The Pisco Sour is the national cocktail of Peru and Chile, but it’s also enjoyed in droves all over the U.S. Most likely, you’ve seen this drink listed on a cocktail menu, but if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out. This cocktail features Pisco brandy, which is mainly produced in South America. It’s a deliciously tart drink that is most definitely worth a try!
The National Drink of Peru
Though it’s similar to other brandies like cognac, Pisco is actually a very distinctive alcohol with a taste all its own. This high-proof liquor is crystal clear and has flavor profiles that run the full gamut, from lightly sweet and sour all the way to an herbal, bitter taste. Its vast range of flavors makes it one of the most versatile liquors and perfect for Peru’s national cocktail.
This delicious cocktail has a few different variations, but the classic Peruvian recipe is the traditional method for mixing this drink. It features Pisco brandy, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, and Angostura bitters. Its unique group of ingredients gives this cocktail an enticing combination of sweet and sour, accented by herbal notes for a smooth finish.
This tasty beverage is not only the national cocktail of Peru, but it has its own holiday, too, making it one of the most popular drinks in South America. The history of this illustrious cocktail is hotly disputed, as many claim to be the creator. However, the most widely accepted origin story is that Victor Vaughen Morris, the owner of Morris Bar in Lima, Peru, is the actual inventor.
The tale goes that he created the drink one night when he was serving a massive crowd and ran out of whiskey sours. He then substituted Pisco for whiskey, and et voilá, a star was born. However, the recipe most commonly used these days wasn’t created until about the late 1920s when a bartender added egg white and Angostura bitters.
When it comes to mixed drinks, Peru’s national cocktail is one of the best. It’s made from Pisco brandy, egg white, simple syrup, lime juice, and Angostura bitters. It’s high in alcohol, so be sure to brace yourself before you take that first sip. However, if you don’t mind a good stiff drink (and most don’t), this cocktail is perfect for a hot summer day or anytime you want a sweet, sour, and refreshing beverage.
- 2 oz Pisco brandy
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- 1 large egg white
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- Gather all the ingredients
- Combine the Pisco, simple syrup, lime juice, and egg white in a cocktail shaker
- Add ice and shake; or, use a blender
- Strain the mixture into an old-fashioned glass
- Sprinkle the bitters directly on the foam
- Serve promptly and enjoy
Is it Safe to Drink a Pisco Sour?
This cocktail is essentially safe to drink. However, as with any food containing raw egg, there’s always a slight chance of contracting salmonella. That means that you want to be careful when preparing this drink. You should only use fresh eggs that have been properly refrigerated. Be sure that the egg white doesn’t touch the outer shell when you’re making the drink, too.
Another tip is to wait a few minutes before you drink your cocktail. A Brazilian study proved that a Pisco Sour intentionally infected with salmonella was safe to drink about nine minutes after making it. This is due to the extremely high alcohol content in this drink—so please, enjoy responsibly!