Every first Saturday of February we celebrate the day of our flagship cocktail. Do you know how it was born and why it is so popular?
In 2021, Drinks International magazine -a global reference in the cocktail bar industry- chose the 50 best-selling classic cocktails worldwide. In the list, which included the favorite drinks in the best restaurants, hotels and bars on the planet, our Pisco Sour was present, bringing honor to Peru.
Once again, Pisco Sour proved to be the ambassador of our distillate in the world. Thanks to its incomparable flavor, aroma and personality, whether in the most exclusive menus or in the homes of Peruvians who have emigrated all over the planet, Pisco Sour breathes Peruvianness and represents us globally.
There is no doubt that such a high class cocktail deserves its own celebration. That is why Peruvians commemorate Pisco Sour Day every first Saturday of February. It is also considered Cultural Heritage of the Nation since 2007.
THE ORIGIN OF PISCO SOUR
According to the researcher of the Ministry of Culture, Cesar Coloma, our acclaimed drink was created in Lima at the beginning of the 20th century -it is estimated around 1920- by the British immigrant Victor V. Morris, owner of the Morris Bar, located in the old Calle Boza 847, in Jiron de la Union.
The first reference to Pisco Sour was found in the book Lima, la ciudad de los virreyes (Lima, the city of the viceroys), published in 1927 by Cipriano A. Laos. In the text appears an advertisement about the Morris Bar, which by then had become “famous for the exquisite preparation of its ‘pisco-sour’ and ‘whisky-sour,’ where genuine liquors are used.”
However, this is not the only version of its birth. A small catalog entitled Manual de cocina a la criolla (Manual of creole-style cuisine), edited by S.E. Ledesma and published in 1903, includes the recipe for a punch simply called “Cocktail.” This preparation is extremely similar to what we know today as Pisco Sour.
From the Morris Bar, the Pisco Sour made its way to the main hotels in Lima: the Maury Hotel, the Bolivar Hotel and the Country Club. It was on this path where the cocktail was perfected and the recipe we all know today was consolidated. Since then, it has managed to delight the palate of illustrious personalities such as John Wayne, Orson Welles, Walt Disney, Clark Gable and Ava Gardner.
According to researcher Guillermo Toro Lira, one of the main authors was bartender Mario Bruiget, a native of Chincha and apprentice of Victor Morris. When the Morris Bar closed its doors in 1929, Bruiget took the recipe to the Maury Hotel, where he continued working. Toro Lira even considers him as the co-author of the Pisco Sour.
After more than 100 years of history, the Pisco Sour continues to gain popularity and conquer the palates not only of Peruvians, but also of diners from all over the world. This Saturday, February 5, let’s celebrate with Pisco Sour and a lot of Peruvian pride. Cheers!