whiskey sour

Pisco Sour

A Pisco Sour is a cocktail containing Pisco (a regional brandy), lemon juice, egg whites, simple syrup, and regional bitters (like Amargo bitters, though Angostura bitters work if regional bitters are unavailable). The national origin of the pisco sour is debated if from Chile or Peru. In Peru, the variety of lemon used has a flavor similar to key lime. Because of this, some recipes call for the use of lime juice rather than lemon juice. In the United States, the drink is usually made with commonly available Lisbon or Eureka lemons.


With the increased availability of Pisco and regional bitters outside South America, the Pisco Sour, like the Mojito and Caipirinha, has increased in popularity in the United States. Peru has a National Pisco Sour Day which is celebrated on the first Saturday of February. Chile's Pisco National Day is celebrated on May 15th.

Historical debates

The roots of Pisco itself reach back to the 1500s and stem from Colonial rule. The Spaniards brought the grape to the region from Europe, but the King of Spain banned wine in the 17th Century, forcing locals to concoct a different kind of alcohol from the grape.

There are at least two common variations concerning the creation of the Pisco Sour drink:


The birth of the Pisco Sour is attributed to the English steward of a sailing ship named "Sunshine". In 1872, Elliot Stubb obtained leave to disembark in the port of Iquique which was Peruvian at the time. with the aim of settling in the city and opening a bar. In the bar which he established, he experimented with many aperitifs and drinks, of which a fundamental ingredient was the limon de pica, a small lime grown in the area. In order to offer new varieties of alcoholic beverages, the Englishman experimented with many combinations, trying to create pleasant drinks. One day, Stubb mixed pisco with his most valued ingredient, lime, and added a good dose of sugar. Fascinated by the delicious result, he made it the specialty of the house, and dubbed it "sour" for the acid touch which the lime gives it..

In 1883 Iquique became a Chilean city. The Pisco Sour spread to social clubs and bars throughout the port of Iquique, and from there it spread through the country and beyond. Augusto Pinochet's favorite cocktail was a pisco sour.

Different variations from the original ingredients contained in pisco sour have been produced within Chile. In Santiago can be found iconoclastic pisco sour recipes that include Ají Sour (with a spicy green chilli), Sour de Campo (with ginger and honey), and Sour Haas (with avocados, pineapple, and mint).


The Pisco Sour cocktail is a variation of the Whiskey Sour, invented in the early 1920s by American expatriate Victor V. "Gringo" Morris at The Morris Bar in Lima. The cocktail quickly became a favorite of locals. Soon many of the grand Lima hotels at that time such as The Maury and The Hotel Bolivar began serving pisco sours to their international guests, helping the drink become an international hit.

See also

Drink topics


External links

  • - Tourism site with information about Peruvian Pisco along with a recipe.
  • Food Network - A less traditional recipe that uses ingredients more common outside Peru and Chile.

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