If you’ve ever tried a Pisco Sour, you know the delights of the frothy drink, particularly the warm glow that steals over you after several sips. If you’re scratching your head and wondering, “WTF is Pisco???” do yourself a favor and read on.
Pisco is a distilled grape spirit that hails from Peru and Chile and is made from unique regional varietals. It’s born much in the same way as cognac or brandy, but is usually aged in stainless steel instead of wood. In its pre-Prohibition heyday, Pisco Punch was all the rage in San Francisco, with some bars devoted to serving that drink and nothing else. As the story so often goes, Prohibition nearly erased both pisco and punch from the American cocktail landscape.
Laws are less strict in Chile, but in Peru, the production of pisco is highly regulated. A competitive marketplace yields great styles.
One brand of which we are particularly fond is Macchu Pisco, helmed by the fabulous Melanie da Trindade-Asher. It’s floral, smooth and extremely aromatic.
1.5 oz Macchu Pisco
1 oz simple syrup
.75 oz fresh lemon or lime juice
1 oz egg white
Combine the pisco, simple syrup, citrus juice and egg white in a mixing glass. Dry shake to emulsify, then add ice and shake long and hard. Strain into a small cocktail glass. Garnish by sprinkling angostura bitters onto the egg white foam.
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