Friday, January 23, 2015

Drinks with Reads: The Mysteries of Machu Picchu

Kendra Kelley joins us today to match the perfect drink with Turn Right at Machu Pichu. Kendra is an enthusiastic world traveler, accomplished cook & foodie, avid sports fan and active community volunteer – you can follow her escapades at KMJtravels & BoozeHouse.

In 1911, explorer Hiram Bingham stumbled upon one the world's new wonders, Machu Picchu and questions have swirled around it's existence ever since.  Why was it built? What was its purpose? Why was it abandoned? To this day, many researchers have yet to agree on one single theory.  It's a spot that will forever captivate me, so when I spotted Mark Adams' tale Turn Right at Machu Picchu, I snapped it up quickly.

In 2008, I was lucky enough to hike the Inca Trail and visit this Lost City - it was a grueling, magnificient journey.  And after three long days of hiking through the Andes, upon arrival it remained shrouded in mystery to us, covered in a dense fog:

Luckily, the mist dissipated as the sun rose, at which point all you can do is marvel at the destination and ponder, how did they build this?  Each rock's placement seems to have strategic reason and the entire site is an engineering marvel - so where to begin unraveling the mystery?

In his travelogue, Adams takes the reader along on his own journey to Peru while inter-weaving his stops with the history of Bingham's path.  One fascinating fact:  Bingham wasn't even looking for Machu Picchu.  The tale is a great way to learn more about Peru, the Incan culture & the history of the ruins, with the humurous side of Adams' hike providing levity to the weight of Bingham's personality and journey.

 Progress continues to be made at the lost city site- just two years ago an archaelogist discovered a "secret door".  What new questions & mysteries will that bring us?  Whew, it must be time for a drink while we ponder...

 The most popular liquor in Peru is, of course, Pisco - a brandy produced by distilling wine.  Most folks have only enjoyed it in the Peruvian National drink, the Pisco Sour, so I decided to mix things up:  instead I propose you enjoy a Pisco Punch - it will take some extra time as you need to soak the pineapple in the pisco for a couple days, but the result is worth it.

The Machu Picchu Pisco
Ingredients (makes 6)

  • 1 peeled, cored pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) pisco
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 4 limes)
  • Ice
Combine pineapple with pisco in a nonreactive bowl. Cover, and refrigerate for 3 days (make sure fruit is submerged). Bring sugar and water to a boil; stir to dissolve. Let syrup cool. Stir 1/2 cup syrup and lime juice into pisco mixture. Fill 6 glasses with ice and punch. Garnish with soaked pineapple.

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