Pisco Sour

Well, I never managed to finish one, but I tried three different Pisco Sours in Chile, two in Santiago and one in the historic seaport city of Valparaíso. Stateside, I’ve tried the refreshing local version served at the Violet Hour and at The Slanted Door in San Francisco. But the ones in Chile, where the drink supposedly originated (Peru also hotly stakes its claim on the cocktail), were stronger and more flavorful with frothier egg whites, fresh fruit juice and tart Pisco liquor (a South American liquor made from grapes). I tried the traditional Chilean version (Pisco, lemon or lime juice, simple syrup and bitters), which was very similiar to the one I sipped at The Slanted Door, but much stronger. The Peruvian-style Pisco was even better, with more limejuice than lemon, less egg white froth and just one small dash of bitters. But my favorite didn’t seem to have any egg whites or bitters, but was spiked with green chiles that lent a bit of heat to cut the acid and sweetness. I also loved the glassware, which was either a narrow glass goblet or Champagne flute, and each restaurant has a Pisco Sour menu with variations featuring fruit or ginger. They serve them everywhere, even in the airport and they kicked off pretty much every meal we had.

Traditional pisco sour at La Cocina de Javier, Santiago, Chile

Traditional pisco sour from La Cocina de Javier, Santiago, Chile


A Peruvian pisco sour at Cinefuegos, Santiago, Chile

A Peruvian pisco sour at Cinefuegos, Santiago, Chile


Pisco sour with green chiles at Cafe Turri, Valparaiso, Chile

Pisco sour with green chiles at Cafe Turri, Valparaíso, Chile

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4 Comments

Filed under boozeworthy, eliz-a-trip

4 responses to “Pisco Sour

  1. Hi Liz,
    Nice Pisco write ups. I can’t believe you remembered all the names of the restaurants, I never saw you take a note. Do you have a photographic memory? 🙂 I’m certainly missing the 85-degree temps and sunny skies. VT is beyond cold and grey. SF

  2. JF

    Egg whites do not belong in beverages.

  3. Thanks Stacy! Didn’t take notes, but did take menus. I miss the weather too..truly. Not gray in Chi today, but cold.

  4. Mark (it zero)

    For all the Chicago readers interested in Pisco sours, I have heard that Taste of Peru (in Andersonville) will make you a Pisco sour provided you bring the Pisco (they are a BYO restaurant). Probably not as good as the Violet Hour’s, but much more economical.

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