Picked up a bottle of Pisco to try a Pisco Sour and are now looking for other Pisco-based drinks to try? By a strange coincidence, I am as well! This is a much simpler drink, and not as fun as the Pisco Sour, but still enjoyable. I’ve also seen it referred to as simply a “Chilcano.”

Chilcano de Pisco

Pour a shot or two of Pisco over ice into whatever tumbler or highball glass you have handy. Fill with ginger ale. Add in a squirt of lemon juice and a shake or two of angostura bitters. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

As you can see, it’s an exact recipe. The core of it is Pisco and ginger ale similar to a rum & coke. In fact, I’ve seen some recipes that stop right there, and that’s an enjoyable drink. If you’re feeling like you simply must measure things, 6:1 ale to Pisco seems about standard. The lemon juice and bitters make it more fun, but it’s a subtle change. This is a summery drink, which Christy also enjoys sampling.

This is theoretically a bit of a trendy drink these days, but I hadn’t heard of it until National Repeal Day when I noticed it floating about the internets. Christy sent me to BevMo tonight to pick up some wine. Sending me unsupervised to a liquor store with decent selection is a poor financial decision, but I managed to contain myself to just picking up some Pisco. It’s an interesting spirit, it’s actually a brandy based on muscat grapes and has a fairly unique flavor. Not something I need to drink straight, but I had purchased it for a Pisco Sour anyways.

DeGroff’s recipe:

Pisco Sour

1½ oz. Pisco Aba
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup
Several drops of Angostura Bitters
One Small Egg White

Shake all ingredients (thoroughly!) with ice and strain into a small cocktail glass. Sprinkle a few dashes of Angostura Bitters on the foam created by the egg whites.

Ok, the thoroughly bit is my addition, but it’s important. Do your hands hurt? If you pause do you see layers (plural) of ice on the shaker? Ok, you’re almost done. You need to destroy the egg, and in the process produce a foamy drink to float the bitters on.

I often enjoy DrinkBoy’s take on cocktails, and I actually made his first before trying DeGraff’s. DeGraff has a lot more simple syrup and bitters in it, which rounds out the drink and keeps the Pisco from being quite so vocal. I liked it better, and so did Christy, so that’s what is posted above. Finally, a tragic admission, I didn’t have fresh lemon juice which means I used that crap out of a plastic lemon and it’s blatantly obvious in the drink itself. Do yourself a favor and use fresh lemon juice.

The drink is fun, and the egg whites give it an enjoyable texture. The bitters form a nice, orange-brown color, and the bitters and Pisco end up giving it a different flavor up front than at the end. It certainly seems like a summer drink, which perhaps makes sense given its Peruvian (or Chilean, depending on who you ask) origins. I’d love to muck with it and a fresh lemon, although after making two I ended up using more fake lemon “juice” to play with the Combustible Edison mainly due to the fact that it’s fun to play with fire. That and I love me the Campari.

Variations at:
The Art of Drink
DC Drinks
and, of course, Wikipedia

Update: picture of the Pisco Sour (v.1)

Pisco Sour I