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Cover: Shaken and stirred

February, 2012

17Feb 12

Pisco Sour

Pisco SourMy drink for today is one of the oldest and most controversial drinks I have ever come across. When I arrived in Peru, I asked what the national drink was. They replied: Pisco Sour. A few months later, in Chile, I asked the same question and got the same answer. Although Chileans own the trademark of the brand “Pisco Sour,” Peruvians claim that the Quechua tribe was the first to mix the cocktail in a town called Pisco, hence the name. (Pisco is also known for its ceviche, which makes a nice meal to accompany your cocktail.) However, both use the drink as a welcome gesture. If in Chile or Peru, when someone says, “un Pisquito para mi amigo” (a small Pisco for my friend), to refuse would be an insult.

Pisco is a spirit made by distilling grapes in clay jugs. Egg whites are then added and shaken (not stirred!). Pisco Sour is easy to make and can only be mastered with patience and practice. Although its taste is sweet and refreshing, my advice is: do not attempt to drink too many with a local because they are used to it. Also, you can hardly taste the alcohol, so nothing seems to happen until too late.

Needed for a true Chilean/Peruvian Pisco sour:

  • 6 cl Pisco
  • 1 eggs
  • 2 spoonfuls icing sugar
  • 1.5 cl lemon juice
  • Handful of crushed ice

How to comfortably shake a drink with eggs:
1. Put ice into a cocktail shaker.
2. Add Pisco, icing sugar and egg white
3. Finally, add lemon juice and then shake energetically for a few seconds.
You will be able to consider yourself an expert when you can get the egg white to sit on top of your Pisco Sour in the shape of white froth. How? With lots of practice and patience. A proper Pisco Sour is served in a champagne glass. Sit down, relax with your visitors and give them the welcome of not one, but two countries.

Time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 cocktail

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