So far, February has had weekly celebrations that have inspired new cocktails and recipes on Pisco Trail. First, we had National Pisco Sour Day and the Habanero Pisco Sour. Then, Chinese New Year and the Arroz Chaufa, or Chinese-Peruvian Fried Rice. This week, we have Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras? Why am I writing about Mardi Gras? Simple, I love New Orleans. Its food traditions are very similar to Peru’s in many ways. Beginning with a shared history as Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas, they both resulted in a mixture of Spanish, European, Creole, and indigenous cultures. And while my friends in NOLA were celebrating Mardi Gras, I toasted to the occasion with a Mardi Gras Pisco Sour.
The unique flavor in this cocktail comes from the chicory infused simple syrup, which I made to pay homage to the tradition of chicory flavored coffee in NOLA, made famous by Cafe du Monde. The bourbon and sweet vermouth are a nod to the Vieux Carre, while the Pisco and lime give it the Peruvian touch. And the chocolate bitters? They represent the chocolate coins that are now popular during Mardi Gras. Thick, creamy, flavorful, and dark, this cocktail may be reminiscent of a Cafe au Lait, but somehow it reminds me of drinking hot chocolate with beignets at midnight at Cafe du Monde. In order words, drinking it slow, and when you are done, using whatever you can to scoop all the foam from the bottom of the glass.
Laissez les bons temps rouler avec le Mardi Gras Pisco Sour!
- 1 oz. Pisco
- 1 oz. bourbon
- 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
- 1/2 oz. coffee
- 1/2 lime
- 1 oz. chicory infused simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- chocolate bitters
Mix the Pisco, bourbon, sweet vermouth, coffee, juice of 1/2 lime, chicory infused simple syrup, and egg white in a shaker. Add ice and shake for 1 minute to create a thick egg white foam. Serve strained in a Old-Fashioned tumbler, and garnish with 3 dashes of chocolate bitters.
To make the chicory infused simple syrup, add 1 teaspoon dried chicory root to a saucepan with 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, stir, and simmer until the sugar dissolves completely. Strain into a mason jar using a cheesecloth and let the chicory infused simple syrup cool before using. Note that this simple syrup uses more sugar then usual in order to balance all the ingredients in this cocktail. For the coffee in this cocktail, I used dark roast Peruvian coffee beans and a French press.