Pisco and Ginger Ale (Chilcano)

Chilcano — Pisco and ginger ale variations with lime, blood orange, grapefruit, and pineapple

Chilcano — Pisco and ginger ale variations with lime, blood orange, grapefruit, and pineapple

January 11-17 is officially Chilcano week in Peru, so to celebrate I experimented with different variations. And though it’s still winter in Califonia, you can taste a little bit of the Summer in Peru by preparing this simplest of cocktails: Pisco, lime juice, ice, ginger ale, stir, done. Here’s how you can share this cocktail with a group of friends in a DIY Peruvian fashion.

Have everyone sit at a small table, and give everyone a tall glass. Place a bottle of Pisco and a bottle of ginger ale in the center of the table. Cut some limes in half, put ice cubes in a bowl, and set them on the table as well. Now, have each person make their own Chilcano, on the spot, and let the conversation flow. That’s how we roll in Peru, ¡Salud con un Chilcano!

  • 2 1/2 oz. Pisco
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup (optional)
  • ice
  • 4 oz. ginger ale
  • 2 drops Angostura Bitters
  • lime round for garnish

Mix the Pisco and juice of 1/2 a lime in a tall glass, add simple syrup if desired. Add 4 or more cubes of ice, and top off with ginger ale. Add 2 drops Angostura bitter, stir, and garnish with a lime round.


1 serving.


Instead of lime juice, try another fruit. I used 1 oz. grapefruit, 1 oz. blood orange, and 1 oz. pineapple juice to make three different variations garnished with each fruit.


The recipe above is a guideline, when you are making your own Chilcano’s with a group of friends there is no need to measure amounts, just sit back, and let your Pisco instincts guide you. Simple syrup is optional in the Chilcano, and it’s a matter of taste. If you want a hint of sweetness, make the simple syrup by mixing equal parts sugar and water in a sauce pan, bringing to a slow boil, and simmering until the sugar dissolves completely. Let the simple syrup cool before using.