How To Make A Pisco Sour (Lima, Peru)

Written by Mark McElroy

The good folks in Peru and Chile both claim the pisco sour as their national drink.

History appears to be on the side Peru. Victor Vaughn Morris, an America bartender, seems to have created the prototypical drink for a bar he operated in Lima. Mario Bruiget, a Peruvian bartender working for Morris, perfected the cocktail in the 1920’s by adding eggs and bitters.

The Chileans credit Elliot Stubb, a British ship’s steward, working in the Peruvian port city of Iquique (which, today, belongs to Chile, not Peru) … but the first mentions of the pisco sour are in advertisements for Morris’ bar up in Lima.

But to enjoy making your own pisco sour, you don’t have to know who came up with it. (And after drinking two or three of them, you won’t care.) Here’s the recipe:

While in Lima, Peru, find one happy bartender:


Add four ounces of pisco, a local liquor that, right out of the bottle, at 45% alcohol, tastes a bit like jet fuel:


Add an ounce of freshly-squeezed key lime juice:


Add an ounce of simple sugar and an ounce of raw egg white:


Shake vigorously. No, harder. No … harder!


Add ice, shake some more, and pour into chilled glasses, topping with just two or three drops of bitters:


And … serve! It’s that easy:


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Mark McElroy

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