Classic
Patrick Spears / Supercall

Pisco • Sour
Pisco Punch

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In the late 19th century, pisco was all the rage, especially in San Francisco. In the 1890s, bartender and bar owner Duncan Nicol first stirred up the zesty libation at the Bank Exchange (which was a bar, not a bank) in the city by the bay. When Prohibition hit, it killed pisco madness (not to mention the Bank Exchange). One of the last remaining relics of the golden era of pisco adoration, Pisco Punch is made with pisco (naturally), lemon juice and a pineapple gomme syrup (a pineapple simple syrup enriched with gum arabic). We’d say it’s potent, tangy and absolutely delicious, but we’ll never do better than Rudyard Kipling who, in his 1889 book, From Sea to Sea, wrote that the Pisco Punch was “compounded of the shavings of cherub wings, the glory of a tropical dawn, the red clouds of sunset and the fragments of lost epics by dead masters.” No need to show off, Rudyard.

The Essentials

Pisco
lemon juice
pineapple gomme syrup
The Details

Ingredients

1 750-mL bottle Pisco
8 oz water
9 oz lemon juice
9 oz pineapple gomme syrup
Pineapple wedges, for garnish

Method

  • Mix everything, save for the pineapple wedges, in a large pitcher and refrigerate until chilled (preferably overnight).
  • Pour into chilled coupes and garnish with pineapple wedges.
intermediate
Strength:
Pisco Dry Intermediate
Pisco Sour

Both Chile and Peru lay claim to pisco as their national spirit, and the battle for the unaged grape brandy has been raging for a very long time. Lest you think this is some cute little spat over national pride, View Recipe