A simple sour cocktail, the pisco sour is a fantastic way to discover the wonders of the South American brandy. This is an iconic cocktail and one of the most popular drinks in Peru and Chile, where pisco is typically produced. You'll find it to be very refreshing, an absolute delight to drink, and, with that first sip, you'll learn exactly what all the buzz is about!
Pisco is an unaged brandy made from specific grape varietals, depending on the style of pisco. Among those, pisco puro and pisco acholado are most often poured into the pisco sour.
Beyond the spirit of choice, the pisco sour is a classically styled sour drink. It includes either lemon or lime juice and simple syrup for sweet and sour notes that you can adjust to taste. The egg white gives it an inviting foamy top with none of the eggy flavor. The bitters finish it off beautifully while adorning the foam with brown drops you can have fun styling (think latte art, by swirling the colored foam with a toothpick).
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the pisco, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg.
Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds to ensure the egg is fully incorporated.
Add bitters to taste.
Serve and enjoy!
- Distillers in Peru tend to make drier and slightly stronger pisco than those in Chile where the piscos are sweeter. You may need to adjust the citrus and syrup when switching between piscos produced in the two countries.
- To be authentic, use Amargo Chuncho Bitters from Peru. It can be rather difficult to find in the U.S., which is why Angostura is often used.
- The key to safely drinking egg cocktails is ensuring your egg is fresh. Give every egg you intend to mix with a quick test: Fill a glass with water and if your egg sinks, it's as fresh as can be. Eggs that float to the top need to be discarded as they're too old, even for food.
- Use lime juice instead of lemon, sometimes recipes include up to 1 ounce of either. For a traditional taste, key limes are the best variety.
- Some recipes use just 1/2 ounce of simple syrup. You could also add up to 1 tablespoon of sugar (generally 1/2 ounce syrup is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of sugar).
- Another popular variation pours an equal amount of citrus juice and simple syrup.
How Strong Is a Pisco Sour?
Pisco can be bottled anywhere from 38 percent to 48 percent ABV (76 to 96 proof) and what you pour will affect the final strength of the pisco sour. Using the average, this drink shakes up to 15 percent ABV (30 proof), or just a little stronger than wine.