Goodbye San Francisco, but first, how about a drink? (Pisco Sour)


Sometimes I have to work for it. Other times a recipe comes to me as easily as seeing writing on a wall. In the case of the classic Pisco Sour Cocktail, it literally did.

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No really… the recipe was posted on the wall of the San Francisco-based Peruvian restaurant, Mochica. I asked our server for a few points of clarification, but otherwise the recipe spoke for itself.

Pisco, the national spirit of Peru, is a grape-based brandy. Not your grandmother’s brandy, mind you. Used in a Pisco Sour Cocktail, and with the addition of fresh lemon juice, it tastes mostly of citrus. The recipe as stated uses cinnamon, but our server used freshly grated nutmeg, which, when inhaled with the lemon is a heady, aromatic combination you wouldn’t mind bathing in.

Mochica Peruvian Kitchen and Bar: 1469 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Mochica was one of the last restaurants I experienced before moving from San Francisco to Lucca, Italy. Friends Quentin and Kirk brought Tom and I to try their old neighborhood Peruvian gem. The seafood-forward restaurant was fantastic, but it was the Pisco Sour that got me flying. (Don’t have one on an empty stomach).  Cheers!



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Goodbye San Francisco, Hello Pisco Sour!

  • Servings: 2, scales well
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 2-parts Peruvian pisco
  • 1-part freshly squeezed lemon (or lime if you prefer) juice
  • 1-part simple syrup
    • Simple syrup is 1-part sugar to 2-parts water, boiled, then cooled. For example, 1 cup sugar plus 2 cups water, etc. Store extra syrup refrigerated in an air tight container for up to two weeks
  • 1/2 a large egg white (beat with a fork to loosen it so that you can easily divide it in half. Or double the recipe and make it easier on yourself! I’m not concerned about consuming the raw egg white because I feel that the alcohol and lemon juice will adequately “cook” it. However, if you have concerns, many grocery stores sell cartons of pasteurized egg whites.)
  • Freshly grated cinnamon of nutmeg to taste – or – a few drops of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 cup ice


  1. Combine all ingredients except cinnamon, nutmeg, or bitters into a blender or cocktail shaker
  2. If using blender, blend on high until egg whites are foamy. If using cocktail shaker, shake vigorously for 60 seconds
  3. Strain and pour into glasses
  4. Grate cinnamon or nutmeg to taste, or place a few drops of bitters on top of each drink

Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

5 thoughts

  1. Glad we had the chance to share our favorite restaurant with you guys before you struck out on your new adventure. Looking forward to sharing a pitcher of Pisco Sour when next we see you guys in Lucca. Cheers -Q


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