Thursday, September 1, 2011


Never do I drink pisco sours more often than when in Vermont. That's because my dear friend Gabriel flies up from Santiago to teach at the Shakespeare camp I work at each year, and when he visits, he usually brings more pisco than clothing.

Gabriel's typical cocktail is a marriage of pisco, which is essentially a South American brandy, lemon juice, egg whites, sugar, ginger, ice and cinnamon. See below for the recipe, in Spanglish. However this summer we'd run out of lemons.

As they do each year, the Dunbar family had sent us a generous donation of red currants from their prolific bushes, a selection from which is pictured here against the evening sky at their dairy farm.

It seemed obvious, really. Gabbo set to work adjusting his recipe.


The currants were just as sour as the lemons but far more astringent, which I really liked, and instead of just using their juice, Gabbo blended them whole, making a sort of alcoholic smoothie. The nadir of each glass held a reservoir of crunchy little currant seeds.

If we'd had more lemons, we wouldn't have hit on the world's first -- and hopefully not last -- batch of red currant pisco sours. And that enforces one of my absolute favorite maxims when it comes to preparing eat and drink: because that's what we had.

Gabriel's Pisco Sour Recipe:

"Es muuuuuuuuuy fácil."

Obviusly, the amounts of pisco depends on the strength of it. You can add more if you want it more "dangerous."

In a blender put una parte de limón (ojalá lime) por dos de pisco... add sugar, but not too much, because it's a sour cocktail... (if you have "azucar flor," wich is sugar made powder, it's better) If you need more sweeterness, just add more after you tried it.

Add enough ice cubes and a small spoon of the white part part of an egg. Then mix it. Try it and see if it's good for you. Remember you can add some gratined ginger.

If it's good, serve it in a long neck cup. Spread a little amount of cinnamon and just before drink, some drops of Amargo de Angostura.

Pisco Sour is very good as an aperitive... that's why you gotta be careful with sugar. Hope it'll be delicious!!!!!

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