If you’ve never tried the national drink of Chile, Pisco Sour, it’s time to give it a whirl. This version is a little unconventional, though, incorporating the pleasantly sour flavor of yuzu – a cousin of a grapefruit – into the mix. Plus, it’s naturally sweetened. Cheers!
Pisco Sours are the national drink of Chile, which I was introduced to during an amazing cooking class in Valparaiso, which I have mentioned before here. Pisco is a uniquely Chilean version of brandy – though I have recently learned that Peruvians also claim it as their own. Let’s let them duke it out while we enjoy a cocktail. It’s a strong, stiff, clear liquor that is distilled from grapes, and which you can find at Binny’s or, I’d imagine, also at South American specialty stores. But if you can’t find it, you can replace the pisco in this recipe with another unflavored brandy.
One of the reasons that I have been missing out on these wonderful fruits for so long is because I have never seen them in the store before. I suppose you could probably find them at a Japanese market or specialty store, but mine came straight to my front door (my favorite thing is anything that gets delivered) courtesy of a wonderful company called Melissa’s.
A pisco sour is traditionally made just with lemon juice as the citrus flavor (the “sour” in pisco sour…), but the yuzu not only makes the flavor a little more complex, as though you added more ingredients than you did (and who doesn’t like a simple recipe that tastes complicated and fancy?), but it’s lesser sweetness compared to lemons means that far less sugar is required for this drink than in a traditional pisco sour. Instead of sugar, I used honey-based flavored simple syrup made from this recipe, but with the yuzu peel instead of lemon. Of course, if you can’t get yuzu, just substitute lemon and it will still taste great.
- 1 shot pisco, or other brandy
- 1 shot yuzu simple syrup
- 2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- Ice cubes
- 1 can unflavored seltzer water or club soda
- Add the pisco, yuzu simple syrup and lemon juice, plus a few ice cubes, to a cocktail shaker. Shake very well for 10-20 seconds until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the mixture through the strainer into a champagne glass.
- Top off each glass with seltzer.
- Garnish the bottom of each glass with the yuzu peel from the syrup, if desired.
- Find the yuzu simple syrup recipe here.
- A pisco sour is traditionally made with an egg white shaken into it, which makes it cloudy and heartier, but I left that out. Feel free to include it, assuming, of course, that you have a supply of trustworthy eggs. Also, a traditional pisco sour doesn't include any sparkling water, and it uses lemons instead of yuzu. So lemons would be an appropriate substitution for the yuzu.
- Variations: Instead of plain seltzer, you can try using any seltzer in a complementary flavor (grapefruit would work well). You can also try using champagne in place of seltzer.