good-bye margaritas

IMG_0144Move over margaritas, I have a new favorite cocktail! The mighty Pisco Sour. Tart, sweet, strong and awfully yummy. Invented by American Victor Vaughen Morris at his Morris’s Bar in Lima, Peru around 1920. We found them served everywhere.

The Spanish did not travel light when they came to South America. Along with cows they brought grape vines; starting to make wine and spirits almost immediately. Rather than import expensive brandy from Spain, they developed their own, calling it Pisco. And they kept on making it. In 2013 Peru produced 7.2 million liters, while Chile made a whopping 100 million liters.

kappa piscoBoth countries agree it is delicious, but that’s about all they see eye to eye on. Peru believes they are the only ones who should be able to use the name Pisco; maintaining that, like Champagne, only the brandy produced in the region of Pisco should be allowed to use the appellation. Chile, on the other hand, argues Pisco is like vodka, a generic term for the kind of booze.

They also have slightly different rules about how it can be produced. Peruvian Pisco uses only copper pot stills, is aged a minimum of three months and is not allowed to have anything added to it or be diluted in any way before bottling. In Chile, Pisco must be produced in two special areas; makers must use their own grapes and it is usually aged in wood.

Frankly I couldn’t tell the difference. But I did enjoy drinking it. Come summer I plan to be sipping Pisco Sours in the sun. You can too. Here’s the recipe: 3 oz. Pisco, 1 oz. simple syrup, 1 oz. key lime juice (the more tart the better) and 1 egg white… shake vigorously with ice and then strain into a glass (champagne or martini glasses work particularly well).  Put a dash or two of bitters on top and tada!.Divine!!