Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pisco Sour

Whether you have a curious palate or are just looking to try something new, stop in and try an exotic, refreshing South American staple: The Pisco Sour

Our Pisco Sour uses Capel Chilean Pisco that has a bit of bite to it, mixed with fresh-squeezed lime juice, sugar and egg whites to create a creamy, meringue-like froth atop the finished product. Don't forget a dash of Angostura bitters! Served in a chilled martini glass, all together it produces a balanced creamy, frothy, limey drink with a bang.

In essence, Pisco is technically a brandy, made from distilling fermented grape juice. Its flavor is interesting and somewhat of an acquired taste... smooth, yet potent, with a brandy-like quality that is almost reminiscent to the finish of tequila.

I first learned about the spirit from a group of Chilean friends with whom I've traveled. On special occasions or holidays such as Christmas, it is common for friends to bring over a bottle of Pisco to celebrate. Typical Pisco cocktails include: Piscola (Pisco and Coke), Chilcano (Pisco and Gingerale), and Pisco Sour.

When I first suggested adding Pisco Sour to our specialty listing, Ray mentioned that it was once popular in the 70s.  It seems that every classic cocktail resurfaces at some point!

Upon further review, I discovered that the drink had even appeared in American culture long before the disco era.  And unlike the Tequila Sunrise, Sloe Gin Fizz, or Rob Roy of the 70's, the history of Pisco dates back more than 400 years.

Its early beginnings date back to the Spanish Conquistadores, who (aside from disease and Catholicism) brought grape vines to South America in hopes of producing wine for their own consumption. It's said that Pisco was created using the leftover grapes that were unsuitable for wine making.

From there, Pisco made its way to the States in the mid-nineteenth century and remained popular until Prohibition caused it to become more obscure. The liquor did have its revival in the 70's before again losing popularity.  Only recently has it been making a comeback.

Who knows how long it will remain popular this time around? Be sure to catch this frothy drink while you can!

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