Pisco Sour | Cotswold Cocktail School
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Pisco Sour

Cotswold Cocktail School - Pisco Sour Cocktail Recipe

ABV 21.4% / 2.4 alcoholic units

Primary ingredient: Pisco

A Brief History of a Pisco Sour

The origins of the Pisco Sour can be traced back to the early 20th century in Peru and Chile, both claiming the cocktail as a national treasure. However, the Peruvian Pisco Sour has gained international acclaim for its unique and refined flavor profile. Created by bartender Victor Vaughn Morris in the early 1920s at his bar in Lima, the Pisco Sour has since become a symbol of Peruvian hospitality and craftsmanship.

Taste and Flavour Profile

The Pisco Sour offers a symphony of flavours:

  • Pisco Elegance: Pisco, a grape brandy from Peru, takes centre stage with its floral and fruity notes, providing a sophisticated and robust base.
  • Citrus Zest: Freshly squeezed lime juice contributes a vibrant and zesty kick, balancing the richness of the Pisco with a refreshing acidity.
  • Subtle Sweetness: Simple syrup or sugar adds a touch of sweetness, creating a well-rounded and smooth character.
  • Frothy Perfection: The cocktail is topped with a velvety layer of egg white foam, adding a luxurious texture and a hint of creaminess.

The result is a cocktail that dances on the palate with a perfect equilibrium of sweet, sour, and savory notes.

Food Pairings

The Pisco Sour's versatile and refreshing nature makes it an excellent companion to a variety of dishes:

  • Ceviche: The cocktail complements the bright acidity of ceviche, enhancing the overall seafood experience.
  • Tiradito: A Peruvian dish similar to ceviche, tiradito pairs wonderfully with the Pisco Sour, creating a harmonious fusion of flavours.
  • Anticuchos: Grilled skewers of marinated meats, a popular Peruvian street food, are elevated when enjoyed alongside a Pisco Sour.

Bar Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Hawthorne strainer 
  • Fine sieve
  • Jigger
  • Coupe glass (chilled)


  • 60ml Pisco
  • 22ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 15ml  Simple syrup
  • 15ml Egg white*
  • 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Ice

*Aquafaba (chickpea water) can be used as a vegan alternative


  • Add all ingredients into the cocktail shaker and shake until chilled
  • Strain back into the shaker without ice and dry shake
  • Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass
  • Add three drops of bitters

What's the best Pisco for a Pisco Sour Cocktail?

Selecting the best Pisco for a Pisco Sour cocktail can depend on personal preferences, as well as the availability of Pisco brands in your region. Pisco comes in various styles, each with its unique characteristics. Here are some well-regarded Pisco options that are commonly recommended for crafting a delicious Pisco Sour:

  • Barsol Mosto Verde Quebranta Pisco: Barsol's Mosto Verde Quebranta Pisco is made from the Quebranta grape using the mosto verde method, resulting in a richer and more full-bodied Pisco. It brings a robust flavour with hints of tropical fruits and a smooth finish.
  • Macchu Pisco: Macchu Pisco is a Quebranta Pisco with a clean and crisp taste. It features notes of ripe fruit and a subtle floral quality, offering a well-balanced foundation for a Pisco Sour.
  • La Diablada Pisco: La Diablada is an acholado pisco from Peru, which means it is made from the first pressing of three different types of grapes. It's more floral than the regular Macchu Pisco, and originally created to be a sipping pisco. Between the floral and sweet notes, this is easily one of the best piscos out there.

When selecting a Pisco, consider whether you prefer a Pisco with a more aromatic and floral profile or one with a bolder and robust character. Additionally, be aware of the grape varietals used in the Pisco, as this can influence the final taste of your Pisco Sour. Experimenting with different Piscos allows you to find the one that suits your taste preferences and enhances the overall enjoyment of the cocktail.

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