Pisco's origins are the subject of much controversy in the two countries, natives of both of which claim that pisco is their "national drink." The concoction traces its roots at least as far back as the 16th century; thus, one can safely say that the drink has its origins in Peru since, at the time, Chile was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, and stakes its claim to being the originator of the drink partly on that basis. Most dispassionate observers agree, however, that the drink originated in the Pisco, Peru region. The origin of the most popular mixed drink made with the brandy, the pisco sour, is more ambiguous.
Pisco is clear in color, comes in sweet and dry varieties, and ranges from about 70 to 100 proof.