The Ultimate Pisco Sour Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 7, 2023

The Pisco Sour cocktail is one of South America's most famous boozy exports. The main element of this Pisco Sour is a grape-based Brandy produced in Chile and Peru.
Pisco Sour Cocktail with Angostura Bitters on silver tablet

The Pisco Sour is a classic Sour cocktail with a long history. It is made following the classic combination of spirit, fresh citrus juice, simple syrup, and egg white. 

Quick Facts Pisco Sour Cocktail

  • Method: shaken
  • Flavor profile: well-balanced, sour
  • How to serve it: straight up or over ice
  • Glassware: sour glass or rocks glass
  • Alcohol content: ~ 17% ABV, 19 grams of alcohol per serving

Like with Pisco, the debate about whether this drink has roots in Peru or Chile has been going on for years with no conclusive answer as of yet. But regardless of its origin, the Pisco Sour is one delicious drink.

Pisco Sour Cocktail with Angostura Bitters and lemon

Pisco Sour Recipe

A classic cocktail based on Chilean/Peruvian Pisco.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Latin American
Keyword: Pisco
Servings: 1
Calories: 268kcal
Cost: $3.30


  • 2 oz Pisco
  • 0.75 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 0.5 oz Rich simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • Angostura bitters


  • Add Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white into your cocktail shaker. Don't add ice yet and shake for 15 seconds.
    2 oz Pisco, 0.75 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice, 0.5 oz Rich simple syrup, 1 egg white
  • Open the shaker, add ice, and shake again until the drink is well-chilled.
  • Strain over ice into Old Fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with three drops of Angostura bitters.
    Angostura bitters


Serving: 4.5ozCalories: 268kcalCarbohydrates: 10.7gProtein: 3.8gFat: 0.4gSodium: 78.5mgPotassium: 115.75mgSugar: 10.48gVitamin C: 7.5mgCalcium: 24.5mgIron: 0.13mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


The recipe follows the basic template of all our favorite Sour Cocktails but adds two extra elements. The ingredients you need for the original Pisco Sour recipe are:

  • Quality Pisco - our preferred brand of this grape-based brandy from South America is Quatros Gallos, but anything of decent quality works. -Both, Pisco from Chile or Peru.
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice - for the classic Sour drinks, it's usually lemon, but Pisco goes better with lime. Want to know why lime juice in cocktails should be fresh? Find the explanation here.
  • Rich Simple Syrup - Use sugar syrup with a ratio of 2:1, sugar to water, for an extra silky texture. 
  • Egg white - use fresh and organic eggs for the perfect foamy top - the fresher, the foamier
  • Angostura bitters - three drops of Angostura bitters sit on the delicate egg white foam on top of the Pisco Sour.

Tips for making the best Pisco Sour

The process for making this drink is: Dry shake first, shake again with ice, garnish with three drops of Angostura bitters, serve, and enjoy.

It's imperative that you get the foam right. That gives the drink its characteristic silky texture and holds the bitters in place beautifully, hence the dry shake. So let's look at this more closely:

Dry shaking means, you first shake all ingredients vigorously without ice for about 20 seconds to create a nice and firm foam. Then you open the shaker, add ice cubes and shake again. 

You can also reverse the process, which potentially leads to an even thicker foam. That's especially helpful if you have trouble getting this part right.

Make sure to press the shaker cups together while shaking dry because the seal is not as tight without it. Should you, in turn, have difficulties separating the tins when shaking with ice, find help here.

Strain the contents with the help of a Hawthorne Strainer into a chilled Sour glass (without ice) or into an Old Fashioned glass (over ice). The latter is larger, hence leaving enough room for ice cubes.

Finally, when garnishing your drink with three drops of Angostura bitters, use a toothpick or a cocktail pick to twirl them or turn them into a heart shape. You do that by dragging the foam with the help of the pick right through the middle of each drop.

Pisco Sour garnish hearts

Variations - blended instead of shaken

Even if it may sound unconventional, many Peruvian bartenders blend this drink. And indeed, that delivers great results.

If you fancy trying this at home, consider adding slightly more sugar (0.75oz instead of 0.5oz) than you would for a shaken recipe. When blended, the Pisco Sour will taste much rounder and works well with a bit more sweetness.

Outside of Peru, the Pisco Sour is almost always shaken, though. That's also the version I prefer.

Origin of the Pisco Sour

For most cocktails, the question is who, as in which person, invented the recipe. In the case of the Pisco Sour, it's more elementary. Peru and Chile fight passionately about who brought forth this delicious drink. 

Currently, evidence points toward Peru, but nothing could be proven so far, and new stories, findings, and theories keep coming up every once in a while.

Related Cocktails

If you managed to get a decent bottle of Pisco, here are some recipes to get the most out of it:

Subscribe to Cocktail Society!

Receive our latest recipes, reviews, and insights - straight to your inbox.
Subscription Form

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

ContactAbout usPrivacy PolicyTermsSitemap
Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from

© 2023