If you’re an alcohol aficionado like me, you might be looking to branch out from your usual gin and tonic or vodka, lime and soda.
Recently, I discovered Pisco, a super easy spirit which turns into a cocktail when mixed with just three other ingredients.
Pisco, a brandy, is strong and tastes a lot like the Greek drink grappa. In fact, it is illegal to dilute the spirit with water in the distillation process, so it always has an alcohol content of 40-50%.
Its origin lies in when the Spanish conquistadors invaded Peru, they brought grapes from the Canary Islands to make wine. These leftover grapes were later distilled to become Pisco.
Pisco is apparently named after the Peruvian town, but ask any Chilean and they will argue the word pisco is Quechuan for ‘bird’.
Both countries claim ownership of the brandy, but in 2013 Peru was officially recognised by the European Commission as its birthplace —a victory which Peruvian politicians and ambassadors toasted to with a… Pisco Sour.
Pisco solo isn’t all that appetising but this cocktail, a mix of sour and sweet, hits the spot.
Pisco sours are so simple to make – it’s just pisco, egg white, lime juice, sugar and bitters – but it is all about the perfect balance of ingredients (scroll down to the bottom for the full recipe).
To begin, pour the ingredients into a glass or straight into a cocktail shaker…
Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds …
When you pour the pisco its texture changes from cloudlike foam to an icy cold liquid as it breaks through the egg white. You’re meant to end up with some foam on top, but I wasn’t too successful.
Finally, add a few drops of bitters and you’re done.
Here’s the full recipe if you want to try it at home:
And if you’d just like to drink pisco sours and eat yummy tapas, Ceviche can be found at 2 Baldwin Street, London, EC1V 9NU. Salud! (That’s cheers in Spanish, by the way).