Mixing it up in Peru
Why have fountains flowing with water when they could be splashing about in the country’s national drink?
Yes, Peruvians are so passionate about their beloved Pisco that on the first Saturday in February they honour their famous cocktail with Pisco Sour Day. On this day each year the fountain at Plaza Mayor in Lima even pours with thousands of litres of the local brew!
If you can’t make it to this huge Pisco party, there is another chance to celebrate the iconic liqueur on National Pisco Day in July. And if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, you can join Intrepid’s special Pisco Making Urban Adventure in Cusco to discover why this national drink has a way of bringing locals and travellers together.
Intrepid’s Lisa Rollinson fancies herself as a bit of a bartender, but after many failed attempts at home she decided her tour of Peru was the perfect time to master the Pisco Sour…
“We met our local guide, Edwin, full of energy and excited about showing us how to make a local famous drink from scratch. And I mean from scratch!
We walked to the local market where we split into pairs and were given the responsibility of buying the ingredients for our drinks. Lime, eggs, pisco, sugar syrup and bitters. The market was full of the most amazing fruit. All colours and sweet smells, I became side-tracked and bought some papaya, mangos, strawberries and mandarins.
Testing our Spanish skills (thanks to some tips from Edwin), and getting a few giggles from the stall holders, we managed to buy our ingredients. Then it was time to start mixing!
Edwin explained that we had to make our Pisco Sours with love, that was the most important step in the process. We all had a little job to do. I had to separate the yolk from the egg white, this is where we lost a couple of eggs I’m afraid! There was lime to squeeze and some ice to break up. We watched as Edwin measured 1:1:3 ratios… no wonder they were a favourite drink as the 3 was the Pisco! And just one each of the sugar syrup and lime.
In the blender with 2 scoops of ice and then strain… with love. Then it was our turn. With the sun setting, the late afternoon breeze and lots of laughing, we mastered the art of the Peruvian (some would argue Chilean) Pisco Sour.
We learned how this strong brandy was invented by the Peruvians around the 17th century and in the 1920’s an American expat used the liquor to create the now famous Pisco Sour.
What an afternoon, the cocktails were just delicious and I was already asking the best brand to buy for my very own Pisco Sour dinner party when I returned home!”
Ever attempted your own Pisco Sour making, or think you’d prefer to drink it from a fountain on Pisco Sour Day?
* photo by Rachael Harvey