Pisco Sour Cocktail

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While on a trip to Chile, Michael got to sample some of the local beverages, including the vaina and the pisco sour, and he came back with plans to make them for us. I’m a tad bit envious that he got to sample these at the source without me, so a home version will have to do until I get to venture off to Chile someday.

Bring up the subject of the pisco sour and you are likely to start a conversation about the origins of the drink, and depending on who is in on the conversation it could become a little heated. Both Peru and Chile lay claim to pisco brandy and the famous drink, with laws in place to protect its authenticity. We like the drink no matter where it originally came from, though one could consider this recipe a Chilean version since we used Pisco Capel from Chile. Supposedly pisco from Peru is slightly stronger than the Chilean pisco, so if you are lucky enough to get your hands on both, a little recipe testing would make for a fun evening.

Chilean piscos call for the local Amargo bitters, which are not available in our area. Many U.S. recipes call for Angostura bitters, which are much stronger, and we found the blood orange bitters to be a nice substitute.

Citrus cocktails may seem like summer drinks, but they are also perfect for winter when citrus is in season, and we think the classic pisco sour is a good pick for New Year’s Eve cocktails. The cocktail is made with either lemons or limes and you can adjust the juice and sugar depending on how sour you want it.

WARNING: Since the egg whites are raw, please use the freshest eggs possible and make sure they have been stored properly.

Pisco Sour Cocktail
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 serving
  • 1-1/2 ounces fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 3 ounces Pisco Capel
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, or to taste
  • 1 egg white, very fresh
  • 1/3 cup crushed ice
  • blood orange bitters
  1. In the blender, mix the lemon juice, pisco, confectioner’s sugar, egg white, and ice until it’s very foamy. Pour into the serving glass and add a few drops of blood orange bitters.
More Information

old-fashioned glass or mini cocktail glasses


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  1. says

    Hello Andrea, I enjoyed your article however your observation about origin of pisco is passe. It is clear now that pisco originated in Peru but Chile just drinks more of it. Maybe its just obvious to me because I work in this industry so I am in touch with experts and connoisseurs all the time. The difference between the two kinds is very vast. Chilean pisco is column distilled (or double distilled), cut with water and aged in local wood. Peruvian, single distilled to bottle proof, not a drop of water, no aging, pure grape must distill. I hope this makes sense and clarifies the difference a little bit. It is quite frankly too bad that Chile can legally call it pisco since the grape brandy they make is so different in nature. Please don’t go too long without drinking a true Peruvian pisco.. btw, amargo bitters are from Peru. Those spices don’t exist in Chile since their whole country is a strip of desert they simply don’t have the ecological diversity that Peru has. Chuncho bitters are made from ingredients native the Peruvian territories. Here is a Peruvian pisco sour recipe:

    2 parts Barsol quebranta pisco
    1 part simple syrup
    1 part key lime juice
    1 egg white
    angostura or amargo bitters
    – (dry shake rigorously, no ice)
    – (add ice and ‘wet shake’ very hard)
    strain in a glass, 1 or 3 drops of bitters on top of the foam.

    voila.. enjoy the classic.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on pisco. Since you mentioned a specific brand of pisco in your recipe, it’s only fair to point out that you are a brand ambassador for them as mentioned on your Twitter page.

  2. says

    I love this series, Andrea, it makes me totally want to head to the liquor store as my cupboard is woefully understocked at the moment.

    I remember Pisco Sours from Peru, they are refreshing and rejuvenating. I remember the last one all TOO well. A word to the wise is to avoid uncooked egg in Peru unless in a known food-safe location.


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