pisco sour lima

The bar at Museo Del Pisco. (Photo: Adam Weintraub)


Where to Drink the National Drink of Peru: Pisco Sour

The “pisco sour”, universally served and celebrated on Lima’s first-rate gastronomy scene, is a blend of pisco liquor, Peruvian lime, cane syrup, Angostura bitters and egg whites.

The cocktail’s main ingredient, Peruvian pisco, is a type of brandy. The liquor is made by pisqueros in accordance with strict rules and regulations; just like tequila in Mexico or Champagne in France. Pisco can be made from eight varieties of grape and must be produced in one of Peru’s five designated regions. The pisqueros distill the liquor once and bottle it without adding water or sugar to dilute the alcohol, unlike many alcoholic drinks.

Although pisco has existed since the early seventeenth century, the iconic pisco sour was not invented until 1916. History has it that Victor Vaughen Morris, an American who had moved to Peru to work as a miner, opened a bar and replaced whisky with pisco. However, it was not until the end of the 1920s that Peruvian waiter Mario Bruiget created the modern pisco sour with the addition of Angostura and egg whites.

Thirsty visitors won’t have to look far for this emblematic drink as most bars and restaurants in Lima serve pisco sour. Where to start? Take a look at our list of some of the places you won’t want to miss.

Museo del Pisco

This is the place to go if you want a pisco experience. At the Museo del Pisco you can learn to make and drink a variety of pisco cocktails. Enjoy the classic pisco sour recipe or try other popular flavors: passion fruit, coca leaf, chili or strawberry, among others.

You can also treat your palate to a pisco tasting by ordering various types of pisco liquor. The Museo del Pisco also offers a delicious menu, including everything from tapas to desserts.

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Tapas and different flavored pisco sours at the Museo del Pisco. (Photo: Adam Weintraub)

Bar Piselli 1915

If you’re in the mood for the charm of the old world along with a reasonably-priced pisco sour, look no further than Bar Piselli. This authentic tavern has been serving traditional food and drinks for over 100 years and is still going strong. Come here for a refreshing drink and the historic ambiance.

Antigua Taberna Queirolo

The Queirolo family opened this tavern in 1880 to sell food, its pisco liquor and wine. Today, the Pisco Queirolo brand is one of Peru’s most popular, and the Tavern, or “El Queirolo”, is still a great place to enjoy a classic pisco sour and a little Peruvian history.

AmaZ Restaurante

AmaZ specializes in the Peruvian Amazon cuisine created by the chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino using ingredients from the jungle. As well as an extensive and unique menu, AmaZ also offers a pisco sour with an Amazon twist; the lime is replaced by Araza, a sour and flavorful native fruit, and it’s just as refreshing.

Cala Restaurante

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Excellent eats at Cala Restaurante (Photo: Cala Restaurante)

With one of the best views of Lima, Cala Restaurante is the perfect place to sip a pisco sour while you gaze at the sunset. With its elegant, aesthetically-pleasing location facing the beach, Cala serves Peruvian-Mediterranean cuisine and is also renowned for its creative bar menu. Get there early to get a front-row balcony seat and end the day drinking a pisco sour while enjoying views of the ocean and planning your next day in Lima.