The global novel coronavirus pandemic may have grounded us, but we can still enjoy happy hour. This daily series will provide delicious drink recipes for you to try at home. So call your friends for a virtual sip session and traverse the globe, even if it's only in your mind. 

Today's cocktail hails from Peru and Chile – Pisco Sour. 

What is it?

Tangy, sweet and citrusy, the pisco sour – a cheerful grape brandy-based aperitif served chilled and practically glowing yellow – is like a lemon drop in a glass. 


Pisco was originally produced with grapevines brought to South America by 16th-century Spanish settlers, and both Peru and Chile claim ownership over it: the pisco sour is the national cocktail of both countries. The competition remains fierce: when Anthony Bourdain sampled the drink in both countries, a Peruvian newspaper proudly reported that the famous chef preferred the local version. 

What you'll need (Serves 1)

1 small lime (or ½ large lime), juiced 
2 tbsp sugar 
2fl oz (60 ml) pisco 
1 tbsp egg white 
Angostura bitters 


Step 1: Combine the lime juice and sugar in a blender until the sugar is fully dissolved. 
Step 2: Add the pisco, egg white and ice. 
Step 3: Pour into a glass, add a few drops of bitters and serve immediately. 

Tasting notes

In any busy restaurant in Santiago or Lima, you’ll notice waiters carrying trays laden with icy pisco sours – typically served in tall champagne flute-like glasses in Chile, and in shorter stemless glasses in Peru. While the cocktail is often paired with a savory appetizer, the pisco sour is an aperitif that’s meant to be started, and finished, before the main course is served. Refreshing but potent, the sugary sweetness offset by the sharp acidity of fresh lemon or lime, it’s an ice-cold treat that opens the appetite for the meal to come. 

The preparation of a pisco sour is slightly different in Peru and Chile. In Peru, the cocktail is typically made with fresh lime juice and frothy egg white, while the Chilean version omits the egg white and employs fresh lemon juice. As a general rule of thumb, whether you’re mixing drinks for one or for a crowd, the correct ratio for a pisco sour is 3:2:1, three parts pisco to two parts simple sugar to one part fresh lime or lemon juice. The recipe featured here is for a classic Peruvian-style pisco sour. 

Other recipes:

Shirley Temple
Mezcal Old Fashioned

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