Peruvian Pisco is brandy distilled from several different grape varieties grown in South America.
It is the national drink of Peru and comes in many styles–from smooth and sippable to rough and fiery. (Chile also produces pisco, although Peru contends that the Chilean version is not real pisco but a Chilean brandy that needs its own name.) Pisco became popular in California during the Gold Rush, when Peruvian miners there extolled its virtues to fellow fortune-seekers.
The pisco sour cocktail, invented in Peru around 1900, uses a pisco (Peruvian grape brandy) that has a bit of bite to it–that is, nothing too smooth–to create the balance in this creamy, frothy, limey drink.
1/4 cup (2 oz.) pisco (see notes)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon pasteurized egg whites
In a blender, whirl 3 ice cubes, pisco, sugar, fresh lime juice, and egg whites. Whirl until smooth (you’ll no longer hear the ice cracking against the side of the blender) and serve straight up in a martini glass with a dash of aromatic bitters and a wedge of lime.