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Happy Hour: Pisco Sour

The other night I found myself at Nopa, a San Francisco restaurant known for its great food and equally respectable drinks. My drink of choice was the pisco sour, the slightly sweet, tart, frothy lemon cocktail made with pisco, a regional South American brandy. This is a wonderful concoction and I'm excited to re-create it at home.

If you don't own pisco, you can find it at a well-stocked liquor store or online. The pisco sour and its namesake spirit have been at the center of a centuries-old battle between Chile and Peru, with both countries claiming it their own.

Note that this recipe calls for Chilean pisco, which is sweeter, with slightly lower alcohol content than Peruvian pisco. If you substitute Peruvian pisco, increase the amount of simple syrup and lemon juice according to your taste. To get the recipe to this lovely Latin libation,


Pisco Sour

Pisco Sour

Pisco Sour


  1. 1 egg white
  2. 2 1/2 ounces Chilean Pisco Capel
  3. 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  4. 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  5. Angostura Bitters


  1. In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine egg white, Pisco, simple syrup, and lemon juice.
  2. Cover, shake vigorously for 15 seconds, and strain into six-ounce cocktail glass.
  3. Top with a few drops of bitters.

Makes 1.

Join The Conversation
jdots24 jdots24 8 years
I had pisco sour when I was in Chile and I loved it! I never could found pisco here in the US tho. I'll try ordering it so I can make my own!
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
Wow that sounds delicious.
danielasg danielasg 8 years
Go Chilean Pisco Sour go! in Chile, every opportunity is a good one to share a Pisco Sour,specially before lunch.Of course i think that there must be some good Peruvian piscos,but i think that we drink it more often than them.No Chilean in his right mind is going to refuse a nice and cold sour to start a good meal... great recipe,but we neither use Angostura nor syrup,just powdered sugar..
lme77 lme77 8 years
I'm an American currently living in Peru and I can say that the Pisco Sour is quite a drink. Of course, I fall on the Peruvian side of the origin disagreement, but I'm sure that Chilean pisco has virtue as well. Cybele is right too, in Peru we use key limes rather than lemons. There are varieties of lemons that give it a more traditional taste, like Eureka lemons. I use a shaker to make mine and the froth turns out just fine.
cybele cybele 8 years
The recipe my neighbors use, which they learned in Peru, is made with Key Lime juice instead of lemon. (Which are fortunately pretty cheap - usually a dollar for two pounds.) And some ice. And made in a blender, so the egg white separates from the drink to create a bit of a meringue.
Lavinie Lavinie 8 years
mmm... memories... i went to chile two years ago and was introduced to pisco sours.. .they are soooo easy to get drunk off.. so i agreee- be careful not to drink toooo learn from my experience.
opisnowpro opisnowpro 8 years
yay Pisco Sour love it!!!!!! Im from Chile so I know well the battle, but they are many kind of chilean pisco, more or less sweet, more or less alcohol.....this one in the picture (Capel) are not the best but its o.k.....just be careful to not drink too much!!!!!!
nancita nancita 8 years
That looks delicious. I go to Nopa fairly often but have never ventured into Pisco Sour territory. I will have to now. Thanks for the info.
bransugar79 bransugar79 8 years
Thanks for the info Yum! All season on the Mole the host has been going on about Pisco sours and I had no idea what they were until now
colleenb colleenb 8 years
This looks so good!
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