Every year on the first Saturday of February, Peruvians unite at festivals, parties, and probably just at home on the couch to celebrate the national drink of Peru: The Pisco Sour.
During a high school trip to Peru, I can’t admit that I was allowed to drink pisco, the unofficial national spirit of Peru, but it’s definitely been on the rise in NYC in the last few years. The clear, sometimes yellow-ish spirit is distilled from grape wine into a high-proof spirit. Because it blurs the line between wine and spirits, many institutions with a beer and wine license only (as opposed to a full liquor license) can get away with serving pisco.
The Pisco Sour is said to have been created by American bartender Victor Vaughn Morris while he was working in Cerro de Pasco, a city in central Peru. In 1916, Morris opened Morris’ Bar in Lima and it quickly became popular with upper class Peruvians and visitors.
The Pisco Sour underwent many changes until Mario Brigit, a Peruvian bartender working at Morris’ created the modern Peruvian recipe in the late 1920’s by adding Angostura bitters and egg whites.
The Pisco Sour has became so popular to Peruvian culture that in 2007 the Peruvian National Cultural Institute declared The Pisco Sour to be officially part of Peru’s National Cultural Patrimony.
In New York, you can find pisco at plenty of fully stocked bars, including the Latin American – Japanese fusion restaurant, Sushi Samba. To celebrate the holiday, they’ll be serving a traditional Pisco Sour as well as a Matcha Pisco, flavored with green tea for some international flare. Try shaking up their recipes or visit the bar yourself!
SUSHISAMBA Matcha Pisco
–1.5 oz Matcha & Pisco Porton infusion (infusion = 5 grams matcha team powder & bottle of Pisco)
–1/2 oz Orange curacao
–1/2 oz Pineapple & tarragon syrup (1 quart simple syrup / 17 ounce diced pineapple / 1 ounce Tarragon – boiled, reduced, cooled, strained)
–1 oz Lemon juice
–1 Egg White
Dry shake, then re-shake with ice. Double strain into coupette
SUSHISAMBA Traditional Pisco Sour
— 1 1/2 oz Pisco brandy
1 oz sugar syrup
1 oz lemon juice
1 egg white
Dash of bitters
Pour lemon juice, simple syrup and pisco into shaker and dry shake with egg white
Add cubed ice and reshake. Double strain into a rocks glass and add a few drops of bitters. Serve up!