Pisco Sour: 8 tips for a perfect cocktail!

Isabelle Curet

Published: 02/06/2016 12:00

©Andrea Gamarra/APEGA

Cool, not too sweet, slightly tart and very frothy, Pisco Sour is the perfectly proportioned Peruvian cocktail, ideal for beginning your night out with a bang!

It was a long fight, but the Peruvians won their battle against the Chileans. Its official - the name "Pisco" originated in Peru. And all for nothing, really, since the grape, which grows on both sides of the border, is still transformed into wine and then distilled into pisco. Neither of the two countries was willing to give up their national drink. Why, then, does this strong grape liqueur (35-40 percent alcohol) arouse such fiery passions? Well, like love, it can't be discussed, but must be experienced. Here are 8 top tips to create the perfect Pisco Sour or to ensure that the barman has correctly prepared it. 

1. Choose a good pisco

Unlike those cocktails where you can skimp on expensive spirits, a good Pisco Sour requires a good pisco. Shell out a bit for your bottle!

2. Opt for a local lemon or lime


At the beginning, the citrus fruit used for the Pisco Sour was the criollo. Today, it is often replaced by American lemons or Tahitian limes, which have invaded Peru. To prepare an authentic cocktail, opt for the criollo lime, which grows in the area of San Lorenzo, and which also is the perfect accompaniment for ceviche. Soak it in water and wash it carefully before use.

3. Carefully measure the proportions

Using a cocktail measure, pour 4 measures of 4 of pisco, 1 measure of pure lemon/lime juice, 1 measure of cane syrup, about a quarter of an egg white (see below) and a drop of Amargo de Angostura.

4. Measure the egg white

Eggs come in different sizes, so don't always take a quarter of an egg white - instead ensure that it corresponds to 3/4 of the small part of the cocktail measure.

5. Use only fresh ingredients

It's very important to use only freshly-squeezed lemon/lime juice and that the egg white has only just been separated from the yolk. The quality of the egg white is an essential part of ensuring the frothiness of the Pisco Sour.

6. Separate the mixers


The Pisco Sour must be prepared using the shaker, even if you can't do more than three at once. Fill the shaker with crushed ice, the add all the ingredients except the Amargo de Angostura. Shake vigorously.

7. Chill the glasses

Chill the glasses using ice cubes, then replace the ice cubes with the mix from the shaker.

8. Add JUST ONE drop

And not a whisker more, otherwise the Amorgo d'Angostura will overpower the other ingredients. Its function is actually to mask the odour of the egg white. And above all, don't sprinkle cinnamon on the foam!

N.B. : This article is inspired by " Seis secretos para preparar el Pisco Sour perfecto " published in the Peruvian daily El commercio.


You'll love it once you try it! Alcohol abuse is bad for your health, but the abuse of Pisco Sour risks brightening up your holidays! If you happen to be in Peru for the first Saturday of February, don't miss the national Pisco Sour day (El Día del Pisco Sour), with many events organized in bars and distilleries.