Spring and Summer have a lot of iconic drinks to be proud of. Once you start hearing people order them in bars, or buying ingredients to serve the drinks in your own home, you know the season is really here. And while Spring is very, very slowly creeping into our lives, it is on its way, meaning one of my favorite springtime drinks is finally here: the Pisco Sour.
Not familiar with the wonders of pisco? It’s a pretty remarkable spirit, and it’s perfect for virtually any warm-weather cocktail. Similar to a brandy, it is made from grapes that are fermented, distilled, aged briefly, then bottled. What I love most about this liquor is that it can easily replace a spirit like vodka in a drink, mix well with the other ingredients just the same, but also impart an interesting flavor profile that wasn’t present before. In the mood for a Cape Codder? Use pisco instead of vodka with the cranberry juice, and you’ll see just how much better that drink can be.
Strawberry and Basil image via Shutterstock
This week on Sara’s Signature Cocktail, I’ll be mixing up a drink that I make all the time in the warm weather months, using fresh ingredients that I look forward to indulging in all season long. The Spring's First Kiss uses the essentials of the Pisco Sour, i.e., pisco, simple syrup, lime juice, bitters and egg whites, but includes the addition of fresh strawberries and basil. This flavor combination has to be one of my favorites this time of year; the sweet strawberry is bright and fresh, and the basil has a savory bite to it that cools and balances the sweetness. The main ingredient to focus on here is pisco, which isn’t common to many but worth seeking out. For this cocktail, I chose to go with Barsol Pisco. I really love the flavor and I found that it mixed incredibly well with the other ingredients, most importantly the strawberries.
Below is my recipe for the Spring's First Kiss. Mix up one of these, take a seat on your favorite porch chair, and soak up those rays. ‘Tis the season (finally), after all. Cheers!
Spring's First Kiss
2 strawberries, quartered, 1 quarter reserved for garnish
4-5 large basil leaves
1 oz simple syrup
3 oz Barsol Pisco
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 egg white
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Muddle the strawberries, basil leaves and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add in the pisco, lime juice and egg whites and shake vigorously with ice. Pour into a chilled coupe and dash with Angostura. Garnish with a quartered strawberry.