Pisco Yerba Buena

Pisco Yerba Buena

Pisco Yerba Buena

Imagine that you are a mixologist in the late 1800’s and just sampled some of Duncan Nicol’s famous Pisco Punch at the Bank Exchange on Montgomery Street in San Francisco. You are inspired and want to create a Pisco cocktail that pays homage to the Pisco Punch and to San Francisco. But you want it to be different and meaningful. What ingredients would you use?

Maybe you find yourself walking near Mission Dolores and notice the plants growing in the area. You ask what they are and in Spanish a street merchant says “ah! es la yerba buena!” Then you remember that San Francisco was originally called Yerba Buena after this mint-like plant. So you forage a few leafs and quickly walk back home, stopping by the store to get some ice.

All the jars in your kitchenette are labeled, and you find the one with “pineapple syrup” made a few days ago. Then you chop the mint and slice some lemons, and start playing with the ratio of Pisco, syrup, and lemon juice, garnished with mint, while writing down notes in your mixology journal. A few drinks later, you smile and wonder if anyone else made this cocktail and cheer to them. And you wonder if they also called it the Pisco Yerba Buena.

  • 2 oz. Pisco
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 oz. pineapple syrup
  • 3 mint leafs
  • ice

Chop the mint and prepare the pineapple syrup. Mix the Pisco, juice of 1 lemon, pineapple syrup, and mint in a shaker. Add ice and shake for 1 minute. Serve strained in a coupe, but only strain the ice to allow the chopped mint to float on top.


1 serving.


To prepare the pineapple syrup, mix equal parts pineapple juice and sugar in a small saucepan, stir and bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool before using.