From the Source: Pisco

This unique and delicious spirit calls Peru its true home


Around this time of year, I find myself gravitating towards a certain variety of spirits, mainly the clear ones. Gins, vodkas and rums really call to me in this warm weather, begging me to mix up ice cold pitchers of gin and tonics, Moscow mules, and daiquiris. Not surprisingly, all of which look perfect perched on the armrest of my lawn chair. Another spirit that always makes its way into my warm-weather repertoire is pisco; a spirit that comes predominantly from Peru and Chile, made from the juice of fermented grapes. This South American brandy is the main ingredient in the incredibly delicious Pisco Sour, a cocktail that is delectable anytime of year, but is most enjoyable during the dog days of summer.

Like whiskies and Scotches, pisco acts a sort of umbrella term for a variety of different expressions. The first, Pisco Puro, is made from black, non-aromatic grapes. The second, Pisco Aromatico, is made from one of four fruitier and more aromatic varieties; muscatel, italia, albilla and torontel. Pisco Acholado is made from non-aromatic grapes and one variety of aromatic. Finally, Pisco Mosto Verde, is made from partially fermented grapes. The first two, puro and aromatico, are the varieties most commonly used in the Pisco Sour.

Pisco Sour image via Shutterstock
Note: Peruvian and Chilean piscos, while similar in production, are not entirely interchangeable when it comes to cocktails. The Chilean variety is slightly sweeter and a lower proof, so if you decide to use one over the other, you may need to adjust the ingredient amounts accordingly.

Read on for some of our favorite pisco cocktail recipes, using a variety of piscos that make each drink truly delicious. Have any favorite pisco cocktails to share? Let us know about them in the comments section. Cheers!

Point of Clarity: The brands included in this article did not pay for any sort of product placement. These are brands that I enjoy, and that I felt would work well in their respective cocktails.

Classic Pisco Sour

Adapted from

1 egg white
2 ½ oz pisco (we recommend Pisco Capel)
½ oz simple syrup
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
Angostura bitters

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the first four ingredients. Shake vigorously until well-combined and strain into a cocktail or rocks glass. Top with a few dashes of Angostura bitters.

Pisco Smash

Adapted from Food & Wine

½ oz simple syrup
2 oz Riesling
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
1 ½ oz pisco quebranta (we recommend Barsol Pisco)
8 seedless red grapes

In a cocktail shaker, gently muddle the grapes. Add in the rest of the ingredients and ice and shake vigorously until well-combined. Pour into a rocks glass.

Pisco Fog Cutter

Adapted from

1 oz pisco (we recommend Oro Pisco)
2 oz dark rum
juice from ½ an orange
juice from ½ a lime
1 oz thyme simple syrup
½ tsp sweet Oloroso Sherry
nutmeg zest
lemon peel

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the pisco, rum, orange juice, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake vigorously until chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Float the sherry on top and garnish with nutmeg zest and a lemon peel.

Sweet Sofi

Adapted from Porton Pisco

2 oz pisco (we recommend Porton Pisco)
½ oz Cointreau
½ oz tangerine juice
½ oz pineapple juice
pineapple wedge

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the pisco, cointreau and juices. Shake vigorously until chilled and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a cherry.

Don Ramon’s Pisco Punch

Adapted from

15 oz pisco (we recommend KAPPA Pisco)
10 oz Lime
10 oz Pineapple juice
5 oz Pomegranate juice
10 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a large punch bowl or pitcher with plenty of fresh ice. Stir well and serve.

Mentioned in this article


Add a Comment

Search Articles

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Snooth Media Network