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Frosty Pisco Sour Drink Recipe

Updated on March 16, 2016
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Vespa´s recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" & "Taste of Home" magazines. She belongs to "Cook´s Recipe Testers" for Cooks Illustrated.


Joined: 5 years agoFollowers: 774Articles: 114
Pisco sour cocktails
Pisco sour cocktails | Source

The Best Peruvian Pisco Sours

Pisco sour is the most popular drink in Peru. Every household thinks their recipe is the best. However, Victor's pisco sours are legendary. A perfect balance of sweet and tangy, they are rich and bright with a silky mouthfeel and foamy head.

When we finally plucked up the courage to ask Victor for his recipe, we were surprised to find his measurements simple and easy to remember. The hardest part is squeezing the lime juice, but a lime squeezer will make the job quicker and more enjoyable.

Pisco is actually grape brandy. Although some say it tastes similar to tequila, pisco has its own unique flavor. Pisco sours became popular in the United States during the Gold Rush of California, when Peruvians boasted to fellow miners about their national cocktail.

Nowadays, pisco sours have taken on a modern twist with exotic ingredients like passion fruit or Peruvian golden berries. Our favorite, though, is still Victor's traditional recipe. We hope you enjoy his pisco sours as much as we do!

  • Tips & Substitutions for Perfect Pisco Sours

  • Recipe: Authentic Peruvian Pisco Sours

  • Recipe: Quick Pisco Sours

  • Ingredients & Substitutions:

  • What's a Key lime?

  • Pisco: Acholado vs. Quebranta

  • What is Jarabe de Goma (Gum or Gomme Syrup)?

  • Recipe: Homemade Gum Syrup


Tips for Perfect Pisco Sours

  • See the section "Ingredients & Substitutions" at the end of the page for information on finding ingredients and easy substitutions.
  • Use cold, refrigerated ingredients for best results.
  • If you're concerned about the safety of a raw egg, substitute 1 Tablespoon pasteurized egg white.
  • If you have a large egg, include only part of the egg white. The egg gives pisco sour its characteristic thick and foamy head.
  • If you don't have jarabe de goma or simple syrup, substitute one Tablespoon of white sugar per ounce of pisco.
  • When juicing Key limes, be careful not to squeeze too hard so the bitter flavor of the rind doesn't transfer to the juice.
  • This recipe calls for Peruvian pisco, or grape brandy made in Peru. Chilean pisco is sweeter and lower proof, so the results will be different with Chilean pisco.
  • In a pinch, substitute grappa or tequila for the pisco.
  • If using a shaker instead of a blender, add everything but the ice cubes. Shake for 30 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 30 seconds. Serve.


Cook Time

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 15 min
  • Yields: Serves 6-8

Authentic Pisco Sour Recipe

5 stars from 6 ratings of Pisco Sour

The Best Way to Juice Key limes

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cut Key limes in half and remove seedsJuice limes with a squeezer
Cut Key limes in half and remove seeds
Cut Key limes in half and remove seeds
Juice limes with a squeezer
Juice limes with a squeezer

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Key lime juice, freshly squeezed*
  • 1 cup jarabe de goma*
  • 1 cup small ice cubes
  • 2 cups Peruvian pisco*
  • 1 small egg white
  • Bitters, for sprinkling
  • * Or see the "Ingredients & Substitutions" section at the end of this page

Instructions

  1. Pour all ingredients but the bitters into a blender container.
  2. Blend on high for a minute or until foamy and smooth.
  3. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with bitters. Serve and enjoy!

Quick Pisco Sour

Not necessarily authentic but still delicious, this pisco sour is made with ingredients easy to find in the U.S.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces frozen limeade concentrate
  • 12 ounces Pisco
  • 1 small egg white
  • 2 cups small ice cubes
  • Bitters (preferably Amargo Chuncho), for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender container.
  2. Process on high until smooth and frothy.
  3. Pour pisco sour into glasses and sprinkle with bitters.


Pisco Sours Ready to Serve
Pisco Sours Ready to Serve | Source

What's a Key lime?

Key limes, also called Mexican limes and West Indian limes, are the most popular citrus fruit in Peru. Higher in Vitamin C, they are thinner skinned and smaller than Tahitian or Persian limes (commonly found in U.S. grocery stores).

Sometimes referred to as "bartender's limes", their tart flavor lends itself perfectly to alcoholic beverages such as Pisco sour, margarita, mojito or gin & tonic.

If you cannot find Key limes in your area, substitute freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. There is no substitute for freshly squeezed citrus juice.


Source

Pisco: Acholado vs. Quebranta

The Quebranta variety of grapes grows along the desert coastal area of Peru and produces the pisco with the highest alcohol content. Pisco made with Quebranta grapes is non-aromatic and best appreciated in the mouth rather than the nose. Quebranta pisco has a taste profile including banana, lucuma and passion fruit with a lingering flavor of chocolate and raisins.

Acholado is a blend of piscos made of different varieties of grapes. Although Quebranta pisco is most often used in pisco sours, acholado pisco can also make a very nice cocktail. Sample both Acholado and Quebranta piscos to find your favorite.


What's Jarabe de Goma (Gum or Gomme Syrup)?


Although jarabe de goma costs only $2-3 in Peru, gomme or gum syrup has become both rare and expensive in the U.S. market. Interestingly, it was the sweetener of choice for bartenders of the 50's for the velvety viscosity and body it lends to classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned.

Gum syrup also rounds out the alcoholic bite of cocktails made with pisco, making them taste fuller and richer. It has the advantage of acting as a thickener and gives drinks a light, airy texture. If you have time to plan ahead, why not try the following easy recipe for homemade gum syrup? Although you may have to invest initially in a few ingredients, you can whip up a large batch and store it in the refrigerator for several months.

If you're in a rush, though, you can substitute rich simple syrup for the gum syrup. Just boil 1 cup of water with 2 cups of sugar for a minute, or until the sugar dissolves. You'll still get sweet and tangy flavor, but the pisco sours won't be quite as creamy or frothy. In a pinch, you can also substitute 1 Tablespoon of white sugar for every ounce of pisco, although this is our least favorite option.


Homemade Jarabe de Goma (Gum or Gomme Syrup)

Recipe courtesy of "Craft Cocktails at Home" by Kevin Liu

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon gum Arabic
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon egg white powder


  1. Heat water and sugar and stir for about a minute, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
  2. Add gum Arabic and xanthan gum. Stir until powders dissolve.
  3. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Stir egg white powder into the cooled mixture.
  5. Let homemade gum syrup rest for 2-3 hours, or until thickened.

Comments

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  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

    PeggyW, thanks so much for the pin and all your support.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Came back to say that I will now pin this to my drink board on Pinterest. Thanks again for your recipe.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

    Rebeccamealey, thanks for your enthusiastic comment!

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    Oh, how yummy!!! I didn't know key limes were sometimes called Mexican Limes. Now I can say I love Mexican lime pie! Beautiful Hub!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Suzanne Day, pisco is also made in Chile although it originated in Peru. You may hear Chileans disagree with that statement, though. I hope you can try it sometime. Thanks!

  • Suzanne Day profile image

    Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    I have never heard of Pisco until today, but it looks like quite the refreshing drink to have in the summer!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Carol7777, I hope you have a chance to try this Peruvian Pisco Sour drink someday! Thanks for coming by.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

    I am always fascinated with the many new drinks that come to view everyday. This does sound good..I love anything sour.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    DeborahNeyens, I'm so glad you enjoyed the pisco sour! How surprising to find a Peruvian drink right smack in the Midwest. It must be a very happening new bar. : ) Thanks so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it.

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

    I meant to come back and tell you this sooner, but shortly after reading this hub I went to a new bar in town and guess what they were serving? Yes, I've now had a Pisco Sour! It was just as delicious as I thought it would be after reading this.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Alocsin, you always enjoy my Peruvian recipes. I hope you can try this one! Pisco sour is the national drink of Peru and has a flavor that has to be tasted to appreciate. Enjoy and thank you for the votes!

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

    I don't know where you come up with these fantastic recipes, but I should like to try this one. Voting this Up and Useful.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Jackie Lynnley it really is a refreshing drink and very popular in Peru. Thanks for your comment!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Why is my mouth watering? lol Looks great!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Cybershelley, Key limes are the key ingredient in this Peruvian drink recipe. I hope you can try it sometime! Thanks for coming by!

  • CyberShelley profile image

    Shelley Watson 3 years ago

    There is something special about limes, they do so much for food and drinks. Thank you for sharing this delicious Peruvian cocktail and its substitutions.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    JustAskSusan, I hope you can try a pisco sour someday!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    DeborahNeyens, I hope you can try a Peruvian pisco sour someday. They're so refreshing and unique. Thank you for your meaningful comment! Have a great day.

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I know I'd like this drink.

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

    I love learning about Peruvian food and ingredients from you. Pisco is another one I've never heard of. The cocktail sounds delicious. I love lime in drinks - margaritas and mojitos are two favorites.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    tammyswallow, I'm glad you enjoyed this Hub! Pisco is an interesting spirit and one worth trying. Hope you can try the pisco sours someday. Thanks!

  • tammyswallow profile image

    Tammy 3 years ago from North Carolina

    I have never hear of a Pisco before. This looks amazing! Your hub is really gorgeous. This looks like something I would really enjoy.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    KoffeeKlatchGals, I'm glad you're going to try this delicious cocktail recipe from Peru. Enjoy and thanks for the comment!

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Wow, what a delicious refreshing drink. I'll be trying it. I love sours. up and amazing.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    anglnwu, it's always nice to know someone who appreciate Key limes. Their flavor is hard to beat! I hope you can try this pisco sour someday. Thanks for your comment.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 3 years ago

    My, your presentation is award-worthy. I love it. I love key limes and I can only imagine how delicious this drink is. Great hub and shared.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    DDE, pisco sour really is a delicious beverage. I hope you can try it soon!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    agapsikap, thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed reading about pisco sours and hope you can try them soon! They will transport you to Peru.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Wow! Incredible and refreshing indeed and sounds a wonderful idea to give it a try soon.

  • agapsikap profile image

    agapsikap 3 years ago from Philippines

    This one looks great. I think I should be trying this one soon. And have to drink it with eyes closed and imagine I'm in Peru. (giggling) Thank you for this. I enjoy reading it. Those borders are attractive.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    AliciaC, thanks for your kind words...the borders really do dress it up. I hope you can try pisco sour sometime!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Randomcreative, thanks for your kind words. I hope you can try the pisco sour sometime. It really is unique and delicious.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Deborah-Diane, I do hope you try the pisco sour sometime. It's a fun cocktail to make for guests and really brightens up a meal. Enjoy and thanks for all your support!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Moonlake, thanks so much for the comment and votes.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Thundermama, enjoy and thank you for coming by!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    rebeccamealey, we do enjoy the acholado version of pisco sour. : ) Thanks for coming by!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    pinto2011, I'm sorry you don't have the ingredients in your country. You could try a citrus juice, the simple syrup and any clear liquor that's available in India. At least you'd get the general idea. : ) Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Suzie, thank you for your kind words and your continued support. Pisco sours are a well-loved drink in Peru and they are also popular in other parts of the world. I learned a lot when researching the section about jarabe de goma. It really is an important addition to the drink. I appreciate the votes, share and comment!

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This drink sounds delicious, vespawoolf. Thanks for the recipe and all the details. I love the borders in this hub, too!

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    I've never had a Pisco sour, but I'm intrigued now! Thanks for the detailed resource. Love your photos.

  • Deborah-Diane profile image

    Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

    This really does sound like a refreshing summer drink. I don't know if I'll ever get to Peru, but I can at least enjoy their cocktail.

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 3 years ago from America

    Sounds great and looks so pretty. Voted up and five stars.

  • Thundermama profile image

    Catherine Taylor 3 years ago from Canada

    Oh my goodness this sounds amazing. I love key lime and this drink just sounds to good to resist. Time to break out the blender.

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    Sounds like quite an interesting, and delicious drink. I'll take mine a la Alcholado!

  • pinto2011 profile image

    Subhas 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

    Hi vespawoolf! I would surely have loved to make such a drink after going through your beautifully illustrated article but alas all the ingredients are not available in my country. Very nice and finely detailed article.

  • Suzie HQ profile image

    Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

    Hi Vespa,

    Another recipe well worth waiting for! How fascinating this was as many ingredients are totally new to me so loved this info and background. I am learning so many interesting things about Peru (my bucket list top venue) and Pisco Sour drink sounds a real summer classic to savor. I agree with sgbrown too your formatting and layout is stunning and so creative, just shows how detail matters and visually it is UP THERE. Loved this hub so much I would love to make it so will be pinning for my reference. All the votes, shared, wonderful recipe Vespa!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Chitrangada Sharan, I'm glad you enjoyed reading about this refreshing summertime cocktail. I don't know what type of lime you have in India, but I hope you have a chance to try it. Thank you for coming by!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    lindacee, I'm glad you're going to try the national drink of Peru! It really is refreshing and delicious. Enjoy and thank you for taking the time to comment.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you for these.

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

    So appropriate for a summer drink! I loved the recipe. We do take chilled lime juice but this look different. And the way you presented this hub has made it even more delicious and soothing to the eyes.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • lindacee profile image

    lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona

    What a great summertime cocktail! Not only refreshing, but they look so tasty too! With the substitutions you provided, it should be simple to mix up a batch. Now, I have to make a stop at the liquor store to find pisco. Thanks again for another great recipe and background on this Peruvian drink!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Sgbrown, I'm glad you enjoyed this Hub. The Key lime juice really is the key--no pun intended. : ) Thanks for the vote and comment. I always appreciate your support.

  • sgbrown profile image

    Sheila Brown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    This looks awesome! I love drinks with fresh squeezed lime and I like the idea of the "head" on this drink, cool! I also loved your formatting on this hub, very nice! Voting up, useful and interesting. :)

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    rajan jolly, I'm glad you enjoyed reading about this delicious drink from Peru. How nice that you can appreciate the addition of gum syrup, too. Thank you for your meaningful comment and the votes!

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    This looks too delicious. Lime juice is my favorite drink during summers and the variety of ingredients add to this Pisco sour seem to not only ake it look lovelier but I can smell the flavors as well.

    Nice that you included recipes for the gum syrup too.

    Voted up and awesome.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    PeggyW, thank you for your meaningful comment. I'm glad you found this Hub useful and hope you can one day try our Peruvian pisco sour cocktail. Enjoy and I appreciate the votes!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Although I have never had a Pisco Sour Drink, it does sound good with the key limes being one of the main ingredients. Love the formatting of your hub! Your drink recipe covers everything from "A" to "Z" and even has substitutions. UUI votes and thanks!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    GlimmerTwinFan, I'm glad you like the sound of this cocktail. It really is delicious and easy to make. Enjoy! I appreciate the pin and comment.

  • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

    Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

    Ooohh yummy. I love sour drinks, like a whisky sour. This looks very good, especially on a hot summer day. Great pics and info for substitutions. Thanks! Pinned.

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