Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Something for the Weekend: The perfect pisco sour

By Fritz Hahn

Rasika bartender Jason Strich holds his Chi Cha Sour, which won the top prize at the Peruvian Embassy's pisco sour competition. (Photo by Mauricio Cuevas)

On Saturday, 10 area bars and restaurants are shaking up creative takes on the pisco sour, Peru's national drink, and offering them at special prices. There are two reasons to celebrate: The first Saturday in February is Pisco Sour Day in Peru, and this weekend is the 100th anniversary of American archeologist Hiram Bingham's first visit of the ruins of Machu Picchu, which he dubbed "The Lost City of the Incas."

A dozen mixologists debuted their new cocktails for judges and diplomats at the Embassy of Peru last night in a contest sponsored by the embassy and the Bethesda-based Macchu Pisco liqueur, and I went to help sample them.


It's hard to top the smooth, easy-sipping pisco sour -- a clear grape brandy shaken with egg whites, lemons, simple syrup and bitters -- but last night's contestants came up with some innovative variations. The grand prize went to Jason Strich of Rasika, whose Chi-Cha Sour had a base of chi-cha, a traditional Andean beverage made with fermented corn, and was topped with roasted quinoa seeds. Their crunchy taste and smoky flavor combined well with the sweet, citrusy cocktail. (Strich is currently producing more chi-cha, which several days to ferment, so his drink won't be available at Rasika's bar until next week.)

I was also impressed by the Tusán from Clinton Terry of PX and Restaurant Eve, which got its smooth, fruity body from roasted meyer lemons and sweet agave nectar. The kicker, though, was the Peruvian chili pepper reduction topping the drink. Its warm, lingering heat numbs the lips but you can still taste the fresh egg and sugar. Terry took home the prize for the most creative cocktail.

The pisco concoctions ran the gamut of influences and ingredients: the Majestic's thick, spicy Punjabi Sour used carrot juice and pungent garam masala; Agwa, a liqueur made from coca leaves, added an extra sweetness to the Picchu Chasqui from Dirty Martini; and the Gaucho Pisco, available at all locations of Chef Geoff's, had earthy, grassy notes from South American yerba mate tea and aloe vera juice.

The special prices are only for Saturday, Pisco Sour Day, but the drinks will be on menus throughout February. Try them out at the other participating bars, including Mio, Ceiba, Blue Duck Tavern, Policy and Founding Farmers.

By Fritz Hahn  | February 4, 2011; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Restaurants  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Food in photos: Bayou Bakery
Next: DC Meat-Free Week kicks off Monday

 
Search Going Out Guide for More Events

By Keyword

Comments

"and the Bethesda-based Macchu Pisco liqueur, and I went to help sample them."

Fritz - I'm pretty sure pisco is not a liqueur, but a brandy.

Posted by: jj11232 | February 4, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"and the Bethesda-based Macchu Pisco liqueur, and I went to help sample them."

Fritz - I'm pretty sure pisco is not a liqueur, but a brandy.

Posted by: jj11232 | February 4, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"and the Bethesda-based Macchu Pisco liqueur, and I went to help sample them."

Fritz - I'm pretty sure pisco is not a liqueur, but a brandy.

Posted by: jj11232 | February 4, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company