Few spirits that have the potential to incite the kind of heated debate that pisco, the South American unaged grape based brandy, is capable of. Should you ever have the misfortune of asking a Chilean and a Peruvian about the origins of pisco, you would quickly find yourself with no answer and in the middle of a discussion on the verge of fisticuffs. It would be safer to light up a smoke while filling up your car with gas.
Both countries proudly claim pisco as a national invention and the Pisco Sour as the national drink (oddly a drink invented by an American, Victor Vaughn Morris in Lima, Peru). At Cantina, bar manager Shaher Misif is doing his part to unify the divide with cocktails.
See also: Comstock Saloon's Pisco Punch
The Viceroy ($12, Campo de Encanto Pisco, Kappa Pisco, lemon, lime, egg white, bitters) utilizes pisco from both countries in a drink that is based on the common love both countries have for the Pisco Sour. Misif describes the drink as, "a cocktail that unites both countries into sour goodness, to promote the word of Pisco together."
The drink is silky and nicely balances the tart and sweet, and not quite as "eggy" or drying as the Pisco Sour can be. The combination of the piscos works well two, accentuating the citrus that at first had me wondering if there was orange in there too (there isn't). While the Viceroy may not settle the dispute of pisco's orgins, it may finally get the two countries to agree on one thing: this drink is delicious.
1 part Encanto (Peruvian) Pisco
1 part Kappa (Chilean) Pisco
1 part sugar syrup (1:1, equal parts sugar and water)
½ part Lemon juice
½ part Lime juice
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake hard for seven seconds and strain into a champagne flute. Garnish by drizzling a marriage of bitters (Peychaud's and Angostura) on the foam.
Cantina, 580 Sutter (at Mason), 398-0195