Celebrate Pisco Sour Day

Celebrate the cocktail with these recommendations and recipes.

The Pisco Sour, the official drink of Peru, is celebrated the first Saturday in February, as if we needed a reason to imbibe this delightfully frothy drink.

Expatriate American bartender Victor V. “Gringo” Morris created the cocktail while working at the Morris’ Bar in Lima, Peru, as a variation of the Whiskey Sour. It quickly became a favorite among the locals and spread as far as San Francisco.

If you’re not already a Pisco fan, here’s what you need to know: this aromatic grape brandy hails from Peru or Chile, where it’s distilled from grapes and then aged in vessels made of copper, glass, stainless steel or clay. It often has a delicate, perfumy quality; but like wine or grappa, the character changes vastly depending on the grapes from which it is made. Here are a few to try in your next Pisco Sour:

93 Pisco Capel Reservado (Chile; Shaw-Ross International Importers, Miramar, FL). The scent reads as fruity and a touch smoky; on the tongue, it’s surprisingly sweet, finishing long and fruity, with some herbaceous and vanilla notes on the finish. A smooth and sophisticated Pisco, and excellent value.
abv: 40%    Price: $16

90 Pisco Portón Mosto Verde Pisco (Peru; Pisco Portón, Manhasset, NY). Earthy, resiny scent with a hint of fruit in the background. At first, the flavor is a little raw, but given some time to aerate it mellows to an earthy, tropical fruit sweetness. Soft feel.
abv: 43%    Price: $45.

89 Kappa Pisco (Chile; Marnier-Lapostolle, New York, NY). A newcomer to the Pisco scene, created by a scion of the Lapostolle Wines family. The spirit is distinctly sweet and floral, but it’s the sexy midnight-blue bottle with white stars and clear panels that truly attracts attention.
abv: 42.5%    Price: $34

Pisco Sour

2 ounces Pisco
¾ ounce simple syrup
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 egg white
Angostura bitters, to top

Combine all ingredients except bitters in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until the egg white is foamy (about 10 seconds). Add ice to the shaker then shake vigorously again until well-chilled (about 10 seconds). Strain into a cocktail glass. Dash a couple of drops of Angostura Bitters on top.

Grapefruit Pisco Sour

2 ounces Pisco
¾ ounce grapefruit juice, plus an additional dash for muddling
1 dash of lemon juice
¼ egg white
¾ ounce simple syrup
6 mint leaves

Combine all ingredients except bitters in the cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until the egg white is foamy (about 10 seconds). Add ice to the shaker then shake vigorously again until well-chilled (about 10 seconds).

Muddle the mint leaves in a cocktail glass with a dash of grapefruit juice. Pour in contents of the cocktail shaker.

Published on February 3, 2012
Topics: Cocktail Recipes, Pisco
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of several cocktail books, including Shake.Stir.Sip. and NIGHTCAP: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening, which debuts in September 2018. Email: spirits@wineenthusiast.net




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