Episode #086 – Pisco Cocktails

photo by: Cathrine Lindblom Gunasekara

This week on the Speaking Easy Podcast, Alex and Jordan head south of the border, to South America, to visit with one of the great unaged spirits of the globe, Pisco. This (typically) colorless brandy is made in Peru and Chile, and in the Peruvian version, made in pot stills, similar to scotch or Irish whiskey. And because it’s made from grapes, the “terroir” of the region–the coastal areas of these countries play a role in the flavor. And in the United States, pisco had been drunk by pioneers looking to make a fortune during the Gold Rush of the mid-to-late 1800s. So there’s a lot to explore.

On this week’s episode, you’ll learn:

  • A little about Pisco’s history
  • The general taste profile of Pisco
  • A few brands to explore
  • How to make a flawless Pisco Sour
  • A few variations of cocktails using this bright, fruity liquor

Pisco Sour

  • 2 1.2 oz pisco
  • 1 oz Key Lime juice
  • 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 medium egg white
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters as garnish
Combine the pisco, lime juice, sugar, and egg white in a blender. Process for 30 seconds, until frothy. Add a handful of ice and process for 1 minute, then pour into a highball glass. Garnish with the dash of bitters atop the foam.


  • 1 1/2 oz pisco
  • 1 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz tonic water
  • Mint sprig, for garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the pisco, Lillet Blanc, lime juice, and simple syrup. Top with the tonic water and stir gently. Garnish with the mint sprig.


Other Features:

Be sure to also check out our episode on Brandy, with some mention of pisco: Episode #023 – Brandy Cocktails

What to Listen To When Making A Pisco Sour:

With a Peruvian treasure like the Pisco Sour in hand, you should balance that out with another Peruvian treasure, like the music of Susana Baca, will take you right to the Peruvian coast for a relaxing afternoon. Afrodiaspora is her most recent album, from 2011, and is just to her amazing career. Buy it here (Amazon).

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