Casino Club Colonial visitors looking for an exotic mixed drink should consider the pisco sour. The Magnolia Restaurant deftly mixes this refreshing South American specialty, which is oddly absent from many U.S. bar menus.
A popular Peruvian variant of brandy, pisco is made from fermented grapes. Pisco, Peru, the pisco capital of the world, bottles this strong liquor, but cocktail connoisseurs all across Latin America enjoy the frothy, pleasantly tart pisco sour.
Although some experts argue about specifics, the drink usually contains the same basic ingredients–pisco, lime juice, a simple sugar syrup, egg whites and bitters. Bartenders whip together the first four ingredients until the egg whites get foamy. Then, they dot the top of the drink with the bitters. Some cocktail-makers substitute lemon juice–or a mixture of orange and lemon juice–for the traditional Peruvian lime juice, prompting outcries from purists, who argue that a true pisco sour must use only Peruvian limes. Fortunately, the Costa Rican lime is very similar to the Peruvian lime, so pisco sour-drinkers at the Club Colonial do not have to worry about inauthentic juice in their drinks. Controversy about the bitters also abounds. Peruvians make their pisco sour with their own traditional Amargo bitters, but some argue that Angostura bitters work just as well in the drink. The Club Colonial stays true to the original Peruvian recipe.
The resulting drink is slightly sweet and light, with pleasant citrus overtones. Despite its undeniable appeal, the pisco sour seems to have bypassed the trendy mixologists on the U.S. bar scene. An alarming number of bartenders seem not to know what a pisco sour is and not to know how to mix one.
However, bartenders at the Magnolia Restaurant understand the appeal of the pisco sour and know exactly how to make one. Casino Club Colonial-goers have the rare opportunity of trying this elusive specialty drink. Those looking for a true Latin American cocktail experience should request a pisco sour between turns at the gaming table.
Read about the award-winning Casanova cocktail at the Magnolia Restaurant.
Read more about the pisco sour.
Writing and editing by Beaumont Hardy Editing.