The ubiquitous pisco sour is the national cocktail of both Peru and Chile, using the namesake national spirit of both countries, Pisco.
An anonymous writer said it best in 1872.
“It is perfectly colourless, quite fragrant, very seductive, terribly strong, and has a flavour somewhat resembling that of scotch whiskey, but much more delicate, with a marked fruity taste.”
Read more about the history and method after the break.
Read more about the pisco sour here.
Before I begin, a quick note on egg whites. This drink contains an egg white. If you are squirming in your seat right now “raw egg?!?!?! Won’t that taste like egg?! Won’t I DIE of SALMONELLA?!?!?” Stop. You won’t die, or be ill, or anything. You won’t taste it, all it does is change the texture, and give the whole drink a richer mouthfeel, as well as having a beautiful foam on top.
Even if you add the whole egg, the only flavour you will be adding is richness and deliciousness (ever had egg nog?!) in fact just writing about it, I have decided to divulge one of my flip recipes next week. So subscribe if you wanna see that.
So for all you puritans out there I will add a warning note.
WARNING: Drinking drinks with raw egg in them may cause side effects of AWESOMENESS and automatically promote you from wimp to BADASS.
This drink is unusual in that it is a sour with a white spirit, being very much a brown spirit man, my sours are usually with whiskey. But pisco has such a distinct flavour that it is really tempered by the citrus, with the sugar just balancing it enough to allow you to appreciate the flavours. This drink is unusual in that the bitters are not added to the drink before you shake, but added on the top as a garnish, and adding a delicate aroma.
As far as the history goes, the cocktail was probably not invented by a Peruvian or a Chilean, but by an American Expat called Victor Morris, who invented it in the Morris Bar (which he owned) in Lima, Peru, 1915.
Charles H. Baker Jr in his book “The South American Gentleman’s Companion” said about the bitters being on top of the drink were “the finishing touch put-on by the talented bar-maestro at the wonderful and luxurious Lima Country Club, before they served them to your pastor and Limenian good friends on our suite balcony overlooking the polo fields, and perhaps the handsomest swimming pool you’ll find in the world.”
Recipe follows the photos.
2 shots pisco (peruvian or chilean, your call)
1 shot lemon or lime juice (lime is my preference)
3/4 shot of sugar syrup (2-1)
1 egg white
8 drops or so of amargo chuncho bitters for garnish (angostura is fine if you can’t find these)
Dry shake all ingredients (shake without ice) until egg is nice and frothy, and then shake with ice. Double strain into a coupe, or wine glass, or nice tumbler. Dot the bitters on top of the foam, and then drag a toothpick through to make patterns (or fancy hearts)
For a cool twist, Camper English from alcademics recommends replacing the bitters with rose water or orange flower water.
A quick note on the ingredients, you can use pretty much any pisco you like. Because I use peruvian bitters, I like to use peruvian pisco, but that’s just me. Use whatever you like. I think the brand was soldeica.
Amargo Chuncho bitters, available from the whiskey exchange, add a nice smoky sweetness to the drink, and a pretty colour too. Well worth picking up if you drink pisco sours at home on a regular basis.
That’s it for today. I just want to thank everyone who reads this blog for getting it to 50 followers, with 80% of those being in the last month. So thank you very much for that, I’m really grateful, I’ll do a special post to say thanks again some time this week.
See you next time, as always please feel free to email or twitter me, links on the side bar.