This Blood Orange Pisco Sour combines the gorgeous red juice and distinct raspberry-citrus flavor of the blood orange with pisco and egg white in a beautiful pisco sour variant! Finish with a shake or two of orange bitters, and a slice or a twist or blood orange. Qué rico!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
You've got to grab 'em and enjoy them while you can! The elusive blood orange may make a brief appearance at your local market December through May; I typically start seeing them in mid-January, and they don't hang out long. Really, I'm attempting to excuse the fact that you're getting 3 recipes that include blood oranges in just a couple of weeks. 😀
I started out with the Pressure Cooker Pork Roast With Blood Oranges, followed with a sweet Valentine's Day treat Chocolate Dipped Candied Blood Oranges (wow, are they good!). Lastly, I've brought you this pretty Blood Orange Pisco Sour... I'll give you a break until this time next year. Maybe.
I am not one to write recipes for authentic or classic food and drink. I am quick to point out I love to "play" with my food, and develop new flavor combinations. Playing with cocktails is also fun. 😀 When I started thinking about my next cocktail recipe, it occurred to me that pisco doesn't find its way into all that many cocktail recipes, and it might be fun to give it a whirl. Blood oranges are in season. Bam. A pretty pink cocktail just in time for Valentine's Day!
🍾 About Pisco
Have you heard of pisco? If so, have you tried it? I would venture to guess that if you have experienced pisco, it was in the form of a pisco sour?
Pisco - a colorless to pale amber colored brandy - is produced in the wine making regions of Peru. Chileans may lay claim to pisco, but their standards of production do not measure up to Peruvian pisco. We're sticking with Peru! See Pisco: A Complete Guide to the Brandy from South America for more information!
The most familiar pisco cocktail is arguably the pisco sour - a lovely, tart cocktail made with fresh lime juice, simple syrup, bitters, egg white, and of course, pisco. We were introduced to the pisco sour by my husband's colleague Robert Bradley (Art History professor with extensive study in Peru) and his Peruvian wife Sirena. We are hooked!
2021 update - Since the Bradleys introduced us to pisco, we've spent extensive time in Peru, and I've learned a true appreciation for this spirit, and I've played with more cocktails.
🍸 Beyond Mere Sustenance Pisco Cocktails
- Chicha Morada and Pisco Cocktail
- Plum Pisco Sour Variant
- Pisco Lemonade with Lemongrass and Mint
- Star Anise Chilcano Variant
- Chilcano de Maracuya (Passionfruit)
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- blood orange juice - If you can't get blood oranges, you can substitute cara cara oranges or any other variety. Keep in mind, though, the color will be different. You may wish to strain it as the pulp can clog the cocktail shaker.
- pisco - Use Peruvian pisco if you want a true "pisco experience!" Pisco Portón is a fairly common brand in the US.
- bitters - I keep several kinds in my bar stock, but orange bitters are my favorite in blood orange pisco sours. Aromatic (Angostura) bitters are typical in pisco sours, and another good option.
- egg whites - 1 per cocktail!
- garnish - A blood orange slice or twist of peel is perfect.
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- Prepare - Gather ingredients, equipment, squeeze the orange(s), separate the egg(s).
- Dry shake the cocktail ingredients - To a cocktail shaker, add the blood orange juice, pisco, and egg white (no ice) to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously 30-60 seconds.
- Wet shake the cocktail - Add ice to the cocktail shaker. Shake an additional 30-60 seconds
- Finish the cocktail - Strain into cocktail glasses. Shake a few drops of bitters. Garnish with a slice or orange or a twist of orange peel. Enjoy!
What is "dry" shake versus "wet" shake, and why? We've done both at Andersen casa, and my husband and I (and his Inca expert colleague) agree the end result is better with a "dry" shake. It seems to better emulsify the egg white, yielding a creamier mouth feel. Yes, the ingredients are liquids, but "dry" refers to room temperature without ice. We start with a dry shake, and follow with ice and a "wet" shake. Read more about Wet Shaking Vs Dry Shaking.
Why is there no simple syrup or sweetener? A traditional pisco sour with fresh key lime juice needs the simple syrup to offset the acidity of the lime juice. With blood orange juice, this ingredient is unnecessary IMHO. I definitely do NOT have a sweet tooth, and prefer alcoholic beverages not sweet. If you think you may be disappointed, feel free to add a bit of simple syrup or honey.
Need more information on shaking a cocktail? See Spruce Eats How to Shake Cocktails.
What can I substitute for blood oranges? If you can't get blood oranges, you can substitute cara cara oranges, or any other variety. Keep in mind, though, the color will be lighter. You might also try maracuya (passionfruit). You can use either fresh or frozen pulp in the same quantity. You may want a bar spoon of simple syrup or honey as it tends to be fairly tart.
Don't skimp on the bitters. Bitters add so much flavor and complexity to your cocktails!
Note: This post originated in early 2017 before our first trip to Peru, and we knew next to nothing about pisco sours. My earlier version - a blood orange pisco cocktail - showed the pisco and blood orange juice topped with a firmer egg white top (almost to a meringue consistency). I then garnished with a candied orange slice (see photo at the end of the post). We really liked it, but it did not represent a pisco sour. 4 years later, I've updated the post, and we're really happy with the results!
Blood oranges are only available seasonally in the Northern Hemisphere early winter through spring. As one who tries to practice sustainability, I try to avoid produce transported great distances (like the Southern Hemisphere). We enjoy them while we can! Cheers!