On even the quickest visit to Peru you’ll soon discover the local love of Pisco. 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. So what’s the secret to making this cocktail? Intrepid’s Lisa Rollinson found out on her short and sour adventure…
“I think of myself as a bit of a bartender and love to try mixing new cocktails. I had attempted the famous Pisco Sour at home, but it was obviously missing something, so when I was in Lima recently I eagerly signed up for an Urban Adventures afternoon session to learn the right way!
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 a couple of blocks 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. Now to jump on a local minivan bus, with a dozen eggs in a bag, and not break them. Edwin flagged the bus down and we piled in, crouching down while our local friends could stand up straight, being short does have its advantages!
A few blocks later we jumped out and headed across the road to a little hotel. We climbed the winding stairs, eggs still fine and came out at a beautiful little roof top bar 2 blocks back from the beach. What a view! The perfect place for our lesson.
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 coastal breeze and lots of laughing, we mastered the art of the Peruvian (some would argue Chilean) Pisco Sour.
What an afternoon, they 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!”
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* photo by Alison Kincaid – Intrepid Photography Competition