Peruvian FoodRecipes

Simple and Yet Amazing, the Pisco Sour

Pisco sour is a refreshing Peruvian beverage, a well-designed cocktail that is simple to make and yet pleasing to the palate. Peru considers it a representative of the country, its people and its history.

Pisco sour can be found in almost all the main restaurants and bars of Cuzco. Though an amazing synthesis of ingredients, it is quite easy to make.

In Peru we tend to drink it on special occasions, such as for birthdays and weddings, to make a toast to the person celebrating their birthday or to the new couple. In this way we combine our classic, colonial, distilled brandy—pisco—with the unique taste of our Peruvian limes. We consider the drink very pleasing and fine. As a result we use it every chance we get.

You can find pisco sour in much of the city, but especially around the Place de Armas, Cuzco’s enchanting main square. The bar tenders who work there have various techniques for making the cocktail. Some people mix it in a blender while the best is to simply make it in a shaker.

From the process results a drink in which you can distinguish the different flavors, such as the lime, the pisco, and the egg white. Besides good technique, the quality of the beverage depends on the quality of pisco and of the other ingredients the bar tender reaches for as he makes your cocktail.

We also find variations on pisco sour where the barman substitutes other juices for the lime. He or she might use maracuya (passion fruit), or our classic chicha morada made from purple corn. Otherwise the preparation is the same.

Preparing a Great Pisco Sour (Photo: Walter Coraza)
Preparing a Great Pisco Sour (Photo: Walter Coraza)

Here is a basic recipe for making pisco sour.

Pisco Sour


2 ounces de pisco
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/3 ounce egg white
3 – 4 ice cubes


Place the ingredients in a cocktail maker with the ice and add the egg white. Shake. Pour through a sieve and then serve the drink in a 4-ounce glass. To it you add 2 drops of angostura bitters to give color and flavor to the top of the beverage and you can also sprinkle ground cinnamon on top.

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