Would you call yourself an adventurous cocktail drinker or someone who sticks to the classics? I feel like I fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to ordering a cocktail while out on the town. I’ve got my favorites and then, every once in a while, I branch out and try something different. Most of the time it all depends on if we’re at a new bar. Lately I’ve been really into ordering a Pisco Sour or two when we go out for drinks. There’s something about a frothy drink that has been really appealing to me lately… probably because our chickens have been working overtime and we have way too many eggs! I asked our resident cocktail expert, Rocky, to put a twist on the classic Peruvian Pisco Sour for us and, man, is it tasty.
What is Pisco?
Pisco is the national cocktail of both Peru and Chile. If you’re not familiar with Pisco, don’t worry… I didn’t know about it either until recently! Pisco is a grape brandy that is yellowish (or sometimes amber colored) and is produced in the winemaking regions of Peru and Chile. Essentially, the grapes are distilled into a higher-proof spirit that can range anywhere from 60 to 100 proof. The flavor profile is quite aromatic, but with a touch of sweetness. There are also slight differences between Peruvian Pisco and Chilean Pisco: the former is usually made with a single variety of grapes then distilled in a copper pot once. Also, Peruvian law requires that it be made in one of five areas in order to be clarified as a Pisco. Unlike Peruvian Pisco, Chilean Pisco can be distilled as many times as they please, as long as the final product is kept under 73 proof. It is then aged for at least 60 days. Usually an aged Chilean Pisco is the best for sipping straight as a digestif.
Meet the Pisco Sour Drink
Traditionally, a Peruvian Pisco Sour is made with lime juice, an egg white, simple syrup, Angostura bitters, and, of course, Pisco. Typically, a classic Pisco Sour is 3 parts pisco brandy to 1 part simple syrup and 1 part lime juice. Then add in a fresh egg white and a dash of bitters. The key to perfectly made Pisco sour cocktails is to shake vigorously for a beautiful, foamy top. Once you’ve mastered the original, putting a twist on the classic is quite easy. Which leads to our recipe…
Basil Syrup Peruvian Pisco Sour Recipe
- 2 ounces Pisco
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon raspberry marmalade
- 1/4 ounce basil syrup (recipe below)
- 1 egg white
- 2-3 dashes of cayenne bitters
How to Make a Pisco Sour:
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with one ice cube. Shake vigorously until the ice cube dissolves. Open the shaker and fill with ice. Shake for 30 more seconds, then double strain over ice into a glass of your choosing.
Basil Syrup Recipe
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- A heaping handful of fresh basil, washed
Bring water and sugar to a light simmer in a saucepan. Remove from heat. Add the basil and let cool 2-3 hours. Strain out the basil and store in an airtight jar until ready to use.
Photography and styling by Jojotastic. Recipe developed by Raquel Roof for Jojotastic.
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