Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour

Pisco, lime juice, lemon juice, simple syrup and an egg white are all you need to make this elegant cocktail. Pisco Sour is an easy sweet and sour summer sipper that only requires five ingredients!

The Pisco Sour is a bright, radiant and justifiably classic cocktail: beautifully clear pisco is balanced with a sweet, plumping egg white and fresh lime juice. Add three drops of bitters for health, wealth, and happiness, and this cocktail is a charmer from first sip to last.

Stunning and simple (and stunningly simple), the 5-ingredient pisco sour is a drink so worthy of reverence (and indulgence) — it’s the national drink of Peru and Chile. Like its close brother, the Whiskey Sour, it comes down to adding citrus and sweetener to a base spirit.

What’s in a Pisco Sour?

A pisco sour contains pisco, citrus, sweeteners, and protein—it’s as simple as a sour can be. So what is… “Pisco”? Pisco liqueur is a clear grape brandy that has been made in both Peru and Chile for more than 400 years, although each country makes it slightly differently.

Pisco can vary in taste and even strength or proof depending on the grapes, how long they rest, whether they are blended and where they were bottled. The Peruvian pisco will have a much higher alcohol content than the Chilean and there are also differences in taste depending on the brand. Piscos can vary in flavor from baked banana bread to herbal undertones.

Some recipes omit the egg white and others use lemon rather than lime (or a combination of both), but for all the convention and strength of opinion as to what one is correct Pisco Sour, worth experimenting until you find your own a true way to prepare this classic.

Why the egg white?

Pisco sours are famous for that silky head and it’s thanks to the egg whites. Egg whites add relatively little flavor to cocktails, but plenty of texture, in addition to mitigating bitterness or even acidity.

Reluctance to use egg whites in cocktails is usually due to a fear of salmonella or an aversion to the occasional wet dog aroma. And you know, both are sensible forks. Salmonella fears may be allayed by recent studies suggesting the risk is even lower than with raw lettuce. As for them Wet dog Notes, that’s why we’ve added bitters and/or cinnamon to the foam: it counters any possible egg scent with pleasant flavors.

If you can’t eat eggs, you might want to get your hands on Fee Foam, an egg-free foaming agent that not only lasts but in some cases makes a better pisco sour because your drink doesn’t separate when you slurp slowly. Alternatively, you can use aquafaba in your cocktail, which is made from chickpea water and has a foaming method similar to egg whites.

Shake cocktail dry

It’s time you mastered the “dry shake” that gives you a perfectly fluffy protein foam.

  1. Add the egg and other ingredients to your shaker without ice and give it a good ‘dry’ shake to start the protein in the egg foaming without being diluted by the water/ice. Some bartenders throw in the spool from a Hawthorne strainer (or something similar) to effectively “beat” the eggs during that first shake, although a milk frother would also work.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously for another 10-15 seconds, causing the foam to firm up and the temperature to drop.

Serve and garnish

Assuming you’ve mastered shaking the egg whites, tradition calls for a garnish of bitters on your froth. Some recipes may call for a cinnamon dust or even a cinnamon rim on the glass.

Angostura bitters are probably the most accessible, but Peruvian Amargo Chuncho bitters have notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and floral vanilla that complement this cocktail perfectly. A streak of bitters or swirls made with a toothpick look great, but it’s hard to top the serious simplicity of three individual drops staining the thick foam like ink on a bed of snow, representing health, wealth and good fortune.

There’s a cute tapered glass resembling an Old-Fashioned or Rocks glass that this cocktail might be served in in Chile and Peru, but you’re more likely to find these in a Coupé or Nick & Nora glass United States see . Stemware glasses keep the beautiful color and layers visible, while an old-fashioned thick-bottomed glass – frozen before serving – can keep the drink at even the most ideal temperature while you sip slowly.

History of a Pisco Sour

Until 2009, the pisco sour would have been believed to be the creation of a certain Elliott Stubb, an English steward who sailed into the Peruvian port of Iquique (now in Chile), opened a bar and popularized this variant of the whiskey sour. A 2009 article ruled Stubb out as a creator, pointing to a Salt Lake City immigrant, Victor Morris, who came to inspire the legendary “Pisco Wars” between Peru and Chile.

Recently, the Peruvian writer Raúl Rivera Escobar discovered a pamphlet published in Lima in 1903 by SE Ledesma. Ledesma’s “cocktail” called for pisco, sugar, lime juice and egg white, all shaken and frothed – presumably similar to the drink you’re only a few shakes away from.

How to choose your Pisco

While Peru and Chile argue about who deserves pisco, no one disputes the differences between pisco in each country.

Peruvian pisco must be distilled to at least 40 percent proof and can be significantly stronger than most Chilean piscos. Meanwhile, Chilean pisco is typically wood aged, with varying aging periods, ranging from 6-month guardas to 12-month envejecidos.

With its higher alcohol content and more direct connection to the original pisco sour, look for a Peruvian pisco like Capurro if this is it Quebranta (one kind) or Acholado (a mixture).

What Makes This Our Favorite?

Like a good Tom Collins, the difference between a good pisco sour (most of them) and a great one tends to get on your balance between citrus and sweeteners.

You’ve already got a great base spirit and you want just the right amount of fresh citrus with it to really brighten up the drink, but not so much that it’s mouth-watering. Similarly, the sugar should balance the liqueur with the citrus, rounding out the edges of bitterness and acidity. Too sweet, and you’ve lost the finer qualities of both the pisco and the fresh citrus.

From there, well-incorporated egg whites will elevate this drink from a simple sweet and sour summer sip to a velvety, well-frothed wonder. Just make sure you have it while it’s still fluffy.

Pisco Sour Variations

  1. Swap the pisco for bourbon and you have one Whiskey Sour. Add a splash of red wine and you have one New York Sour.
  2. Swap out the pisco for rye whiskey and add a dash of absinthe and you’ve got a semi-spicy taste Rattlesnake Cocktail.
  3. Swap the pisco for cognac and you have one Brunswick Sauer.
  4. Pisco Brulee: Fill a small Misto sprayer with 151 Proof rum (or Stroh 80, a stronger butterscotch-flavored rum) and Angostura bitters and spritz onto a matchstick, inches from the top of your poured beverage keep.

More delicious cocktail recipes

  • Manhattan cocktail
  • Bee Knee Cocktail
  • Blood Orange French 75 Cocktail
  • Mojito Cocktail
  • Whiskey Sour Cocktail

Pisco sour

preparation time
5 minutes

total time
5 minutes

1 serving

1 cocktail


  • 2 ounces Peruvian pico

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice

  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice

  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup

  • 1 Middle protein

  • 3 drops Amargo Chuncho or Angostura Bitter

  • dusting off Cinammonfor garnish


  1. Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker:

    In a cocktail shaker, combine pisco, lime juice, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white. Shake dry (without ice) for at least 15 seconds to fully emulsify the egg white. Shaking with the spool of a Hawthorne sieve, if you have one, will help continue to beat and emulsify the egg whites.

  2. Add ice and shake to cool:

    Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously for another 10 seconds before straining into a chilled coupe or old-fashioned glass.

  3. Add a dash of bitters, garnish and serve:

    Using a dropper, add three drops of bitters to the top of the drink. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Surcharge.

nutritional information (per serving)
201 calories
0g Fat
14g carbohydrates
3g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!