Pisco is a complex spirit; as exciting as wine and as sophisticated as Cognac. Made with aromatic grapes, Pisco is essentially distilled wine, but unlike brandies there is no cask-ageing to give the sweetness and colouring.
Both Peru and Chile claim to be the original land of Pisco, with the rules of Pisco production varying between the two countries, but it's the Peruvian 'La Diablada' Pisco, made from a luxurious first pressing of Quebranta, Moscatel, Italia and Torontel grapes, that the team at Chotto Matte use to mix up their Pisco Sours.
A TWIST ON TRADITION
A straight-up Peruvian Pisco Sour cocktail uses 60ml Pisco, 30ml freshly squeezed lime juice, 15ml simple syrup and 1 egg white, shaken (or blended) together. The concoction is dry-shaken first (without ice), to ensure the egg white has properly emulsified, then shaken again with ice, strained into a glass, and topped with a dash of Angostura Bitters.
Which is all good and well, but the talented Bar Team at Chotto Matte like to mix things up slightly. The restaurant is famous for its innovative dishes that rely on a tasty infusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. Similarly, behind the Bar, the staff like to play with complementary ingredients to create delicious twists on classic serves. For London Pisco Sour Week, 6th - 13th February, the team were tasked with updating the Peruvian national cocktail in a competition that saw vigorous shaking, sabotage and an egg shell being set on fire...
A WINNING COMBINATION
First place was awarded to the enigmatic Marco, whose Pisco twist mixed 50ml La Diablada Pisco with 15ml of lime juice, 10ml lemongrass syrup, 5ml Kümmel (a sweet, colourless liqueur flavoured with caraway seed, cumin, and fennel), 20ml egg white and swapped the bitters for hibiscus tincture.
A close second, Eric's "Chotto Painappuru" (that's 'pineapple' in Japanese...) mixed 50ml La Diablada Pisco with 25ml of lime juice, 20ml homemade orgeat syrup, 30ml pineapple juice and 20ml egg white.
Both Marco and Eric's winning concoctions feature on Chotto Matte's Pisco Menu, available from Saturday 6th February for a month.
Mix up your own Pisco Sours at home: