Pisco Sour is the house drink in Chile. Pisco is a popular brandy produced in Chile by distilling grapes, mainly of Muscat, Torontel and Pedro Jiménez varieties. Just like wine, the color, aroma and flavor of pisco can be described as fruity, clean, sweet, refreshing, woody and bold, depending on it’s variety.
There are four main classifications of pisco:
Pisco Corriente o Tradicional, 30% to 35% (60 to 70 proof).
Pisco Especial, 35% to 40% (70 to 80 proof).
Pisco Reservado, 40% (80 proof).
Gran Pisco, 43% or more (86 or more proof).
Did you know? Annual pisco production in 2013 reached 30 million litres in Chile and 9.5 million litres in Peru.
I got a chance to learn how to make this cocktail from an expert bartender. Luis Mariano Cerda Monsalve is a mixologist and author of “Recetario – Pisqueria De Chile.” He has worked at the bars of the Ritz Carlton in Santiago, Cumbres Puerto Varas and now at Hotel Vira Vira in Pucon.
When you ask Monsalve for a pisco sour, his question is “what flavor?” I didn’t know that there were any until he pointed out that he makes it in mango, pineapple, cucumber-ginger, and several other flavors.
“Let’s try them all!” I had a pisco sour tasting hour at the hotel’s modern bar and Monsalve happily shared his recipe with me.
Vegan Pisco Sour Recipe
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
2 stems of rosemary + additional for garnish
1 cup lime juice
1 cup simple syrup
3 cups Gran pisco
Pour all ingredients into a blender and mix well on high speed for 1-2 minutes. Strain through a cocktail sieve.
Pour the liquid into a cocktail shaker and add crushed ice till its three-fourth full. Shake well and pour into flute glasses. Garnish with a rosemary stem and say cheers!
*Unlike the Peruvian pisco sour, Monsalve’s does not contain eggs so it is perfect for vegans.
Monsalve is also well versed with his wines too. Ask him about any winery and he will pull out a map to educate you about the different wine regions of Chile.
Monsalve’s other favorite pisco drink is Piscola, which is just pisco and coke.
Do you know the difference between Peruvian and Chilean pisco sour? If yes, please share below…
Most of us start off with a New Year’s resolution to eat healthy and loose weight. We go on salad only diets, avoid alcohol and sweets, exercise more regularly and try to convince ourselves, that we will burn off those pounds we accumulated through the holidays. But the truth is, most resolutions last about 3 weeks and majority of Americans gain 8-10 lbs. each year.
Perhaps this year you can try something different. Incorporate superfoods into your daily diet, throughout the year. Superfoods are exceptionally healthy foods that are packed with nutrients and have health promoting properties. Can you identify some of these superfoods?
Here are some recipes using superfoods from Peach Dish to get you started…
The SuperFood Salad
This hearty, filling salad is made with kale (high in Vitamins A, C, and K), wheat berries (packed with fiber and protein), almonds, olive oil (both healthy unsaturated fats), antioxidant-rich dried dark berries and pomegranate juice. Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, and green soybeans, also known as edamame, add protein and iron. Learn more about the SuperFood Salad in this video.
Flatbread with Smoked Salmon, Artichoke & Arugula
Salmon has a high level of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and protein. Artichokes are rich in magnesium while arugula is packed with Vitamin K and antioxidants. Some added lemon zest lends extra Vitamin C to this flatbread, and we create a more healthful base by using whole wheat flour for added fiber and protein.
Sautéed Chicken with Cauliflower, Arugula & Date Salad
Mediterranean ingredients jazz up everyday fare like chicken and cauliflower (the new kale of superfoods!). Salty olives and sweet dates are a tasty combination.
PeachDish is a Southern inspired, national meal kit delivery company. They are introducing a 2016 SuperFood Series this week, available now through February. Each refrigerated PeachDish box is packed with all the ingredients and recipes needed to make dinner at home. The Atlanta-based company ships nationwide and works directly with farmers and purveyors throughout the South to source the freshest ingredients. PeachDish’s in-house dietitian Mary Alice Shreve and Culinary Director Seth Freedman developed the nutritious, superfood-centric recipes as healthy menu options to kick off the new year.
The SuperFood Salad, incorporating 8+ different superfood ingredients, will be a mainstay on the menu throughout the series. Each week, a new SuperFood menu option will be offered. Expect dishes highlighting a variety of powerhouse ingredients, like wheat berries, pepitas, kale, edamame, and more.