Macchu Pisco Sour contest, Peru’s best high!

It’s  Thursday, perfect time to have a cocktail to unwind and welcome the weekend in high spirits. Why not be adventurous and have a pisco drink for a change? A few weeks ago I was invited by my friend Melanie Asher to a pisco sour contest she organized here in Lima, and I have in my possession some of the tasty recipes to share with you. Award-winning pisco sour recipes delivered to you straight from Peru? You better not miss this!

Melanie is the biggest exporter of pisco in the country, and one of the most charming people I know.  She swears that her high end brand, Macchu Pisco, does not give you a hangover, no matter how much you may drink (I still have to try this). Our friendship has passed the test of time and distance, as has her bold and merry project of bringing our national drink to the rest of the world. What started as a Harvard MBA final assignment has now become a reality, and has helped establish this Brandy’s popularity around the world. Every time I travel I hear more and more people talking about this drink, I see it mentioned in more magazines and websites, offered in more bars and restaurants… The seeds have been planted, and she’s finally seeing the fruits of her hard work.

Seven of the best mixologists in the US were chosen by Melanie herself to fly to Lima last month and bravely try to impress a Peruvian jury of experts with their new and refreshing pisco sour ideas inspired by the 100 year celebration of Machu Picchu’s discovery. We were presented with all kinds of crazy mixes, from chicha morada, chilie peppers and quinoa, to sprayed gold, rosemary, and chocolate.

To be totally fair, I wouldn’t kick my man out of bed for drinking any of these seductive a.m. cocktails, but I do have to admit that my personal favorite was the Peachy Pachacuti, prepared by Thomas Waugh, from New York`s Death & Company, ranked #4 in a list of the 25 best bars in America by GQ magazine. The yogurt, peach purée and honey syrup he used instead of the traditional egg whites and sugar, gave it an unexpected creamy texture and fruity flavor, differentiating it from any other pisco sour I had tried before (and I have had my fair share!). It left me feeling nothing short of peachy.

The lucky winner, however, was the Chicha Fizz prepared by charming Spanish-speaking Zach Patterson, from LA’s STK. His chicha morada-flavoured cocktail, perfumed with cinnamon, clove and coconut, took the jury by storm, but unluckily it was the one drink I didn’t try! Good thing is, I have the recipe, and now you will too. Cheers to that, and to mid-week pisco sours!

*To prepare all the recipes below, simply follow the instructions of the basic pisco sour, replacing the ingredients accordingly. Professional bartenders make pisco sours in cocktail mixers, but you can just use the blender if you want.

URUBAMBA SOUR (By Jessica Maria, owner of Hotsy Totsy Club, San Francisco).

2.0 oz pisco

1.5 oz  mate de coca syrup

0.5oz  lime juice

1 oz egg white

Decoration: chicha morada syrup




CHICHA FIZZ (By Zach Patterson, from STK, Los Angeles).

2 oz pisco
1 egg white mixed with a dash cinnamon, clove and lime
0.5 oz lime juice
0.75 oz chicha morada syrup (pineapple, purple corn, cinnamon, clove, apple, light brown sugar)

Coconut juice and sweetened condensed milk
Egg white
Light brown sugar

INTI OFFERING (By Naomi Levy, from Eastern Standard, Boston).

3/4 oz pisco

1 egg white

1 oz chicha de jora syrup (chicha de jora, dried corn, sugar, water)

1/2 oz lime juice

 Xocolati mole bitters

Decoration:  cancha saladita (toasted dried corn with salt).


SPIRIT IN THE AMBER (By Wendie Hodges, The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas).

3 oz pisco with peach

1 oz lime juice

1 oz simple syrup with chili pepper and rosemary

1 oz egg white

Angostura bitters and peach

Decoration: peach and rosemary

EL TUSAN (By Clinton Terry, from PX @ Restaurant Eve, Alexandria).

1.5 oz pisco

2 oz citric mezcal (lime, tangerine, lemon and orange)

0.5 oz vinegar

Angostura bitters, keffir

Egg white

Cane juice

Presentation: ají amarillo and rocotto

PEACHY PACHACUTI (By Thomas Waugh, from Death & Company, New York).

2 oz. pisco
3 slices fresh peach, mashed
0.75 oz peach puree
1 teaspoon natural yogurt
1 teaspoon peach Brandy
1 oz lime juice
0.75 oz simple syrup (homemade)




CHICHA SOUR (By Jason Strich, from Rasika, DC)

1.5 oz pisco

2.5 oz fermented chicha (homemade)

0.5 oz lime juice

0.5 oz simple syrup with cinnamon and chili pepper

Angostura bitters

Egg white

Decoration: bitters and quinoa




  1. I want one of these!! Or 2 or 3!! 😛

  2. They all look great – this is torture by thirst. 😀

  3. I would get so drunk there! All look really delicious!

  4. What an amazing contest! Everything looks great, so hard to pick a favorite!

  5. I volunteer to be a judge next year!

Speak Your Mind