There are few cocktails that achieve such a perfect and balanced taste as Pisco sour. Its mixture of flavors, its attractive appearance and its strong aroma have made this delicious drink a tourist symbol of Peru and an exportable product to the world. No one is able to resist its incomparable freshness and aroma.
This prestige gained over time has made the Pisco sour also internationally recognized, becoming an essential aperitif at the most important gastronomic events and culinary festivals around the world. Recognition that has earned it to be declared in 2007 as Cultural Heritage of the Nation by the National Institute of Culture (INC).
Perú, cradle of pisco
This grape distillate is produced in various valleys of the Peruvian coast. Its consumption dates back to colonial times, when the Spanish brought the vine. In recent years, its Peruvian origin has been claimed, with the denomination of origin, in order to standardize its production.
The very term «pisco» dates back to pre-Inca times. At that time, there existed in the territory of the current region of Ica a caste of potters, called piskos, who were dedicated to the manufacture of conical vessels used to store and transport liquids. During the Colony, these utensils were used to preserve grape liquor.
Pisco is also a name of Quechua origin that comes from the word pishcu, which means «bird» or «bird». Given that the current Pisco area has been characterized since time immemorial by its large population of birds, it is likely that in allusion to these and the potters’ caste the city and the port that are located 300 km south of Lima.
Touring Peru is discovering endless mysterious places, with hidden stories in corners that you may have never seen before stepping on this country. We recommend you to visit another impressive destinations in Cusco like the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Perú, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.
History of Pisco Sour
The real pisco is made from distilled quebranta grape, which, curiously, is a variety of grape that comes from two Spanish grapes imported to Peru by some monks, how do you stay?
The origin of the cocktail
The birth of this cocktail dates back to the 1920s. According to historians, the Morris Bar, located in the center of Lima, announced the Pisco sour as one of its specialties. This is the oldest known historical testimony of this drink. For this reason, some assure that the drink was the creation of Victor Morris, known as «the gringo» and owner of this place.
Others, on the other hand, maintain that the authentic Pisco sour originated in the bar of the Maury hotel, also in downtown Lima. That’s where they later enriched it by adding egg white and angostura bitters. The truth is that it became very popular and the most elegant hotels in Lima began to prepare it. Its fame grew in such a way that for more than fifteen years, every first Sunday in February, Pisco sour Day is celebrated.
The level of this alcohol, of pisco, is of a quality at the level of whiskeys, tequilas or rums of the best categories and precisely based on this liquor the famous Pisco Sour is prepared, and only its name makes it palatable.
Despite the fact that the «Morris bar» was closed in 1929, this did not prevent the cocktail from going viral worldwide and evolving to how we know it today after gradually improving its recipe by adding egg white, angostura bitters and thus making it Heritage culture of the nation. Wow, Pisco is an institution.
The name was born when it was decided to put the words pisco and sour together, the latter referring to cocktails accompanied by lemon.
Recipe of Pisco Sour in Perú
To make Pisco you only need Pisco (obviously), and some other ingredients importants for Pisco Sour like lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white.
The recipe of pisco sour in Perú is similar to the daiquiri but adding the white, so we must shake the shaker well to get it assembled.
Pisco Sour Ingredients
- 3 ounces of pisco quebranta
- 1 ounce lemon
- 1 ounce of syrup
- 5 ice cubes
- 1 egg white
- 1 drop of angostura bitters
Preparation of Pisco Sour recipe in Perú
We put the ice in a shaker along with the pisco, the lime juice and the sugar syrup. We shake for a few minutes.
Shake well, strong and fearless. The egg white has to mount and you will see how the egg whites foams. Optionally decorate with a few drops of angostura or a cherry.
We serve in a tall, iced 24 cl glass. and if you get rich, get another one!
Tips for a yummy Pisco Sour
Remember that these measurements are only for a cocktail, if you have guests you will have to make them and shake them one by one, but at least that way you will save yourself going to the gym.
If you have not bought or cannot find the sugar syrup or syrup you can make it at home. You just have to put the same amount of sugar and water in a small saucepan. In this case it will be 7.5 g of sugar and 7.5 ml of water. We let the syrup form and let it cool.
It can also be made with an American blender, turmix, blender, food processor (type Thx) … it is not the authentic cocktail but the result is effective. It all depends on how many you have to prepare.
Which is the best Pisco for Pisco Sour?
Many expert bartenders agree that pisco quebranta is the best Pisco for Pisco Sour, as it is versatile, docile and well balanced, which favors when mixed with lemon juice and gum syrup.
Fact: to recognize a good pisco quebranta, it must smell clean and, at first glance, the more transparent and bright, the better.
Pisco acholado, on the other hand, is not far behind and is also the favorite of many when preparing a Pisco Sour. Being made from 2 or more strains, it offers an interesting variety of aromas and flavors.
What is Pisco Acholado?
Pisco acholado is a variety of pisco that has been made with two or more grape strains, which is known in the world of spirits as «blended» («mix»), a practice with which cognac, sherry are made and even whiskeys where they mix more than one malt.
What is Pisco Quebranta?
It closes the group of piqueras grapes that provide piscos with a marked character and structure in the mouth. Its aromas are often reminiscent of fresh herbs and hay, nuts such as almonds or pecans. Ripe fruits such as banana, apple, mango or lucuma. Until a few years ago, only pisco made from this variety was called pure. This is the best Pisco for Pisco Sour.
What kind of lemon to use?
So that your Pisco Sour is not excessively sweet or bitter, it is important to choose a quality lemon. It prefers greenish over yellowish ones. We recommend that you wash them several times so that their shell does not release substance that can change the flavor of the cocktail.
You can apply two practical cuts to the lemon: the French type, on one side of the center to avoid cutting the seeds and that they release their bitterness or the classic cross cut so that you can squeeze them more easily.
The function of angostura bitters
Avoid using it in excess. A maximum of 1 to 2 drops is enough to reduce the aroma of the egg white and not to overshadow the most important one: that of pisco. Preferably do not stir after adding them.
Now that you know what ingredients to use and how to choose them, always remember the order: first the pisco, followed by the lemon juice, then the gum syrup, the ice, the egg white and a minimal final decoration with the angostura bitters.