Pisco Sour cocktail on wooden board garnished with lime wheel

Pisco Sour

By Timo Torner / Last updated on November 23, 2022 

First published on September 15, 2021 

This 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.

The Pisco Sour is a classic Sour cocktail. It is similar to the Whiskey Sour or the Gin Sour and consists of a combination of spirit, fresh citrus juice, simple syrup, and egg white. 

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 so far. But regardless of its origin, the Pisco Sour is one delicious drink.

Jump to Recipe | Ingredients | How to make it | Shaken or Blended

Ingredients

The recipe follows the basic template of all our favorite Sour Cocktails but adds two extra elements. Therefore, 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.
  • Simple syrup
  • 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.

How to make the best Pisco Sour

It's pretty straightforward: Dry shaken first, shaken again with ice, then garnished with three drops of Angostura bitters. You need to get the foam right, so it holds the bitters in place beautifully, hence the dry shake. But let's do this step by step:

Step 1: Add Pisco, fresh lime juice, syrup, and egg white into your cocktail shaker. Don't add ice yet. Performing a so-called dry shake first helps to emulsify the egg white and creates a thicker foam.

Step 2: Shake vigorously for 15 seconds, then open the shaker and add a generous hand full of ice cubes. Close the tins and shake for another 10 seconds until the shaker feels icy outside.

Step 3: Strain the contents with the help of a Hawthorne Strainer into a Nick & Nora (without ice) or Old Fashioned glass (over ice).

Step 4: Garnish with three drops of Angostura bitters. Use a toothpick to twirl them or turn them into a heart shape.

Note: Dry Shaking means there's no ice to help you create an airtight seal. Make sure to press the shaker cups together while shaking without ice. Should you, in turn, have difficulties separating the tins when shaking with ice, find help here.

Two Pisco Sour cocktails with lemons

Variation - 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.

Pisco Sour cocktail on wooden board garnished with lime wheel

Pisco Sour

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Add Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white into your cocktail shaker 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 a chilled Nick & Nora or Old Fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with three drops of Angostura bitters.
    Angostura bitters

Nutrition

Serving: 4.5oz | Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.7g | Protein: 3.8g | Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 78.5mg | Potassium: 115.75mg | Sugar: 13.48g | Vitamin C: 7.5mg | Calcium: 24.5mg | Iron: 0.13mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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