Cocktails 101: Prickly Pear Pisco

Prickly Pear Pisco

Prickly Pear Pisco

After a conversation about Pisco cocktails with a friend who recently celebrated her birthday, I was inspired to make a new Pisco cocktail and name it after her. The possible permutations and combinations for a cocktail are of course endless. And that’s what makes mixology so fascinating. But my style is to make recipes accessible and to focus on simple ingredients and techniques.

With that in mind, I poured over Pisco cocktail recipes in my library, until I found one in Gregory Dicum’s The Pisco Book — a Pisco cocktail made with sorbet. Sorbet? Yes, sorbet. It made perfect sense! It’s frozen. It’s fruity. It’s colorful. And it’s sweet. Must try. So I made my way to the frozen food section in the supermarket and stood in front of a wall of sorbet and ice cream containers — so many flavors, so little time.

I picked 3 flavors, and the recipe here uses the prickly pear. Since it’s already frozen, we don’t need to add ice cubes. And since it’s sweet, no need for simple syrup either. After playing with the ratio of Pisco to sorbet, I settled on a balanced 1 to 1 ratio. To round off the cocktail and give it some body, I added sparkling lime water. And the final touch was a mint leaf garnish. Presenting, The Evita.

  • 2 oz. Pisco
  • 2 oz. prickly pear sorbet
  • 2 oz. chilled sparkling lime water

Mix the Pisco and sorbet in a shaker and shake until sorbet is dissolved. Serve in a 4 oz. cocktail glass and top off with 2 oz. chilled sparkling lime water. Garnish with a mint leaf.


A single 4 oz. serving


The sorbet will dissolve in the Pisco so even though the initial measure is for 2 oz. sorbet, the final cocktail is only 4 oz. where about half of that is Pisco and sorbet and the other half is the sparkling water.