Celebrate the Chinese New Year with a cocktail inspired by the story of Chinese immigrants that arrived in Peru over 100 years ago. Presenting, the Tusan Pisco Sour, Pisco spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with a creamy coconut milk and ginger simple syrup — one sip and you’ll be shouting Gong Hey Fat Choy!
The first Chinese immigrants came from Macau and later from the Canton region of Southern China, and, once in Peru, they gave birth to the fusion of Chinese-Peruvian cuisine known as Chifa. But I wondered, what was the food in Macau like? What ingredients should I use in a cocktail that told their story? A brief culinary research showed that its cuisine is a blend of Cantonese and Portuguese cultures, with notable spices being turmeric, cinnamon, coconut milk, and ginger — and that was enough for me to start experimenting in my Pisco Lab.
First, the cinnamon. Stick or powder? Stick. Infused into an Acholado Pisco. Next, the ginger. Crushed or in the simple syrup? In the simple syrup, and lots of it. What about the coconut milk? Redo the simple syrup and use the coconut milk instead of water. Perfect. All that was remaining was to find the right proportion for the ingredients. Four variations later, I found the balance I was looking for. A creamy, sweet, and spicy sour named for the local-born “tusán” Chinese-Peruvian. Now I am ready to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
This Tusan Pisco Sour is dedicated to my friends at Trick Dog and their very creative Chinese take-out cocktail menu — cheers and Happy New Year!
- 2 oz. Encanto Pisco Acholado
- 1/2 oz. Pisco infused with cinnamon
- 1 oz. coconut milk and ginger simple syrup
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 1 egg white
- Angostura bitters
Combine the Pisco, syrup, lime juice, and egg white in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Served strained in a tumbler or two small coupes and garnish with a drop of Angostura bitters.
To make the Pisco infused with cinnamon, place 3 cinnamon sticks in a jar with 2 cups of Pisco and a pinch of sugar. Seal the jar, shake, and store for 36 hours. Strain before using the infused Pisco. The Pisco infused with cinnamon is very intense, so only a little is needed in a drink. To make the simple syrup, combine 1 cup of coconut milk with 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped fresh ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Steep for 10 minutes, strain into a jar and let cool before using.