Peru and Chile both claim pisco as their national spirit – and both have distinctive takes on the pisco sour – but there's more than one way to sip this tasty grape-distilled brandy. Two experts from western and eastern Canada offer their unique takes on the pisco cocktail.
"Pisco comes from the Pisco region in southwestern Peru, where it's made using the same distillation process as grappa. Chile's version is more dense and fruity. I used Peruvian pisco, of course, to create the Mezcla Caesar, as well as a special ingredient: leche de tigre, the leftover ceviche juice from the scallops or fish, plus lime, coriander, ginger and ají amarillo pepper paste. The drink is a combination of flavours: sweet, acidic, spicy."
— Peruvian-born Marcel Olivier Larrea, one of the two chefs at Montreal's Mezcla restaurant
- Mezcla Caesar
- Blend of celery salt and Japanese shichimi togarashi spice mix
- 5.4 oz Clamato
- 2 oz Peruvian pisco
- 1.5 oz leche de tigre
- Cancha (Peruvian toasted corn)
Rim a glass with celery salt/togarashi spice mix. Add Clamato, pisco and leche de tigre. Fill with ice; garnish with cilantro and cancha.
"In B.C., we get mainly Chilean pisco brands, and local bartenders rarely make anything with pisco beyond a sour. A light pisco can be as flexible as gin, tequila or light rum. Aged pisco develops character not unlike reposado tequila. I recently created a cocktail with Kappa, a premium Chilean pisco made from Muscat of Le Muscat d'Alexandrie. It's sophisticated and complex with vivid, spirit-driven aromas."
— Jay Jones, executive bartender and brand ambassador at the Donnelly Group (Granville Room, Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar and other venues) in Vancouver
- Grand Kappa
- 1.5 oz Kappa Pisco
- 1.5 oz Lapostolle Casa Merlot
- .75 oz Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
- 3 dashes Bittered Sling Plum & Rootbeer bitters
- Mists of La Fée Absinthe
Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar
Mist a clean, dry coupe glass with absinthe. Combine pisco, merlot, Grand Marnier and bitters in a mixing vessel. Stir with ice; strain into the misted coupe. Spritz drink surface with absinthe.
905 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver
Mezcla 1251, rue de Champlain, Montréal