Wine of the Country

Behind the high mahogany bar in Lima's Hotel Bolivar, the bartender poured a slug of water-clear liquor into a silver shaker, added lime juice, sugar, beaten white of egg, and ice, shook hard, then poured the mixture into a small glass. When Angostura had been sprinkled on the top, another pisco sour was ready for -the pre-luncheon crowd filling up Lima's best-known meeting place.

Pisco, a powerful grape brandy, is a Peruvian national institution. Haughty hacendados and barefoot Indian peasants swig it at births and wakes; special bottles are kept tucked away for anniversaries and visits from old friends. Its...

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