I’m always a little bit hesitant to pick up a new spirit when I can only think of one cocktail in which I might use it. Gin, bourbon, rye, and rum are all staples, and I have no doubt that I ill make good use of them (to put it mildly) regardless of cost. However, I wasn’t so sure when I came across a bottle of Pisco at my favorite liquor store recently. I was certainly familiar its namesake cocktail, the Pisco Sour, but was that enough to justify the purchase?
Yes. Yes it was.
Pisco is a grape-based brandy from South America – generally Chile or Peru. There are a number of brands and varieties, which you can read more about here.
In doing a little more research after picking up my first bottle of Pisco, I found there are a few other cocktails (and I hope you’ll write to me to share others!) but the Pisco Sour is by far the most well known.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
1oz simple syrup
3/4oz lemon juice (I’ve seen other recipes use lime juice instead; your choice!)
1 egg white
Dash of Angostura bitters for garnish
Combine the four base ingredients (Pisco, simple syrup, citrus and egg white) in your shaker along with a healthy portion of ice. Shake extra long and hard – remember, anytime you use egg white you want to shake a bit extra to fully emulsify the egg and create some nice foam. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with several drops of angostura bitters.(Definitely don’t leave out that last part – the bitters are a must in this cocktail. But why would you? Bitters are awesome.)
The result: a complex sour cocktail with a nice foam, an interesting base spirit and a fascinating history.