuse-and-gin cocktail because it is topped with edible gold dust.