Pisco Sour

Pisco sour in old fashioned glass with oversized ice cube

You never know when or where the inspiration for the next cocktail comes. Those of you who know me personally know that I’m a Speech-Language Pathologist working with adults. Without giving away too much information (you know, HIPAA and all), it’s rare that I have a client that I can have a real intellectual conversation with. Being an SLP, I tend to work with individuals with cognitive-communication deficits resulting in various levels of confusion and individuals who, through some neurological disorder, have impaired communication abilities. Alas, I finally have a client with a voice disorder! Here’s the story of how that client turned me on to the Pisco Sour.

One of the best pieces of education to give individuals with voice disorders is the importance of hydration. Your vocal folds require proper lubrication in order to safely and effectively function. That means limiting liquids that dry the mouth and throat, like caffeine and alcohol, and increasing hydrating fluids like herbal teas, water, and natural fruit juices. Through the course of my treatments with my voice client, I found out that they partake in a daily glass of wine and they are not willing to give up that joy of life. Now, I pride myself in being a patient-centered therapist, so I would never take away someone’s daily Riesling!

As part of the hydration conversation I told my client I’m not much for wine, preferring cocktails. They then informed me that they enjoy a good Pisco Sour, drawing on their childhood growing up in Chile! First of all, I had no idea they were born in South America. They had always talked about the harsh Midwest winters! Secondly, I had never heard of a Pisco Sour, and needed to know more!

The Pisco Sour

While the Pisco Sour is the signature cocktail of Peru, it is also popular in neighboring Chile. It’s primary alcohol is Pisco, the Peruvian brandy made by fermenting grape juice. When combined with simple syrup, lime juice, and an egg white, it tastes similar to a classic margarita.

How to Make a Pisco Sour

In a cocktail shaker add together Pisco, egg white, lime juice, and simple syrup. Seal the cocktail shaker and shake for at least 10 seconds, this causes the egg white to foam. It also allows time for the lime juice and alcohol to kill any harmful bacteria in the egg white.

Place ice cubes into the shaker and continue shaking until the cocktail is properly chilled. Pour into an old fashioned cocktail glass and top with Angostura bitters.


  • Some Pisco Sour recipes will say lemon juice instead of lime juice. Either works, I prefer limes.
  • You could use Amargo bitters for a more authentic Peruvian Pisco Sour, but Angostura bitters are more readily available at grocery and liquor stores.
  • Be sure to do two rounds of shaking; one to create the foam and kill any possible egg white bacteria and a second to chill the cocktail.

Music Recommendation

I wouldn’t dare consider myself any kind of classical music expert, as my primary exposure to it was through Disney’s Fantasia and in school when we were tricked into thinking we were watching a family film staring a St Bernard. So, this recommendation comes after some Google searching. While you’re prepping and then sipping on your Pisco Sour, enjoy listening to Chilean composer Juan Orrego Salas’ – Sextet for Clarinet, Piano and Strings.

Pisco sour in old fashioned glass with oversized ice cube

Pisco Sour

Peru's signature cocktail
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Happy Hour
Cuisine: Chilean, Peruvian, South American
Keyword: Angostura bitters, Cocktail, Egg white foam, Happy hour, Lime juice, Pisco, Simple syrup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail


  • Cocktail shaker


  • 3 ounces Pisco
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 fresh egg white
  • 1-3 dashes Angostura or Amargo bitters


  • Combine Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a cocktail shaker without ice, seal, and shake vigorously until egg white is foamy, about 10 seconds.
    3 ounces Pisco, 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice, 3/4 ounce simple syrup, 1 fresh egg white
  • Add ice to shaker and shake again until well-chilled, at least 10 seconds.
  • Strain into chilled old fashioned cocktail glass and dash bitters atop the egg-white foam.
    1-3 dashes Angostura or Amargo bitters

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