Pisco Sour is a popular cocktail originating from South America. The ingredients are usually Pisco (a type of brandy), lemon juice, egg white, Angostura bitters and sugar syrup.
Both Peru and Chile claim the Pisco Sour as their national drink, and each claims ownership of both Pisco and the cocktail. This, in turn, has lead to some heated debates in local bars throughout South America.
The main difference in the Chilean version is that it uses Chilean Pisco and Pica lime and excludes the bitters and egg white. What is clear is that the combination of the two kinds of Pisco and the variations in the style of preparation has resulted in two very distinct drinks.
The oldest known mention of the Pisco Sour is in a 1921 magazine attributing its invention to an American bartender, Victor Vaughen Morris. Having moved to Peru in 1903, he opened Morris’ Bar in Lima in 1916. The saloon quickly became a popular spot for the Peruvian upper class and English-speaking foreigners.
Historians generally agree that cocktails such as the Whiskey Sour or Silver Sour are likely to have inspired Victor Morris to create the Pisco Sour. Today it is still a very popular drink, so much so that Peru celebrates a yearly public holiday in honor of the cocktail during the first Saturday of February.
One of the best places in Peru to enjoy this national drink is Bar Cordano located just off the main square (Plaza de Armas) in Lima. Closer to home you can also enjoy a Pisco Sour in the restaurant Lima in central London.
Pisco Sour Recipe:
50ml/1¾fl oz pisco
50ml/1¾fl oz lime juice
25ml/1fl oz sugar syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
½ egg white
Place all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake.
Strain into a glass with ice cubes and garnish with a slice of lime.