Why hello there, readers! Welcome back to another Throwback Thursday, and please allow us to introduce you to one of our absolute, top of the top, very favorite cocktails of all time: the Pisco Sour!
This is our seventh TBT Classic Cocktail, so we figured we had held out on you long enough…It’s time for the good stuff.
So light some candles, put on some mood music, and lets get down to business.
Although the drink originates in Peru, the home of pisco, it was actually invented by an American ex-pat bartender named Victor Vaughen Morris who was living in the country in the early 1920s. The drink quickly spread around South America, and also made its way to the west coast of the U.S., where it was popularized in pisco’s home-away-from-home, San Francisco.
But enough history, lets make the damn thing, alright?
For the traditional Pisco Sour, you will need:
- 2 dashes Chuncho Amargo bitters* (see note below)
- 2 oz pisco brandy
- 1 oz lime juice
- 2 dessertspoons superfine sugar** (see note below)
- 1/2 oz egg white*** (see note below)
- Ground cinnamon, for garnish
- Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Boy, this drink sure requires a lot of notes, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it really is simple, we promise.
Gather all of your ingredients plus your cocktail shaker, strainer, jiggers, measuring spoons, fruit press, and serving glass.
First, add your bitters directly into the bottom of your glass. Remember to hold the bottle vertically, directly over the glass. Each shake is one dash.
*Note 1: Chuncho Amargo bitters are traditional Peruvian bitters, and therefore the proper bitters to use in this drink. However, you may use Angostura if that is all you have. Under no circumstances can this drink be made without any bitters. Ever. You got it?
Next, squeeze your lime and add in your 1 oz of juice.
Now add in your 2 dessertspoons of superfine sugar.
**Note 2: a dessertspoon is a specific unit of measurement used regularly pre-prohibition, but not so much now. But fear not, a dessertspoon is equal to 10 ml, meaning 2 dessertspoons is 20 ml. This is equal to 4 teaspoons (each of which are 5 ml), or 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon (a tablespoon is 15 ml). The more you know…
And now, the egg whites. Unlike most of our other recommendations, whenever you use egg whites in your drinks it is essential that you use the pre-made stuff you buy in cartons at the store. If you just crack an egg and separate out the whites there is always a possibility that some yoke will sneak in there, or that the consistency will not be, well, consistent. The cartoned stuff is best.
***Note 3: The purpose of the egg whites in this drink is for texture and consistency, it does not add flavor. If you have dietary restrictions or would prefer not to use them, that is fine.
Now fill your shaker tin 2/3 full of ice, pour your ingredients in, secure the shaker glass, and shake shake shake! Important: since we used granulated sugar and not simple syrup in this drink, you will need to shake longer than normal in order for the sugar to fully incorporate Approximately 60 seconds.
Now attach your strainer and pour your drink directly into your serving glass. This drink is served up, so do not add any ice to your glass.
Last but not least: garnish! Most Pisco Sour recipes will tell you to either use a sprinkle of cinnamon or a maraschino cherry, but we here at The Woman At The Bar are rebels and don’t care what anyone says, so we use both!
First sprinkle a light dusting of cinnamon on top of your drink. Make sure you test out your cinnamon shaker first, you don’t want to overwhelm the entire drink with mounds of cinnamon!
Now add your cherry, because you deserve it!
And there you have it! One of the most perfect cocktails ever invented. Peru, we salute you.
Drink up, everyone!