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The Chilcano is one of the few traditional Pisco cocktails, and it’s easy to see why it has remained popular for so long. With its unique blend of flavors and simple preparation, the Chilcano is sure to become one of your go-to drinks.

Glass of traditional Peruvian liquor "Chilcano" on the table of an illuminated restaurant

The Chilcano is a great cocktail for all occasions, whether you’re looking for a refreshing drink to enjoy on a hot summer day or a flavorful cocktail to sip on during a night out with friends. Give it a try and see for yourself why this Peruvian classic has stood the test of time.


The Chilcano cocktail is a classic Peruvian drink that has been enjoyed for over a century. It is made with pisco, a type of brandy that is distilled in Peru and Chile, and mixed with ginger ale and lime juice. The origins of the Chilcano are somewhat unclear, but it is believed to have been created in the Ica region of Peru, where pisco is produced.

One theory is that the Chilcano was inspired by the Buongiorno cocktail, which was introduced to Peru by Italian immigrants in the late 19th century. The Buongiorno was made with grappa, lime juice, and ginger beer, and it is possible that Peruvian bartenders substituted pisco for grappa and ginger ale for ginger beer to create the Chilcano.

Another theory is that the Chilcano was created in Lima, the capital of Peru, by bartenders who were looking for a refreshing drink to serve during the hot summer months. They mixed pisco with lime juice and ginger ale, and the Chilcano quickly became a popular choice among locals.

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The Chilcano gained popularity outside of Peru in the 1930s, when it was introduced to the United States by Peruvian immigrants in New Orleans. It was often served at parties and social gatherings, and it quickly became a favorite among American drinkers.

How to Make It


Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Making a Chilcano cocktail is easy and requires only a few ingredients. Follow these simple steps to create your own delicious Chilcano cocktail:


  • 2 oz Pisco
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 4 oz Ginger Ale
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Ice


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Add 2 oz of Pisco to the glass.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice to the glass.
  4. Top the glass with 4 oz of ginger ale.
  5. Add 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters to the glass.
  6. Stir the cocktail gently with a bar spoon.
  7. Garnish with a lime wedge or wheel.


Note that you can adjust the amount of ginger ale to your preference. If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, you can add a small amount of simple syrup to the mix.

For a more complex flavor, you can use different types of Pisco such as Barsol or Grappa. You can also experiment with different brands of ginger ale or even try using ginger beer for a spicier twist.

If you want to make a larger batch of Chilcano cocktail, simply multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you want to make and mix everything in a pitcher or shaker.

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There are many variations of the Chilcano cocktail that you can try. Here are a few to consider:

Flavor Variations

You can experiment with different flavors by adding various fruits, herbs, or spices to your Chilcano cocktail. For example, you can add muddled grapes, a slice of chili pepper, or a sprig of fresh mint to your drink to give it a unique flavor.

Ginger Beer Variation

If you prefer a spicier drink, you can substitute ginger beer for ginger ale in your Chilcano cocktail. Ginger beer has a stronger ginger flavor and is slightly more carbonated than ginger ale, which can give your drink a bit of a kick.

Citrus Variation

You can experiment with different citrus fruits to give your Chilcano cocktail a different flavor profile. For example, you can use lemon juice instead of lime juice, or you can add a splash of grapefruit juice to your drink for a slightly bitter and tart flavor.

Herbal Variation

You can add a sprig of fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme to your Chilcano cocktail for a more herbal flavor. The herbs can also add a nice aroma to your drink.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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