Chilcano, or also known as Chilcanito, is one of the most popular long drinks in Peru – and my personal favorite. It is based on Peru’s national drink Pisco, a grape brandy, which is the pride and joy of every Peruvian.
Especially in summer and on hot days this light, easy drinkable and tasty long drink is stunningly refreshing and so good. It’s as well a great sun-downer and, next to Pisco Sour, the drink we have when meeting friends or having them over.
There are lots of theories and local myths surrounding the origin of Chilcano, but nobody really knows where it came from or who created this lovely slightly alcoholic beverage for the first time. However, it is known that it appeared in Lima around the turn of the millennium (19th to 20th century) and references date back the Chilcano to the early 20th century.
While the original version of the Chilcano is prepared with Pisco, Ginger Ale, lime juice and some Jarabe de Goma (gommy or gum syrup), in the last few years people happy to try out new things started to add different fruit juices such as cranberry, passion fruit or even strawberry to name just a few or other soft drinks substituting the Ginger Ale - lime juice mixture.
The good thing about Chilcano is that it’s really easy to prepare in no time even at home. But mixing some Pisco with Ginger Ale and tossing in some slices of lime and ice cubes, won’t do it. So that our readers can enjoy a heavenly Peruvian Chilcano, our co-founder Tin Tin shares his very special recipe with us below. Please use high-quality Pisco and fresh ingredients to get the characteristic refreshing taste, quality and flavor of an original Chilcano.