Pisco is a clear-to-yellowish grape brandy made in Peru and Chile. It’s not hard to find or expensive, but it doesn’t get used all too often in cocktails. That’s unfortunate, since it’s got a unique flavor that’s reminiscent of other brandies, but also has some un-aged rum notes going on.
There is one classic pisco cocktail, though: the pisco sour. This one’s got a few interesting things going on. For one, it uses an egg white. As I’ve mentioned in the past, that’s pretty safe, but if it freaks you out, you can use pasteurized egg whites, or omit it entirely.
It also uses bitters in an interesting manner: instead of being combined with the drink, they’re used as a garnish, dropped atop the foamy egg-white head and swirled around. It’s a cool effect and it gives the cocktail a highly aromatic scent.
This is a fairly low-alcohol drink. The Pisco’s 40% ABV, like vodka, but there’s only two ounces of it, and everything else in the drink is nonalcoholic (well, ok, the bitters add a minuscule amount).
- 2 oz. Pisco (Capel)
- 1 oz. Simple Syrup
- .75 oz. Lime Juice
- 1 Egg White (about 1 ounce)
- 4 Drops Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients except bitters in a cocktail shaker without ice, and dry-shake for a few seconds to break up the egg white. Add ice, shake thoroughly, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add four drops of bitters to the foamy head and use a cocktail straw (or garnish pick) to swirl.
This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts. Liquors in parentheses are what I used when I made this recipe, and are included as suggestions.