When Life Gives You Lemons… Make Pisco Sours

Today is National Pisco Day! You know what that means — Pisco Sours! (Pisco, by the way, is a clear brandy and can vary in flavor profile and alcohol intensity, depending on the distiller.) While I don’t usually write about cocktails, Pisco Sours are rivaling my long-favorite Margarita as my choice cocktail.

Last year I was fortunate enough to make my first trip to South America with friends. The trip included Santiago, Chile,  Easter Island, and Lima, Peru. Everywhere we went, Pisco Sours were on the menu. We tried Peruvian style, Chilean style, martini style, frozen style, you name it! Pisco Sour recipes, much like Margarita recipes, vary from bartender to bartender, but after significant taste-testing, my friends and I agreed that Peruvian style is tastiest. (Important safety tip: Try to limit the taste-testing to two Pisco Sours in a sitting. They do pack a punch that you’ll feel the next day!)

Traditional (Peruvian-style) Pisco Sour
Pisco Sours
Other assorted Pisco Sours


As it turns out, San Francisco-based Campo de Encanto makes some pretty tasty Pisco. My new favorite Pisco Sour recipe is adapted from their classic Peruvian version. And it calls for fresh lemons, which I can get right from the tree in my backyard! While my version isn’t exactly traditional, it’s my “local” version and a nice way to celebrate National Pisco Day.

You’ll need a cocktail shaker, some ice, a juicer or reemer, and the following ingredients. Best glassware choices: champagne flute, martini glass, or old-fashioned glass.Ingredients for Pisco Sour

2.25 oz. Pisco
1 oz. egg whites (use pasteurized if you have health concerns)
1 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. light agave syrup (add up to 1/4 oz. more, if you prefer a sweeter cocktail)
3/4 cup ice (approximate)

Combine the Pisco, egg whites, lemon juice, and agave syrup in a shaker with about 3/4 cup ice (I use 4-5 regular size cubes). Shake for a minute so that the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is frothy. Strain into a glass and shake several drops of bitters on top. Enjoy!Pisco Sour

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