Pisco Sour

For years my adult beverage of choice has been the Perfect Manhattan (one part dry vermouth, one part sweet vermouth, two parts bourbon, bitters optional, and a twist), but recently the State Stores have had problems getting Martini and Rossi Vermouth.

Pisco SourBy the way, in Pennsylvania everyone calls the places where we buy liquor State Stores because the state (or rather Commonwealth) of Pennsylvania has a monopoly on liquor sales. Some remnant from the repeal of Prohibition and the high proportion of superstitious people in the population (you know, religion). Republicans would like to get rid of the State Stores and it’s one of the few areas, perhaps the only area, of agreement I have with that hate-filled idiotic political party.

But I digress.

In recent years the State Stores have been trying to refurbish their image by referring to themselves as Fine Wine and Spirits Stores or something, but they’re still State Stores to me. Probably always will be, alas.

But I’m still digressing.

Anyway, seeing as the State Stores were having a problem getting good vermouth, I decided to explore alternative bourbon drinks.

First stop was the mint julep. Not bad, but it required a fair amount of advance setup, and I didn’t think the results were worth the trouble.

Then I saw a mention of the Pisco Sour on an episode of Murdoch Mysteries and decided to explore that exotic sounding drink.

Pisco (pronounced pēss’-cō) is a bourbon that’s claimed by both Peru and Chile, though I think Peru has the greater claim. And the Pisco Sour as it was described on that episode of Murdoch Mysteries, which took place in 1910, was anachronistic because the drink didn’t reach its current form until the 1920s. It’s made with Pisco, lemon or lime juice (I’ve seen it both ways), simple syrup, an egg white, and Angostura bitters.

Another trip to the State Store revealed that they don’t stock Pisco but I could special order it. No surprise. Perhaps I should just travel over the border to the land of New Jersey and see if the more enlightened liquor stores over there carry it. But then I’d have to rent a car. And drive it. [shudder]

Well, since Pisco is a type of bourbon, why not try it with Jack Daniels and see how I like it? Which is what I did. I decided to use lime juice, and as I didn’t want to be bothered making a syrup, no matter how simple, I substituted water and a tablespoon of sugar. Well, actually, not sugar. To keep the calories low, I used Truvia Sweet Complete Granulated Sweetener.


Here’s the recipe:

2 oz (60 ml) Pisco (or bourbon)
1 oz (30 ml) lime or lemon juice
2/3 oz (20 ml) simple syrup
1 egg white
Several drops Angostura bitters

Shake well with ice

Another benefit is that the egg white contributes to my daily protein intake.

So it’s a very healthful drink, all things considered.


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