South America’s favorite pisco sour

The perfect latin cocktail to celebrate this weekend.

Stir constantly until it's completely dissolved, remove from heat, let cool, and bottle.
Stir constantly until it's completely dissolved, remove from heat, let cool, and bottle.
Foto: GoonSquadSarah via CCL

The true origins of the Pisco Sour have long been debated, but it is believed to have been created in the early 1920s by an American bartender in Lima, Peru. This tasty South American concoction, using grape brandy, is the national drink of both Peru and Chile, and you can enjoy it at home as well.

Check with your local liquor store for its availability. Many higher-end stores should have it in stock. If not, you can always request the proprietor of your nearest or favorite store order it for you. Also, depending on local laws and ordinances, you can order it over the Internet — if you’re determined to savor this cocktail with the real deal, just any old grape brandy won’t do.

Peruvian Pisco Sour

In Peru, this drink is prepared using bitters and egg white. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to get started:

  • 1.5 – 2 oz of Peruvian Pisco (1 jigger is 1.5 oz)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp sugar or 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 – 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 egg white Angostura bitters
  • 1 lime sliced into wedges and notched (slice a gap in the center)

If you’re prone to heartburn, cut the lime juice down to 1 tbsp. If you’re watching your sugar consumption, just use 1 tbsp instead of 2, but be aware that Peruvian Pisco has got more of a kick taste-wise than it’s Chilean cousin and may need a bit of toning down for your particular tastes.

Much like a margarita, this drink can be made with ice in a blender or in a cocktail shaker and strained into a glass.

Either way, add all ingredients together except for the bitters and lime wedges and blend or shake with 3 or 4 ice cubes until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass such as a martini or wine glass, add a dash of bitters, and serve with a lime wedge on the rim and enjoy.

Chilean Pisco Sour

The Chilean version of this drink is essentially the same except it uses Chilean Pisco, which is sweeter, and, in many recipes, lemon juice instead of lime. The Chilean Pisco Sour also varies in the sense that often bitters and egg white are excluded. These options are up to you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1.5 – 2 oz Chilean Pisco
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 lime or lemon sliced into wedges and notched egg white and bitters optional

Follow the same directions for mixing it as you would for the Peruvian Pisco Sour, and garnish with your lemon or lime wedge.

Mango Pisco Sour

This super refreshing version is invariably made the same way but you add a cup of fresh mango to the blender or 2 oz of mango juice to the cocktail shaker. You can use chunks of frozen mango if need be, but cut down on your ice if you do.

This version works well with Chilean Pisco but, if you use it, experiment with the amount of sugar or simple syrup you use to accommodate your own personal tastes.

Substitutions: For the sake of convenience, if you prefer, you can substitute sour mix for lemon or lime juice in these recipes. On the same note, simple syrup blends much easier, and you can make it quite easily by boiling one part water and stirring in two parts white or raw sugar. Stir constantly until it’s completely dissolved, remove from heat, let cool, and bottle.