For those of you who may not know, Peru just celebrated their 200th year of independence and naturally we HAD to celebrate. Gaining independence from the Spanish on July 28th, 1821, Peru has been recognized as an independent country for longer than Canada! After 200 years, Peruvian culture has not only thrived, but evolved into a diverse and thriving society.
To ring in this auspicious day, and kick off Pisco Week 2021, we decided to gather a socially distanced group of our closest friends, colleagues and dignitaries for an evening filled with Peruvian gastronomy, culture, and most importantly: Pisco. Here’s an inside look into the celebration of Peru’s Bicentennial anniversary held at The Roof at SOCO in Toronto!
Peruvian Pisco Tasting
To kick off the evening, guests were taken through a detailed tasting of Peruvian Pisco — not to be confused with Chilean Pisco, which is a completely different spirit. In Canada, Peruvian Pisco isn’t the easiest to come by so it was really exciting to have the chance to try three different varietals of the delicious spirit. We got the opportunity to learn more about Caravedo Pisco as we went through each variety (Puro Quebranta, Acholado, and Mosto Verde).
Outside of the formal tasting, Pisco cocktails were served throughout the evening. Not just any Pisco cocktails though; these delicious mixes were created by the three Toronto Pisco Week 2020 finalists. Each was extremely unique, opening my eyes to the possibilities of Pisco-based cocktails. The spirit is capable of so much more than a simple Pisco Sour — even though admittedly one of my personal favs.
A Meal of Peruvian Gastronomy
Now as someone who has attended her fair share of events over the years, I have to say the food created by Chef John Cerovac was some of the best. He not only created a custom Peruvian menu for the evening, he incorporated local Canadian ingredients. Perfectly on theme with Peruvian gastronomy, which is ripe with fusion cuisines. My personal favourite was without a doubt the ceviche.
If you’ve never tried Peruvian cuisine what are you waiting for? There are SO many amazing restaurants in Toronto that offer Peruvian, or Peruvian fusion, menus. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can find a list of local Peruvian restaurants at piscoweek.com.
Throughout the evening, we were entertained by not only modern Peruvian music, but Peruvian dancers as well! Wearing their traditional garbs, the dancers performed 3 routines over the course of the evening. Each one was more exciting and interesting than the next.
The event was also completely decked out in Peruvian colours, red and white. But it wasn’t only the decor that was on brand for Peru, so were the CN Tower and Niagara Falls! As the sun finally set, we all got to watch as the CN Tower (located directly beside The Roof at SOCO) burst into red and white to commemorate the day.
Pisco Week 2021
From August 23rd-29th, you have the opportunity to experience Peru right here in Canada! Throughout the week, you can visit the many Peruvian restaurants across the country to try Pisco for yourself! And the food? There’s no comparison. For more information, visit piscoweek.com.
Throughout Pisco Week 2021, local bartenders have the chance to win a trip to Peru with the Pisco Bartender Contest. All you have to do, is create a unique cocktail using Peruvian Pisco, and let the judges do the rest! Three finalists will be chosen to present their cocktails to our expert judges panel. Last year’s finalists, Nick Incretolli, Reuben Virasami and Berry Sit, presented their delicious Pisco cocktails at the top of the event. A big congratulations to Nick Incretolli who took home the first place prize!
You can enter the Pisco Week Cocktail Contest here.
Highlights from the Evening
To end off, here are some of our favourite highlights from Peru’s Bicentennial Anniversary.