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Monday, June 21, 2010

Pisco Sour: a tart treat from Peru to you

Those of you who live in Salt Lake City are doubtlessly aware of the Utah Mixologist and the World Cocktail Brain.  A few weeks ago, Andy Beaulieu, who has developed an Innovation Brain that you can find on the Results for a Change™ website, sent me an email about having a Pisco Sour at a restaurant that was so good that he was motivated to research and develop his own recipe (a man after my own heart) that he offered to send in.  The Utah Mixologist was, of course, unable to turn down such an offer, especially after having once had a Pisco Sour made by some friends just back from a honeymoon in Peru.  If this recipe sounds as good to you as it did to me, you’ll be happy to know that the Utah State Liquor Stores do sell Pisco Capel (CS Code 064619) (be sure to phone ahead to make certain that your store has some in stock).  One rare ingredient Andy mentions is amargo chuncho bitters.  If you know where to find them in Utah (or even on the web), please help us all out and post the information as a response to this article.  A not-so-rare ingredient is raw eggs: make yourself aware of the dangers associated with using uncooked eggs in a recipe.

A note from Andy about the lime juice: “In Peru the lime is called a “limon” or “green lemon” and it is small and very sour.  It is not the large dark green limes (Persian limes) that are grown in Mexico and sold throughout the US.  It is more like “Key Limes” that are found in Florida.  For best results (outside of Peru), use Nellie and Joe’s Key West Lime Juice, available in the US in plastic bottles in grocery stores.  As a substitute, you may also experiment with combining conventional lime juice with some lemon juice.  The small amount of orange juice takes the harsh edge off the Key Lime juice, but is not required.”  Although Nellie and Joe’s website said that Super Targets in Utah sold Nellie and Joe’s Key West Lime Juice, a very helpful employee at the Union Park store was not able to find any; Harmon’s, however, came through.  (Hint: be sure to call ahead for the Lime juice, too.)  I have suggested, but not tested, alternative ingredients below.  If you do use the Lime and Lemon juice mix, feel free to experiment with the proportions for as long as your Pisco holds out and post your results.  Please note that the liquid ingredients in Andy’s recipe total six ounces without the foam (or melted ice), so be sure to serve in a large glass.  There was a little foam left over by the Pilsner glass (see photo) used here.

Pisco Sour

2 oz Pisco (use premium for a smoother drink)
1 oz Simple Syrup
2 oz Key Lime Juice
OR 1 ½ oz Lime juice and ½ oz Lemon juice
dash of orange juice (optional)
1 oz water
½ of the white of a large egg

Three drops Angostura Bitters (or better yet, if available, amargo chuncho bitters)
Combine all ingredients except bitters and egg white in a shaker half full of cracked ice.  Shake well to chill.  Strain into a holding glass (if Boston Shaker, use the shaker glass) and discard the remaining ice.  Add egg white and shake again (very well) to create foam.  Pour into large, pre-chilled tumbler (or a Pilsner glass) and add three drops of bitters.  Garnish with a Lime wheel and serve with a cocktail straw.

1 comment:

  1. My friend Miguel Solari in San Fran is going to be selling Chuncho Amargo bitters after September. His email is (he is Peruvian and has also decided that pisco sours taste better with those bitters.) Actually, it's too bad that Utah only carries the lowest qlty pisco - you can buy on the web Peruvian Pisco, a huge difference. The brand with the most awards is Macchu Pisco.