In a dispute dating back to the late 19th century, South American neighbors Peru and Chile have argued over the origin of Pisco, a delicate, un-aged spirit distilled from Muscat-style grapes. Most Americans, however, could hardly be bothered to know a Pisco from a Picchu (as in Machu, Peru’s famed Lost City of the Incas).
This wasn’t always the case. Throughout the 1800s and into the early 20th century, Pisco was a popular elixir in the U.S.—particularly in San Francisco where South American miners settled during the Gold Rush. When the gold disappeared, the miners did, too—and so did their native hooch. But in recent years, what was once lost has been rediscovered. Pisco is making a comeback, gracing sours and punches at high-end watering holes across the U.S. Here are five premium brands leading the resurgence.