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Pisco Sour

A Pisco Sour is a cocktail containing pisco, lemon or lime juice, egg whites, simple syrup, and regional bitters .


The national origin of the pisco sour is debated if from Chile or Peru. In both countries, the variety of lemon used is what North Americans would call Persian lime but Peruvians call simply "lemons". In the United States, the drink is usually made with commonly available Lisbon or Eureka lemons, which has the disadvantage of making the drink bland. With the increased availability of Pisco and regional bitters outside South America, the Pisco Sour, like the Mojito and Caipirinha, has increased in popularity in the United States.

Since 2003, Peru has a National Pisco Sour Day which is celebrated on the first weekend of February.


The roots of Pisco itself reach back to the 1500s and stem from Colonial rule. The Spaniards brought the grape to the Peruvian region from Europe, but the King of Spain banned wine in the 17th Century, forcing locals to concoct a different kind of alcohol from the grape.Daulerio, A.J. & Eric Gillin (2004-02-19). Throw Yourself a Pisco Party. The Black Table. Retrieved 2006-12-22.

Guillermo Toro Lira in his book "Wings of cherubs" discovered that the precedent of the drink is in the Viceroyalty of Peru, which had pisco mixed with lemon around the 18th century near the "Plaza de Toros de Acho" of Lima. It was called a "Punche" and it was a predecessor of the Pisco punch of the Bank Exchange Bar of San Francisco which contained pisco, lemon and pineapple in the early 1900s. [*] Los origenes del Pisco Sour se remontan, pese a todas las versiones modernas, a fines del siglo XVIII, tal como se confirma en una edicion del diario El Mercurio Peruanoque menciona la preparacion de pisco con limon, a consecuencia de la prohibicion de la venta de aguardiente por las peleas que originaba cerca a la Plaza de Toros de Acho, Lima Peru. En el diario limeno se relata que alli nacio un producto denominado Punche, vendido por los esclavos y preparado en base a pisco y limon, que seria el antecedente mas antiguo que conocemos sobre el delicioso pisco sour.

Eliott Stubb

In 1962, the Universidad del Cuyo (Argentina) published a story on the basis of "El Comercio de Iquique", where it indicates that Eliott Stubb was the creator of "whisky sour". Historias de la Pampa Salitrera. Comite del Salitre (Chile). Page 49. Sabia usted que el exquisito whisky sour, hoy trago de acaudalados, es de origen iquiqueno?. Cuentan las tradiciones y en algunos parrafos del periodico "El Comercio de Iquique" que vimos en viejos archivos del Club Chino de este puerto que un buen mayordomo del velero "Sunshine" determino anclar en este puerto... Anales del Instituto de Linguistica. Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. Vol. VIII. Mendoza, Argentina. Pagina 385. 1962. Cierto dia Elliot Stubb estaba haciendo algunos experimentos en la en la "coctelera" con whisky y limon de pica y su sabor alcanzo delicias superiores a todos los otros menjurjes que acostumbraba a dar a sus clientes. "Voy a ponerle un poco de dulce", se dijo. Echo azucar a una porcion de jugo de limon de Pica, un poco de hielo, whisky en proporcion y batio algunos segundos Y probo el mas exquisito drink que habia preparado. En adelante dijo Elliot este sera mi trago de batalla, mi trago favorito , y se llamara Whisky Sour . Luego domino las fronteras y hacia su aparicion en Inglaterra, donde ya estaba cimentada la fama del limon de Pica, el que hasta ahora se continua exportando a la capital del Reino Unido y otros puntos de las Islas Britanicas. "El Comercio de Iquique" was a Peruvian newspaper published by Modesto Molina between 1874 and 1879.

The story told of an English steward of a sailing ship named "Sunshine". In 1872, Elliot Stubb obtained leave to disembark in the port of Iquique, which was a Peruvian city, with the aim of settling in the city and opening a bar. In his bar, he experimented with many aperitifs and drinks, of which a fundamental ingredient was the limon de Pica, a small lime grown in a populated oasis nearby. In order to offer new varieties of alcoholic beverages, the Englishman experimented with many combinations, trying to create pleasant drinks. One day, Stubb mixed whisky with his most valued ingredient, lime, and added a good dose of sugar. Fascinated by the delicious result, he made it the specialty of the house, and dubbed it "sour" for the acid touch which the lime gives it. "Onwards" - said Elliot - "it will be my drink of battle, my favorite drink, and it will be called Whiskey Sour" . The new drink spread to social clubs and bars throughout the port of Iquique, and from there it spread through the region and to the United Kingdom.

In 1884, Iquique became a Chilean city. In 1985, Orestes Plat narrates the same story, changing whiskey to pisco, based on the Peruvian newspaper "El Comercio de Iquique".

However, the oldest historical mention of a whisky sour prepared in the world comes from a newspaper published in Wisconsin, USA in 1870.


An account is that the Pisco Sour cocktail is a variation of the Whiskey sour, invented in the early 1920s by American expatriate Victor V. "Gringo" Morris at the Morris' Bar in Lima. The cocktail quickly became a favorite of locals. Soon many of the grand Lima hotels at that time such as the Maury and the Hotel Bolivar began serving pisco sours to their international guests, helping the drink become an international hit. The oldest known advertisement of Pisco Sour in the world was published in 1924 by the Morris' Bar of Lima.

In Peru Pisco Sour day is celebrated on the first Saturday of February. Years ending with zero (0) are of special significance. The theme is red and white (Peruvian flag colours). When the Peruvian National Anthem is played all Pisco Sour's must be finished as a mark of respect.


Different variations from the ingredients contained in pisco sour have been produced. There can be found in pisco sour recipes that include Aji Sour (with a spicy green chilli), Sour de Campo (with ginger and honey), and Sour Haas .

Some of these variation may be found in countries neighboring Peru.

In the media

The famous American chef Anthony Bourdain filmed an episode for the Travel Channel program [[Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations]] in Chile, and during the episode expressed his disgust for the Chilean version of the Pisco Sour. Jorge Lopez, the episode's Chilean producer and travel partner of Bourdain in Chile, explains that chef Bourdain found the Pisco Sour he had in the Valparaiso restaurant "La Playa" as boring and not worth it. Lopez adds that chef Bourdain had just recently arrived from Peru where he drank and enjoyed several Pisco Sours, which he thought were better tasting than the Chilean version. A Chilean critic, Enrique Rivera, counters that chef Bourdain's visit is a double edged sword, because he's a celebrity who generalizes the quality of a country's food by tasting only at a few places. A local newspaper in Chile further expressed that Bourdain's comment "constitutes a painful stab wound to the national pride." In November 17, 2009, Adal Ramones, a Mexican television show host and comedian, made a reference to the Pisco Sour when he expressed his opinion in regards to the 2009 Chile-Peru espionage scandal: "What do the Chileans want to spy from Peru? How to make a good Pisco Sour?"

In 2009, the Chilean journalist Patricio Tapia, writes the article "El Otro Pisco" (The Other Pisco) in the Chilean journal El Mercurio, in which he expressed that Pisco Sour from Peru is much better tasting than the Chilean one. The article also shows the big differences between both drinks called Pisco.

The comedian Zane Lamprey, host of the show Three Sheets, filmed an episode in Chile which featured various beverages, including the Pisco Sour.

See also

;Drink topics


Sour (cocktail)

List of cocktails with less common spirits

;Regional topics

Peruvian Cuisine and Drinks

External links

Go2Peru.com - Tourism site with information about Peruvian Pisco along with a recipe.

Food Network - A less traditional recipe that uses ingredients more common outside Peru and Chile.

Piscosour.com - The most complete website about Pisco Sour.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Pisco Sour

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