Bartenders: Get your Pisco on!

December 8, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Australia’s and New Zealand’s bartenders are invited to enter the Promperú Pisco competition.

The Commission for the Promotion of Peruvian Exports and Tourism is offering a first place price of $1,500 and a collection of premium Pisco, the spirit of Peru for to the bartender who crafts an Aperitivo worthy cocktail using the traditional Peruvian aperitif, Pisco, as the base spirit and drawing inspiration from the cultural drinking and dining ritual of aperitivo.

Following on the success from Promperú’s Aussie Pisco Chilcano competition in 2021, the competition is now expanding to New Zealand, with a first place prize of $1,500 and eight bottles of premium Pisco going to the winning cocktails in both Australia and New Zealand. Promperú will also award a second place winner in each country $500 and eight bottles of premium Pisco.

“We have been wildly impressed by the innovation and creativity shown by Australian bartenders in using Pisco to craft a range of original cocktails, and we’re excited to be extending this competition for the first time to New Zealand bartenders this year,” Mario Vargas, Trade Commissioner of Peru to Australia and New Zealand said.

Aperitivo is a cultural phenomenon producing a huge array of delicious cocktails to enjoy after work or before dinner with friends in a super casual setting. Pisco, the spirit of Peru, fits perfectly into this space and we can’t wait to see how bartenders across Australia and New Zealand give aperitivo a Peruvian twist.”

From sgroppinos to spritzes, negronis to americanos, Promperú is looking for creative cocktails inspired by the cultural drinking occasion of aperitivo while showcasing the versatility and unique flavours of Pisco.

Entries are to be submitted online and close on Friday, 18 February 2022 at 11:59PM AEDT.

This is the third year the competition has been run to spread awareness about Pisco. Double Deuce Lounge’s Alicia Clarke won the top prize for her tropical iteration of the classic Chilcano de Pisco cocktail in 2021.

P&V Wine + Liquor Merchants proprietor Mike Bennie will return as a judge this year alongside bartender and co-founder of Continental Bar & Deli Michael Nicolian.

“This is one heck of an exciting proposition using a unique spirit that finds itself woefully underrepresented in Australia and misplaced in rafts of boring cocktails,” Mr Bennie said.

“Here we have an opportunity to reframe the conversation around Pisco, splash it around in technicolour and generally have a better look at what versatility and personality can come about from ‘working’ with it. Last year’s competition was compelling and delicious (and fun), here’s to this year’s breaking new ground again.”

Entries are now open for the Pisco Aperitivo Cocktail Competition and close on 18 February at 11:59PM AEDT.

To enter, bartenders based in Australia and New Zealand must submit an original cocktail recipe inspired by a classic aperitivo cocktail using one of a number of premium Piscos available, including Barsol, Pucara, Del Parral, Del Carral, Queirolo, and Tabernero. Entrants must also submit an image of their finished creation along with a 60-second video of them creating the cocktail and talking about the inspiration behind the recipe.

Entries must be submitted by 11:59PM AEDT on 18 February 2022 via the online form, available here:

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