Pisco Sour The Simple Peruvian Cocktail That Shakes Things Up

A great cocktail from South America is the Pisco sour. This Pisco-based cocktail's roots are rather hazy, as with everything illustrious and coveted, since various people stake claim to its creation. The widely believed origin story is that it first appeared in Lima's well-known Morris Bar in the early 20th century.

According to one story, the drink was created for the first time in the Morris Bar by American Victor Vaughn Morris, who had moved to Peru in 1903 to work in the mining industry. The Pisco Sour didn't become what it is today until the late 1920s when bartender Mario Bruige added egg white and Angostura bitters.

The Pisco Sour, however, has a considerably longer history dating back to the origin of the liquor itself. Legend has it that Pisco came about in the 16th century when Spanish conquistadors brought grapes to South America to make their own wine and locals of Chile and Peru used to ferment these leftover grapes into Pisco. 

There is some contention over who holds true claim to the drink, but since Peruvian and Chilean Pisco is made from different grape varieties, they already have distinct profiles. The one thing they both agree on though is that the best way to enjoy Pisco is neat or in a Pisco Sour. The famous cocktail even has its own day celebrated on the first Saturday of February.

The Pisco Sour is pretty easy to make, so it’s a perfect beginner cocktail too. Just pour all the ingredients into a shaker, then dry-shake (without ice) for 10 seconds to generate some amount of foam from the egg white. Then add ice and shake again to chill the drink before you fine-strain it into a glass. One tip is to have your sugar syrup ready to go in advance, just heat 1 part of water to 2 parts sugar until you have a smooth syrup without sugar grains and let it cool before using


  • 2 shots Pisco
  • 1 shot fresh lime juice
  • 1 shot sugar syrup (2:1 ratio)
  • ½ an egg white
  • Angostura bitters 
  • Lime for garnish (optional)


  • Add the pisco, lime, sugar syrup and egg white to a shaker. 
  • Shake vigorously to generate a thick foam, then add some ice cubes and shake a second time. 
  • Strain into a glass over ice and garnish with 2 drops of bitters and a slice of lime.