If you are a cocktail enthusiast (which you must be if you’re hanging around here, right?) you’ve probably at least heard of that classic drink, the Pisco Sour. You may have even browsed the recipe, thinking it was something you’d like to try, only to pull up sort when you saw it requires a raw egg white.
Before you think me cavalier on the subject, I consider food-born illness pretty high on the list of things to avoid. Memories of my Safety & Sanitation class are still vividly imprinted on my brain, even though it’s been almost 15 years! Salmonella is the bacterial baddie that could be in a raw egg, but the chances of that happening with a properly processed and stored egg is about 1 in 20,000 or 30,000. Hence, I have no issue at all eating the occasional raw egg white.
Granted, it’s usually in something like Caesar dressing, mayonnaise, or the occasional scoop of raw cookie dough (quality control, I assure you), but shaking one into a cocktail isn’t really that alien of a concept to me.
But plenty of classic cocktails make use of an egg white, what else is it about the Pisco Sour that makes it one of those drinks so many of the cocktail curious set skip?
Namely, the Pisco.
What is it and, more importantly, what does it taste like?
Pisco is a grape-based brandy from Peru or Chile, possibly named for the port city of the former. I was fortunate enough to receive a bottle of KAPPA Pisco from the same house that makes the fabulous Grand Marnier, Marnier-Lapostolle.
Before I get into tasting notes, can we just take a moment to admire that gorgeous bottle?! I fully admit that I’ve been known to purchase spirits for the beauty of the bottle alone, and this one is just a feast for the eyes. Apparently it’s designed by Ora-ItoÂ (I might just have a new design crush) and at first I though the silvery sides were mirrored or some trick of a bottle within a bottle–then I realize it was just sections of clear glass letting the clear, crisp liquor shine through. It’s still a sexy as hell bottle.
When I opened said bottle I was reminded of tequila–that warm, enveloping sense of comfort that tequila evoke–but the taste is nothing like tequila. I found KAPPA Pisco both sweet and tart with a decided flavor of rosewater, like the perfumed French candies from the import stores. Todd found the flavors way too strong on its own, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how palatable it was neat.
Of course I had to try the classic sour with the KAPPA twist:
2 oz KAPPA Pisco
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 egg white
Combine KAPPA Pisco and rest of the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice.Â Shake vigorously and strain into a small champagne flute.Â Top with tree drops, or half dashes, of Angostura bitters (to create the shape of the Southern Cross).
And how was it?
Amazing. The lemon juice amplifies the refreshing tartness of the KAPPA and the heady floral notes are toned down–though whether from the additional citrus or the egg white I’m not sure. As for the egg white, shaking it creates a head for the cocktail somewhere between a beer’s foam and aÂ meringue and the texture it adds to the cocktail is just wonderful. Overall, the KAPPA Sour might just become my new favorite summer cocktail!
I received a bottle of KAPPA Pisco for purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own.