Amaru, a cosmopolitan Pisco Bar

The first thing that caught our attention as we entered Amaru, was the stunning collection of macerados (macerations), decorating the bar next to a surprising number of Pisco bottles. Dried and fresh fruits, herbs, chili peppers, and even honeycombs, were colorfully soaked in plus-sized jars of Pisco, ready to be part of some original cocktail.

One year after its opening, this Pisco bar, which is the first of it’s kind in New York City, is one of the favorite spots for Peruvians, but also for people of many other nationalities. The place is nice, and its minimalistic style unexpected. No signs of ethnicity are visible, only a small T-shirt with the colors of our flag adorn the wall.

As Rodolfo Mayor, one of the owners, tells us, before opening the bar he and his partners travelled to Lima and tried every Pisco Sour in town, looking for the best one. This experience gave them a much clearer idea of what kind of drinks they wanted to offer in Amaru, and the result has been even better than they expected.

The bartenders of Amaru are constantly creating different drinks with beautiful presentations and original flavors, to show how versatile this distillate can be. In the long Pisco menu, one can find things such as Peruvian Kiss, made with house-made chicha morada (purple corn beverage) and pineapple; a Coca Sour, made with coca liquor and orange bitters; or Ichicgo Pisco, made with Tyku Soju-cured strawberries and cava. The Alturas has prickly pear puree and aloe vera, and the refreshing Callao Long is made with ginger and watermelon. We were conservative on our visit, and stuck to the classics: the timeless Pisco Sour, and a Maracuyá Sour (passion fruit sour), with a milder passion fruit flavor than the ones served in Peru, but still bursting in color and sweet aroma. It was garnished with a pretty fuchsia orchid, which made it all the more fun to drink.

If one wants some food to buffer the effects of the deceptively sweet Pisco drinks, the bar also offers a varied menu of tempting bites of Peruvian and Spanish flavors. Among the typical Peruvian salchipapas (Spanish chorizo and french fries), empanadas filled with lomo saltado or aji de gallina, anticuchos, and cebiches, one can find a Spanish cheese and ham board, or gambas al ajillo, a staple in the Iberian country, but made with…what else?…Pisco!


  1. I will have to visit the next time I am in New York.

  2. Ooooooooooo! What a cool idea!! Jackson Heights has some really cool and seriously underrated restaurants. Incidentally, you just made me remember that I once ate at a Peruvian restaurant on Restaurant Row in Manhattan. One of the tastiest meals I ever had. Thank you for the heads up. I get over the J.H. about 4 times a year… so now I have a new reason for going.

  3. que rico! Pisco sour you say I will definitely try next time!

  4. I’ll be in NY in a few weeks so I’ll bookmark this spot as a must visit. I had a decent pisco last week in DC, at a Cuban restaurant… I still want one made by YOU! 🙂

  5. You never cease to amaze my mujer! This is yet another goodie that I haven’t tried but that look absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  6. The drinks looks amazing and the place is gorgeous. May have to check it out!

  7. Too bad I don’t live in NY! 🙁 As always, love you photos…

  8. I love the pisco bottles, yum!! great place. thank you for sharing!

  9. I’ve been there, the best Pisco Cocktails, I tried few small shots of Piscos before I was ready to order a Cocktail, and I Love PISCO100, very smooth, and the aroma I love it, so I decide to order Alturas Cocktail which they make with Pisco100…I definetaly recommend this place, great music too..

  10. Wonderful! I cannot wait to check this place out the next time I’m in the city. Cheers!!

  11. You and I have switched places! I moved from NYC to Lima in January. I’ve enjoyed getting additional insight to Peruvian dishes from your website as I’m trying to develop my own Peruvian cooking repetoire. Thanks!

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