Just as flags fly over Cuzco, the red and white standing for Peru and the rainbow flag that represents the Inca’s Tawantinsuyo, so one drink flies high as the symbol of Peru. The pisco sour, a synergy of flavors specifically and historically Peruvian, is the drinkable emblem of the complex country from coast to highlands and Amazon jungle.
Today, Peru celebrates this drink in a formal Day of Pisco Sour. The celebrations have already begun on the coast as well as in Cuzco and will continue through the weekend, but today is the day to lift this blessed concoction of Pisco, lime juice, egg whites and bitters, and cheer friendship, country, and life.
Cuzco’s municipal government has organized an event where the four outstanding schools in Cuzco focused on bar tending are present to share with the public this noble drink and their knowledge of it and its subtleties. These schools are the Instituto Latino Americano, the Khipu, the Tuinen Star, and the San Marcos.
The festival takes place in the plaza of the San Pedro Market, just four blocks from the Plaza de Armas. The Institutes are locates under tents set up by the municipality. There they have all the ingredients to work the magic of mixing drinks. They have the instruments of a bartender, called in Spanish “barman”, that they need to make a whole range of different beverages. These include cocktail shakers, jiggers, mixing spoons, mixing glasses, tongs for ice, and others, a simple yet wondrous set of implements that transform good ingredients into amazing dreams.
In these tents you can see the chosen students of each school demonstrate the skills that a good bar tender needs. They show not just the techniques, but the art and style that makes the work of a barman so much more than just mixing drinks, as good as that is. They are also performers working to delight the public with their grace, ability, and moves. With their bottles and glasses they make a show, while also serving up a grand pisco sour, or another drink requested by the public.
On this day, the plaza of the market of San Pedro is converted into the central point of a fiesta. More and more people arrive. Drinks run from S/5.00 a S/10.00 a glass ($2US – $4US). The bartender students from the schools take the moment to hand out fliers to the public advertising their institution.
The bartending students demonstrated and explain the preparation of the popular pisco sour in a way that draws in the public. They also innovate and make new and different presentations on this emblematic drink. The add new flavors and fuse the drink with different fruits and flavors to extend its reach, while exalting its simple perfection.
Of course, the public also takes advantage of the moment to enjoy a good pisco sour and raise their glass in celebration of this day. Bottles of fine pisco are also set up for sale at the same time the public is invited to try them, their quality, and refinement.
Here is a classic recipe for:
2 ounces of pisco
1 ounce of lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
4 ice cubes
Blend or mix all the ingredients.
Serve in a cup of a cocktail glass. Add two drops of angostura bitters to bring a more complex aroma to the preparation.
It is recommended you accompany this drink with a good ceviche or Lima-style causa.
The party already began. You can go down to the San Pedro Market to enjoy. Besides the tents serving drinks, there is also a stage where local, Cuzco bands are present with live music to celebrate this Day of our grand and refreshing iconic drink. They music and drinks will make everyone vibrate in celebration.