Take a Peru Culinary Tour While Staying Home
Every destination has its unique set of flavors—a palate refined by the land itself. Ingredients become points of pride and recipes become the symbols of nations. In Peru, this sentiment rings especially true with the Pisco Sour: Peru’s national beverage and a cultural counterpoint to Chile, who also claims it as their own.
Pisco, a grape spirit at the heart of the Peruvian/Chilean heritage controversy, garners a flock of comparisons. It’s as versatile as vodka. As diverse as gin. As soulful as tequila. It has a wine’s heritage and roots. And indeed—much like a good French wine, a Peruvian pisco’s flavor profile comes down to all things terroir like region and grape varietals. And distilled grapes does not a good pisco make. But Peruvians, with the help of pachamama (Mother Earth), have perfected the process over several hundred years.
Peru’s pisco carries a weighty heritage. The name itself, pisco, has roots deeper than the imported Spanish grape vines veining the landscape: it translates to “little bird” in indigenous Quechua, a testament to the Quechuan’s ties to the spirit. Delving back into Peru’s history of conquest and colonialism, mentions of pisco can be traced back to the early 1600s when the Spanish placed heavy taxes on Peruvian wines and the New World locals turned to grape distillation.
Unlike pisco itself, the Pisco Sour cocktail has only been around since the early 20th century. As the story goes, American bartender Victor Morris crafted the Pisco Sour at his bar in Lima during the 1920s, but the recent discovery of a Peruvian cookbook Nuevo Manual de Cocina a la Criolla dated from Lima in 1903 complicates that familiar tale. No matter the date of origin, the Pisco Sour took off during Peru’s own Roaring Twenties and has since been embraced on a national level. The refreshing Peruvian cocktail has its own national holiday, National Pisco Sour Day, celebrated on the first Saturday of February.
You don’t have to travel to Peru to take this souvenir with you. Do as the Peruvians do and greet visiting friends with a Pisco Sour, or simply pour it into a chilled copper mug to cheers a long day…and possibly an upcoming trip to Peru.
HOW TO MAKE A PERUVIAN PISCO SOUR
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. egg white
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 3 oz Peruvian Pisco
- Angostura bitters
- Crushed ice
- Mix your ingredients in a shaker along with enough ice to double the volume of the liquid blend.
- Shake well for about 1 minute.
- Serve in cocktail glass, accompanied with 3 drops of Angostura bitters.
Extra Tips to Make an Incredible Peruvian Pisco Sour:
- Making your own simple syrup is incredibly easy! Simply mix equal parts water and sugar in a sauce pan, bring to a slow boil and let simmer until the sugar completely dissolves. Let cool before using.
- When in doubt, remember the ratio: 3 parts Pisco, 1 part simple syrup, 1 part lime juice.
- Shaking the blend vigorously creates a good froth.
- Squeeze the lime by hand, making sure to avoid both squeezing it completely empty and letting the lime juice touch the bitter lime skin to prevent all those nasty bitter juices from being released into your cocktail.
If this doesn't transport you to Peru, check out our available adventures and enjoy an authentic Pisco Sour with Peru Unbound!