BarSol Quebranta Pisco and the Sol de Oro

by Stevi on February 9, 2009

in Bitters,Cocktails,Original,Pisco,Reviews,Vermouth

BarSol Pisco - See the Peruvian Horse and Rider

I never get tired of mentioning that I first discovered pisco on a trip to Peru. It was also in Peru that I discovered my other love, Peruvian horses.

Imagine my delight when a bottle of BarSol Quebranta Pisco arrived for review. Not only was it a pisco, but it featured a logo of a Peruvian horse and rider, which gave me an excellent chance to refer to my beloved horses on my cocktail blog.

Sol de Oro (V)

Sol de Oro (V)

On to the pisco. BarSol Quebranta is a pisco puro. Puro indicates that the pisco is made from only one variety of grape, in this case the quebranta, a non-aromatic black grape variety developed in Peru. The BarSol is very dry on the nose, and that holds true in the glass. While this definitely tastes like a pisco, it’s far less sweet and robust than the acholados I tend to prefer. The BarSol is more refined and subtle than most piscos I’ve been able to find in the US. This makes it a very mixable form of grape brandy.

Naturally, when I first opened the bottle, I immediately had to make pisco sours. The BarSol makes a delightful pisco sour, very drinkable. I recommend you experiment with the right ratio of simple syrup and lime juice for your palate. I also like to occasionally use a mix of half lemon juice and half lime juice, but I find a pisco sour with all lemon juice is never quite right. And don’t be fooled into trying Meyer lemons. They do not belong in a pisco sour.

Sol de Oro Cocktail

Sol de Oro Cocktail

Next it was time to experiment with a new pisco drink. Aside from the sour and pisco punch, there aren’t that many great pisco-based cocktails. Yes, I do like the piscadora, and apparently San Francisco is attempting to fill the void with a rash of new pisco bars. I live further north, however, and must amuse myself with taunting my local bartenders for carrying Chilean pisco.

I’ve experimented with pisco on several TDNs, but nothing has quite worked. But on a hunch, I started experimenting with apricot brandy, and liked the initial taste. I started with Marie Brizard Apry, but found it a little too robust to find the right balance without resorting to soda water or champagne to lengthen the drink. Instead I switched to Rothman & Winter’s Orchard Apricot, which is lighter, and let the pisco sing through.

I also found that my favorite fortified wine, Lillet blanc, didn’t mix well in this context. Instead, using Martini & Rossi bianco vermouth brought the lightness. As I mentioned, the quebranta is quite dry, so I still wanted a touch of sweetness. I turned to orgeat to give an extra layer of flavor, and was not disappointed. The last note came from Fee Brothers lemon bitters, which adds a final brightness that blends all the ingredients together.

Sol de Oro

1.5 oz pisco (BarSol quebranta)
1 oz bianco vermouth
0.75 oz apricot brandy (Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)
0.25 oz orgeat
2 dashes lemon bitters

Stir over ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Oro Ocultado

Oro Ocultado

I do tend to prefer this a little sweet; if you prefer a drier cocktail, reduce the orgeat, but don’t eliminate it completely. It adds depth to the overall drink.

Since this is my first successful pisco cocktail I want to share with the world, I had to name it after Sol de Oro (Viejo), the most important modern stallion in the Peruvian breed. The port of Pisco is located in the Ica region of Peru, and Sol de Oro was discovered in the quebradas (valleys) of Ica region. Sol de Oro is the grandsire of my first Peurvian horse, Oro Ocultado, so he holds a special place in my heart.

What flavors do you think work best with pisco?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bryan K. February 10, 2009 at 6:58 am

Screw the drink, that is one sexy horse! Be still my heart! Oy gevalt!


erik_flannestad February 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I’m interested in the difference between the “aromatic” and “non-aromatic” types of grapes used for Pisco and how they express themselves in the distillate.

Since you have so much experience with Pisco, an overview post about the spirit would be fantastic.


Paula Sindberg February 11, 2009 at 9:54 am

Who knew that Pisco was made from grapes? I always thought it was made from some weird local grain in Peru.

I’ll be trekking the Inca Trail in October (for charity) and maybe I’ll have to amend my “no spirits” rule for some Pisco.


Stevi February 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I’ve found it quite common that people have no idea pisco is a grape brandy!

Have a great time on your trek! What charity are you trekking for?


Enrique Rocca February 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm

In this replay I’m saying something for Erik and Paula also.
Acholado Pisco is now available in the USA, the brand is INCA GOLD PISCO is now available in Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, very soon around mid march in Ca. and NY.
We have held a pisco cocktail contest in Atlanta “PiscObama” The cocktail for change.
Difference between aromatic and non aromatic Pisco. First this is given by the varietal of grape from were the pisco is made.
A non aromatic pisco has no aroma, no nose, no buquet, but in mouth they are superb, calid, mature, some of these grapes are; quebranta, la mollar, la negra criolla, la uvina. Aromatics are the grapes that have a complex nose with aromas to flowers, fruits that you will also will get in your palad with a velvety finish, some of the grapes are; Albilla, Italia, Moscatel, torontel. Acholado Pisco is combination of aromatic grapes with no aromatic grapes piscos.
Pisco starts as a fresh grape wine, then it is still, the proof is from 38% to 45% normally 42% it is not aged in barrels, therefore it clear color.
Pisco combines with lots of flavors and fruits and also with other spirits.
We have two 100% natural mixes; pisco punch mix and pisco sour mix and the peruvian bitters CHUNCHO.they do not have preservatives or additives, they are freeze dried to mantain the aromas and fresh flavors of the juices in them.
The peruvian paso horse a work horse of the farmers in Peru, allows you hours on the horse without the strain that others will give a rider. This Sol de oro horse is as excellent as the drink.
Thanks for allowing me these clarifications, visit and for more information.


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