Sour Grapes

By David Nelson/Photos by Brandon Matzek

July 22 is Peru's National Pisco Day, and they're celebrating in the nation's capitol of Lima by filling a fountain with 2,000 liters of the white liquor. Talk about big gulp.

Like brandy, pisco is distilled from grapes, but it shares some of the feisty qualities of vodka and gin. Spanish settlers who arrived in Peru in the early 1500s invented the beverage when their vines first bore fruit, and it has lubricated festivities ever since.

Pisco flows freely at San Diego...