The story begins in the late 1800s, in the vibrant streets of Lima, Peru. It was here that a creative bartender named Victor Vaughen Morris, an American immigrant, opened a bar called Morris’ Bar. Victor had a knack for mixing drinks and wanted to create something truly special to tantalize his patrons’ taste buds.
Enter Pisco, the pride of Peru. This clear brandy made from distilled grapes had gained popularity in the region and had become a favorite among locals. Victor, inspired by the spirit’s smoothness and versatility, decided to combine it with other ingredients to create a cocktail that would captivate the senses.
One fateful evening, as Victor was experimenting behind the bar, he added fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and a touch of egg white to a generous pour of Pisco. He shook it vigorously, creating a frothy, citrus-infused masterpiece. The Pisco Sour was born.
Word of this delightful concoction quickly spread, and the Pisco Sour gained a loyal following. It became a symbol of Peruvian hospitality, a drink that embodied the zest for life and the vibrant culture of the country.
However, the story of the Pisco Sour doesn’t end there. Just across the border in Chile, a rivalry was brewing. Chile claimed Pisco as its own, arguing that it was their national spirit. As a result, a debate ensued over who had the right to claim ownership of the beloved cocktail.
Nevertheless, despite the spirited dispute, the Pisco Sour continued to be celebrated on both sides of the border.
Over time, the Pisco Sour transcended borders, captivating the hearts and palates of cocktail enthusiasts worldwide. It became a symbol of South American mixology, representing the rich cultural heritage and passionate spirit of the region.
In my opinion, I think the Peruvian version is better. The Pisco itself is just better quality, and after listening to people in both countries try to convince me that they were the country of origin, the Peruvian version really just sounds more convincing. Not just for the Pisco Sour, but for the spirit itself. The Chilean side always seems more informal, like they almost just stumbled upon the alcohol, whereas the Peruvian version has more detail and records to back it up. In Peru, the story goes that they had tried to grow grapes for wine but the warm climate produced grapes that were too big and sweet, and while the wine it produced didn’t turn out very good, the distilled spirit of Pisco was actually much better. But be sure to try a Peruvian Pisco Sour while in Peru, and a Chilean one while in Chile, to make your own opinion about which is best. Who knew research could be so much fun?