Pisco Sour: A Sweet and Sour History of Peru’s Favorite Drink

Pisco sour is a big deal. So big it has its own holiday and is the national drink of Peru.

It also has a hotly disputed past.

Because pisco sour has an excellent flavor, unique texture and is a renowned cocktail, everybody who can, wants to claim the fame and credit for its creation.

This has led to a lot of disagreement over what is the true pisco sour history. One version is predominantly stated nowadays. But recently an additional development has left us thinking that it is an even older drink than first thought.

Want to find out this interesting new piece of pisco sours history? Read on!

What Is Pisco Sour?

Before we get into how it came about and the debated origins of this delectable South American cocktail – let’s take a look at what it is.

Firstly, the alcohol used in the drink is pisco. Pisco is a strong brandy that boasts a proof of 38% – 48%, making pisco sour a very potent drink!

Pisco sour is made using this mean brandy, simple syrup, lime juice, Angostura bitters, and egg whites. Yes, egg whites. To make the cocktail, the ingredients are combined together in a shaker (minus the bitters) and then shaken vigorously with ice. After being poured, the bitters are added and a frothy top develops.

Although this may sound unappetizing, the drink is so tasty that one can easily drink a few in a row if you are not careful. And it is very important to be careful, and not beguiled by the highly pleasant taste – thanks to those 38% – 48% alcohol levels present in the pisco!

Where Does Pisco Sour Come From?

Because this cocktail that combines pisco, lemon juice, and egg white is so unique and popular, there is a lot of competition when it comes to where it originates from. Never mind who invented it!

Peru and Chile are the main contenders with both countries claiming hotly that pisco sours originated with them.

These two countries also fight over the right to claim the origins of pisco itself. Recently the European Commission awarded the origins of pisco brandy to Peru, which was a great triumph for the nation.

Who Invented Pisco Sour?

There is a popular theory that pisco sour was invented by a man named Victor Morris who owned a bar in the 1920s. The story goes that after this, the cocktail caught on like wildfire. With people traveling from all over to taste it. This version of the origins of Peru’s foamy frothy cocktail is the one that is most often claimed to be the true history of pisco sours.

But recently a Peruvian cuisine and pisco authority blogger stumbled onto the fact that a Peruvian cookbook from 1903 actually sports a recipe that is almost identical to that of pisco sour. Entitled ‘Cocktail’ the recipe calls for egg whites, pisco, lime juice, and white sugar.

Here is the original tweet posted showing this 100-year-old recipe that looks suspiciously identical to pisco sours.

Final Word about Peru’s Pisco Sour

Pisco sour is probably one of the most unique drinks that you can try – which tastes downright amazing, especially paired with any number of traditional Peruvian dishes. And who knew that the cocktail might actually have been around for well over 100 years?

If you would like to make your very own pisco sour and need some Pisco sour mixes, we stock various flavors in our Peruvian foods section.

Also, be sure to check out our step-by-step recipe for pisco sours.

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