Thursday, June 11, 2015

the pride of Peru

So ... does one shake or blend?

It was really cool meeting the parents of some of my Spanish classmates. After months of cramped quarters living with roommates (men in their late 20's/early 30's - supposed adults - can still be dirty animals), it was nice to go into a real house, make drinks in a real kitchen. A lot of these parents, particularly the men, recall their trips to Peru in their youth fondly. And a lot of those memories revolve around the pisco sour.

Pisco is a brandy that's the subject of much contention as to its origin, particularly between the Peruvians and the Chileans. But there's really no need to fight. Both countries seem to have unique ways of serving it - the Chileans drink piscola (pisco and cola, duh), while they do it like this in Lima. Personally, I have my foot in both camps, with good friends on both sides not to mention a delightful young Chilean chica I met in Barcelona who, can I say, is just my kind of woman. Now, if I had to choose - had to - based purely on my personal, subjective preferences, as an outsider - I'll go with a pisco sour. This pisco sour.

The IESE pisco sour

Fresh lime juice
Sugar syrup
Egg white
Angostura bitters

In a cocktail shaker, pour 2 ounces of pisco

Add 0.75 ounces of sugar syrup, 0.5 ounces of lime juice, and half an egg white

Dry shake until egg white emulsifies

Fill shaker with ice and hard shake for 45 seconds

Strain into a chilled glass, allowing the egg white to create a half inch layer of head

Finish with a few drops of Angostura bitters

I've been told (by my Peruvian teammate) that most households in Lima employ a blender, crushing the ice into essentially a boozy slushie. I don't like it. It's lazy and we can do better. This is a pisco sour done in the IESE way - staying true to its roots, with a touch of refinement.

It's now nearly 5pm. Pisc-o-clock.


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