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Knowing Pisco

This is the pisco sour, the national cocktail of Peru, and a strong candidate for world’s finest alcoholic beverage. It’s a sweet, sour, bracing mix of liquor, lime, sugar, and egg white, whipped into a milky, frothy frenzy, then splashed with bitters just before serving. It’s a whiskey sour gone rogue, a maverick margarita with the mouthfeel of crushed velvet and the bite of an angry bee.

This one comes from Ayahuasca Bar, more renovated mansion than cutty watering hole—fitting for the soft-lit streets of the polished Barranco district. The bartender who made this one pulled a pisco-pro move during its loving production: with the blender running at full speed, he dropped a spoon into the drink, splashed a bit across the back of his hand, and took a taste. Tweaking ensued: a touch more lime juice to balance out the sweetness, another slug of pisco because the two gringos at the bar had fire in their eyes.

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