: views from the Hill

Monday, January 30, 2006

Wot's a pisco sour?

"Wot's a pisco sour?" Paula asks in the comment stream.

Funny you should ask.

The Pisco Sour is Peru's traditional drink, a brandy-based cocktail. I found out just yesterday (from an article in the Chronicle's Travel Section on Lima) that February 5th is National Pisco Sour Day!

Pisco is a Peruvian brandy that dates back to the Conquistadores. There's a bunch of history behind why it's called Pisco.

Pisco Sours are not created equal. The best Pisco Sours we had in Peru were at a restaurant/bar in Lima (the first Pisco Sour I'd ever had) and at a lodge on the Amazon where we stayed for a while. The ones in between and after were never to write home about until we ate at Destino the other day for lunch.

Basically, the recipe is, whip up an egg white in a blender until the egg white is frothy.

Add half a glass of crushed ice
3oz. Pisco
1 1/2oz. simple syrup (or superfine sugar to taste)
2oz. lime juice (or lemon in a pinch).

Bzzzz it up until the crushed ice has melted into the drink. Pour into a couple glasses and dribble Angostura bitters on top, or, as Destino does, sprinkle nutmeg on top.

The closest thing to it would be a batida or caipirinha.

I've never made one myself. I'd forgotten how good they are, but maybe it's better not to know how easy they'd be to make. At $7.50/ea at Destino, my intake will be limited by my parsimoniousness.

Have to keep an eye out for Pisco in the liquor stores.

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