Pisco is a colorless or amber toned grape brandy made in Peru since the 16th century by Spanish settlers. Since that time pisco has been distilled using traditional methods, and Pisco Porton is one of the finer examples of the product. We met with the Pisco Porton master distiller, Johnny Schuler while he was in Dallas. Schuler resides in Lima, Peru where he owns restaurants and has an entertaining television program that features Pisco Porton.
Schuler is certainly the most interesting man I have probably ever met. He laces conversation with his rich heritage, often touching on history and certainly agriculture. Our conversations have included the intricacies of bull fights, cigars, beekeeping, the Inca’s and their methods for over-powering villages, and of course distilling Pisco Porton. Schuler is not just a figurehead of Porton, he embodies the spirit. An evening with Schuler is a dance with elegance and charm.
The Peruvian Pisco Sour uses Peruvian pisco as the base liquor and adds lime juice, syrup, ice, egg white, and Angostura bitters. The Pisco Sour originated in Lima, Peru. It was created in the early 1920s by bartender Victor Vaughen Morris, an American who had lived in Peru for several decades. His saloon, Morris’ Bar, was popular with both the Peruvian upper class and English-speaking foreigners. The drink was a local variation of the whiskey sour, but certainly frothier with the addition of the egg whites, and a particular nose with the added droplets of the bitters. It is the national drink of Peru and enjoys its own holiday in late February.
Let’s make the Pisco Sour, which Schuler claims is near impossible outside of Peru since American limes do not taste the same. None the less, make it. Pisco Sours are addictive.
- 2 oz. pisco
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1 egg white , lightly beaten
- A few drops of Angostura bitters
- Mix all the ingredients but the bitter in a shaker, and add enough ice to double the volume of the liquid mixture.
- Shake vigorously for about 1 minute.
- Serve strained in a cocktail glass and decorate with 1 to 3 drops of Angostura bitters.
- Optional: Gently stir the top with a small straw or a toothpick to form a decorative pattern with the Angostura drops.