• Thomas D. Williams

The Pisco Sour

Updated: Apr 24, 2019

The Pisco Sour

I confess that this cocktail takes me back to some wonderful evenings spent in Peru’s “cultural capital” of Trujillo and so it has a nostalgic meaning for me that may go beyond its objective merits… But then again, maybe not.

Pisco is a South American brandy made in Peru and Chile and bears the distinction of looking nothing like a typical brandy, since it is virtually colorless. As far as I can tell, Chileans and Peruvians prefer to take their pisco in a sour, meaning mixed with lemon juice and a sweetener such as simple syrup. They are immensely proud of this drink, although the Chileans and Peruvians battle over whose is the best pisco sour (for the record, Chile is the number-one importer of Peruvian pisco).

Regional quarrels aside, this cocktail makes a wonderful early evening quaff when the weather is warming and you are feeling a bit less like winter comfort food and a bit more like fried calamari or shrimp cocktail.

It’s ridiculously easy to make, once you have the pisco, that is. Oh, and I make all my sours with the addition of one egg white. It makes for a visually stunning drink and adds a lovely smoothness to the mouth feel.


- 2 parts pisco (I use the Peruvian Barsol pisco, 41.3% alcohol)

- 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice

- ½ part simple syrup

- 1 egg white


Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake very vigorously (necessary to foam the egg white)

Serve up in a coupe.