The Chilcano’s roots stretch back to at least the early 19th century, when Italian immigrants to Peru brought with them a grappa drink called the Buongiorno. When the grappa ran out, they turned to local picso. They named this new drink after chilcano, a fish-head soup reputed to cure hangovers.
We like this recipe from Nathan Dalton at Catahoula in New Orleans. Dalton eschews the syrups, bitters and sweeter ginger ale that have crept into versions of the recipe over the years, instead focusing on the elegant, nearly-floral flavors of quality pisco.
Build the drink in a tall ice-filled glass, in the order given. Stir gently until chilled, garnish with a wheel or wedge of lime, and serve with a straw.
- The Chilcano Cocktail at Imbibe