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…