Easy to mix yourself at home, and with a zesty character redolent of the warm weather to come, the Pisco Sour is the perfect drink for right now.
Some drinks make us feel like we are right at home, ensconced in familiar territory and watched over by friendly eyes. Others can take us to a distant time and place, for instance, a riverboat casino on Lake Titicaca where the dealers wear white smoking jackets and you’re not sure who to trust.
Should that preposterous scenario ever come to pass, you’d most likely be drinking a Pisco Sour. This classic cocktail is unique in that even many who enjoy it aren’t sure how to classify its namesake ingredient.
Like cognac, pisco is a grape brandy that can only be produced in a select geographical area, in this case regions of Peru and Chile (each of which claim it as a national spirit). Unlike cognac, pisco cannot be barrel-aged, so its fruity and floral properties are on full display.
The drink’s second-most characterful element is the frothy, milk shake-like head created by shaking it with an egg white. The key is to first “dry shake” the ingredients together without ice, which adds air to fluff up the eggs.
While beautiful, the white foam features an eggy aroma that can be concealed with a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Swirl them with a toothpick to add a visual flourish in the latte art-style.
2 ounces pisco
¾ ounce lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
Angostura bitters, for garnish
Add pisco, lime juice, simple syrup and egg white to a shaker without ice. Dry shake for about thirty seconds, then add ice and shake again until chilled. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with bitters, using a toothpick to create decorative swirls.