Pisco Sour: The national drink of Peru

1. Description

Peruvian culture boasts a cocktail that transcends borders: the Pisco Sour. This beverage is not only a delight for the senses but also represents the national pride of Peru. You will explore the history, secrets, and charm that make the Pisco Sour a symbol of Peruvian identity.

From its mysterious origins to its international recognition, you will discover why the Pisco Sour is an emblem of the cultural richness and distilled ingenuity of the beautiful Andean country. Get ready to immerse yourself in the very essence of Peru through its national drink!

Pisco Sour vs Pisco: The Pisco Sour is the cocktail; However, Pisco is the Spirit (30 to 40% alcohol).

2. History of Pisco Sour

Its origin dates back to the early 20th century in the bars and taverns of Lima, although the narrative of its creation is shrouded in the mist of mystery and legend.

One of the most told stories claims that the Pisco Sour was created by bartender Victor Vaughen Morris, an American who settled in Bar Morris in Lima in the late 1920s. Morris was inspired by the Peruvian tradition of Pisco and decided to mix the grape brandy with lemon, sugar, ice, and egg white, giving rise to the magical formula that we know and love today.

However, the creation of the Pisco Sour is believed to be a tribute to the fusion of cultures where both immigrants and Peruvians contributed to the evolution of this delicious cocktail.

Over the last few decades, the Pisco Sour has earned a special place in the hearts of Peruvians. Its status as the national drink was officially consolidated in 2007, and the Peruvian government declared the first Saturday of February as “Pisco Sour Day.”

3. Essential ingredients

The Pisco Sour, the national drink of Peru, is known for its unique blend of flavors and its balance between sweetness and acidity. The main ingredients to prepare a classic Pisco Sour are:

  • Pisco: This is the star ingredient and the alcohol base of the cocktail. Pisco is a grape brandy, distilled in the coastal region of Peru, and comes in various varieties such as pure, aromatic, and mosto verde.
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon provides freshness and balance to counteract the sweetness of the simple syrup.
  • Simple Syrup: Adds a touch of sweetness and helps balance the flavors.
  • Egg White: The egg white is used to give a smooth and frothy texture to the cocktail, creating the characteristic foam layer on top.
  • Ice: Used to chill and dilute the cocktail.
  • Angostura Bitters (optional): A few drops of Angostura Bitters on top of the Pisco Sour can add an aromatic touch.

4. Types of Pisco

The main classifications that we will show you are based on the type of grape used and the distillation process.

  • Pure Pisco (Quebranta Pisco): This type of pisco is primarily made from the Quebranta grape, which is a highly representative variety of Peruvian pisco. It has a robust flavor and is known for its dry and strong character.
  • Aromatic Pisco: This type of pisco is produced from aromatic grapes such as Italia and Moscatel. These grapes contribute floral and fruity notes to the pisco, resulting in a smoother and more perfumed brandy.
  • Mosto Verde Pisco: In the production of Mosto Verde Pisco, unfermented grape juice is used, which still contains sugars. This results in a sweeter and fuller-bodied pisco.
  • Acholado Pisco: Acholado Pisco is obtained from the blend of different grape varieties, both aromatic and non-aromatic.
  • Black Grape Pisco (Mollar Grape): This pisco is made from specific red grapes of the Mollar variety. Black Grape Pisco has a distinctive flavor profile with fruity notes and a darker color.

5. The Art of Preparing a Pisco Sour

Basic instructions:

  • In a shaker, combine 2 oz of pisco, 1 oz of simple syrup, 1 oz of lime juice, and the egg white.
  • Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds to achieve a well-blended mixture.
  • Strain the mixture into a sour glass or lowball glass.
  • If you prefer, you can add a few drops of Angostura Bitters on top for decoration and to enhance the aroma of the cocktail.
  • Serve and enjoy this Peruvian classic!

Remember that the proportions can be adjusted according to your personal preferences. Health!

6. Pisco Sour Variants

The Pisco Sour is a versatile cocktail and although the basic recipe is quite consistent; however this may vary.

  • Passion Fruit Pisco Sour:
    • Pisco
    • fresh lemon juice
    • Passion fruit syrup
    • egg white
    • Ice
  • Mango Pisco Sour:
    • Pisco
    • fresh lemon juice
    • mango puree
    • Jelly syrup
    • egg white
    • Ice
  • Strawberry Pisco Sour:
    • Pisco
    • fresh lemon juice
    • Strawberry puree
    • Jelly syrup
    • egg white
    • Ice
  • Basil Pisco Sour:
    • Pisco
    • fresh lemon juice
    • Basil syrup
    • egg white
    • Ice
  • Yellow Chili Pisco Sour:
    • Pisco
    • fresh lemon juice
    • Jelly syrup
    • Yellow chili pepper (Peruvian hot pepper)
    • egg white
    • Ice
  • Cocoa Pisco Sour:
    • Pisco
    • fresh lemon juice
    • cocoa syrup
    • egg white
    • Ice

7. Combination with Peruvian food

The Pisco Sour is a versatile cocktail that pairs well with a variety of Peruvian dishes, especially those with fresh and vibrant flavors. Below, we present you with a list of typical Peruvian dishes that go very well with the Pisco Sour:

  • Ceviche
  • Tiradito
  • Barbecue
  • Octopus on the grill
  • Seafood Stuffed Avocado
  • Limeña Cause
  • Chorrillana fish
  • Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

8. Pisco Sour Celebrations

The Pisco Sour is the protagonist of several festivals in the country and around the world, these events celebrate the rich tradition and diversity of this iconic drink.

  • National Pisco Sour Festival: This festival is celebrated in different regions of Peru, showcasing the diversity of Piscos and the creativity of bartenders. It includes competitions, tastings, and the opportunity to enjoy various variations of the Pisco Sour.
  • Pisco Sour Day: Celebrated on the first Saturday of February in Peru, it is a national holiday that pays tribute to this iconic drink. On this day, bars and restaurants typically offer promotions and special events to celebrate.
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