We sat down with Jonny Schuler, Pisco Portón's Master Distiller, at the Viceroy in Santa Monica not too long ago to learn more about the famous spirit from Peru. We've known about this popular brand for a while now but we didn't really know anything about Johnny (the man is just way too cool to be called Mr. Schuler). Brand ambassadors are a dime a dozen in this industry...representatives manufactured by spirit brands in need of foot soldiers. But Johnny is the real deal. He's been talking about pisco before some of those BAMs were even born.
It all started in 1977 when Johnny was asked to be a judge at a pisco competition in Europe. He was already an accomplished resturantuer with a discerning palate. But this was love at first taste. Johnny became a devoted student of the white spirit from that point on and traveled the world to learn more and to share his passion.
Then, in 2010, Johnny partnered with Pisco Portón founders Bill and Brent Kallop to build a pisco so amazing that consumers across America would have no choice but to notice. And we did. As Johnny explains, "There is no artificial anything. There's no water added, it's distilled once from copper pot stills, and [it] produces no hangover. It's liquid brandy...it's velvet."
After we chatted for a while in a corner of the lobby, the drinks were served. These gorgeous recipes (photographed below) were created by Anuar Chavez, Viceroy Mixologist, using Pisco Portón, and only the finest ingredients. They are very easy to make and do not disappoint.
If we could bottle Johnny's charisma up and serve it to you over rocks, we would. Instead, try a little glass of Pisco Portón neat to see just how amazing it really tastes.
Pisco Sour 2 oz. La Caravedo Pisco ½ oz lemon juice ½ oz simple syrup ¼oz egg whites
Directions Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, and shake for 30 seconds (to create foam from the egg whites). Strain into a rocks glass or martini glass and serve.
San Francisco Pisco Punch 2 oz La Caravedo Pisco ½ oz pineapple ¼ oz lemon juice ¼ oz water 5 wheels of jalapeños (shaken not muddled into cocktail)
Directions In a shaker filled with ice, combine 5 thinly sliced jalapeño wheels along with the other ingredients. Shake for 30 seconds to bring out the heat from the jalapeño slices, then pour into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a jalapeño wheel.
Viceroy Lima Mule 1.5 oz Pisco Porton 1 oz Fever Tree ginger beer ½ oz lime juice ½ oz simple syrup 2 dashes of Peychard bitters
Directions Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add the Pisco, followed by ginger beer, lime juice, and simple syrup. Stir for 10 seconds to mix proportions evenly. Lastly, add two dashes of bitters to create a floral aroma and taste. Garnish with a lime wedge.
*All recipes made by Anuar Chavez, Mixologist at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica.