The Original Peruvian Pisco Sour Recipe


There is a debate whether the Pisco Sour was invented in Peru or Chile and it has merit. Both Peru and Chile argue who invented Pisco in the first place and while similar drinks may have been made around the same time in both places, the recipe that is considered canon was invented in Lima, Peru in the 1920s by Victor Morris. An American immigrant living in Peru, Victor Morris was most likely just substituting the local spirit, pisco, in his whiskey sour with egg whites.


Many American’s have not heard of the Pisco Sour or even know what Pisco is for that matter. Pisco is typically a non oaked brandy from Peru and Chili. Both Countries lay claim to having invented it but no one knows for sure who made it first. Most likely both counties distilled wine and made Pisco around the same time. Pisco is a wonderful spirit that taste like a cross between brandy and vodka. Pisco has the normal brandy notes of grape and earthy red wine flavors but lacks the vanilla oak flavors of a French or American brandy. Since it is not aged it has a much drier taste too, similar to a vodka. Traditionally it is sipped neat so the subtle flavors can be savored.

The Pisco Sour taste kinda like a drier whiskey sour with egg whites. In fact, I prefer it over a whiskey sour with egg whites. The part that is concerning for most people before trying a Pisco Sour is the knowing it has egg whites in it. When people hear eggs they think scrambled eggs but they actually should be comparing it to a meringue. When shaken vigorously the egg whites foam into a sweet cocktail infused meringue that is absolutely divine. Not only is this a good tasting cocktail, it’s amazing.

Ordering a Pisco Sour

This isn’t really a cocktail you can just order anywhere. This maybe one you end up making at home more often than not. Most normal bars won’t make this for you or they won’t even have Pisco stocked. The Pisco Sour can be ordered at either: 1) A high end craft cocktail bar. 2) Bars that make other cocktails with egg whites. 3) A bar with the Pisco sour on the menu obviously. 4) A Peruvian or Chilean restaurant. And again there is no harm in politely asking if the bartender can make one.

The Most Important Ingredient

The most important ingredient in the Pisco Sour are the egg whites. Even if your measurements are perfect, if you don’t whip up a good foamy head then the drink is ruined. Keep in mind this actually isn’t an easy drink to make. It’s not necessarily that much harder than others but you can mess it up. The first time I tired making this I was at a friends house and I used his blender but it didn’t end up aerating very well and the drink sucked. My friends tried to be nice and said it was still good but my wife told me the truth. She said it was very obvious that they were drinking alcohol with eggs and it was gross. So after that I worked to up my egg white foaming game and here is what I learned. 1) You have to use a Boston or Persian shaker . Trying to use a blender (I read off some website that doing that worked well) or a smaller shaker like a cobbler shaker won’t work. The blender was a dumb idea and a cobbler shaker just doesn’t have the length or volume the eggs need to properly be flung around. It’s the intense slamming back and forth that turns the egg whites into a nice foamy meringue. Which leads to the next point. 2) Remember you are making a cocktail infused meringue. So don’t think of it as scrambled eggs but a desert meringue that floats on top. It should be light, airy, lemony, and sweet. So turn it into that. 3) Egg whites foam better when they are not cold so first do what is called a dry shake. Add all the ingredients into the shaker, minus the ice, and shake them for maybe 30 seconds. This first shake is just to foam the eggs. Also hold the shaker tight on this first shake since there is no cold vacuum inside to seal the two ends. Then you add ice and shake it again like you normally would. 4) Shake the hell out of it. You can’t be gentle with this drink. Shake it like you’re mad at it. 5) lastly if you use the whites of a whole egg (about 30 mls/1 oz) then you will get a nice fat head on the drink. If you use half an eggs white you get a much smaller head. Big heads look cooler but some prefer smaller heads. Thats just something to keep in mind as its just a personal choice.

Pisco Sour Cocktail
Pisco Sour Cocktail

Pisco Sour ingredients:

  • 60 mls (2 oz) Pisco
  • 20 mls (2/3 oz) Lemon Juice
  • 15 mls (1/2 oz) Simple Syrup
  • 15 mls (1/2 oz) Egg whites
  • 1 mls (1 dash) Angostura Bitters

Combine all ingredients except bitters in the shaker. Shake dry for 30 second – egg foams better when not cold. Now add ice to the shaker. Vigorously shake again till the shaker is ice cold and frosted. Strain into glass to remove ice shards. Add a couple drops of bitters on top to decorate

ABV = 19%

Originated from Lima, Peru

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