The national drink of Peru, Pisco, is being celebrated in Peru over the next few weeks. The main day of the celebrations is Pisco Sour Day, always the first Saturday of February. The most famous drink that is made with pisco is a delicious beverage that will charm its drinkers into pisco perfection!
As pisco sour is such an important cultural drink of Peru, let’s see how it is produced. First, purely virgin grapes are harvested in February and March, during which care must be taken to avoid the swarms of bees. After the grapes are harvested, the grapes must be ´stomped,´ sometimes by a human professional or a complex machine. After the stomping, the grape juice must ferment, which involves turning the sugar into an alcohol. This process takes between 8 to 12 days and requires a perfect temperature: a delicate balance between hot and cold. The next step in the production process is distillation during which the alcohol is condensed into the famous Pisco. The final step in the process is to mix the Pisco into the fabulous drink or cocktail known as Pisco Sour!
In order to make a Pisco Sour, you need 6 ingredients:
- 3 ounces Peruvian Pisco
- 1 Lime
- 2 tablespoons simple syrup (Jarabe de Goma)
- 1 egg White
- 1-4 cup ice
- Angostura Bitters
How to prepare Pisco Sour? Here is a Peruvian pisco sour recipe:
- Use a blender to mix the lime juice with the syrup.
- Add the ice and pisco; Blend at high speed for 10 seconds.
- Add the egg white, blend until frothed.
- Pour into glasses, add a dash of bitters.
- Drink up!
Peru´s neighbor, Chile, also drinks a lot of pisco, but the drinks it prepares are much different. Chile uses a Pisco that has less alcoholic content, and instead of syrup, Chileans use sugar. They also lack the bitters and egg whites that give the Peruvian Pisco Sour such a unique taste.
There is actually an ungoing dispute between both countries, about who is the original producer of Pisco; both Chile and Peru have been producing the liqueur for hundreds of years. There is more info about this and other controversies in this blog about Pisco Sour
As Pisco is celebrated nation-wide in Peru over the next few weeks, don´t hesitate to enjoy the wonderful cocktail known as the Pisco Sour while traveling in Peru and be entranced by the rich Peruvian history and culture!
Happy Pisco Sour Day!