One half of the team behind the blog 'In Pursuit of Adventure', Ashley Babin tells us where you can find the best and most atmospheric places to drink Peru's delicious national cocktail - the pisco sour.
The pisco sour is almost synonymous with Peru and its capital - Lima. It's their official national drink after all. You can find the pisco sour all across Lima from the high-end restaurants to the small old school bodegas. You will find yourself hard-pressed to choose the best place for this delicious concoction of pisco, lime, simple syrup and egg white. So instead, here are Ashley Babin's five favourites throughout Lima, all with a different ambience. Bottoms up!
1. The Heavyweight: Gran Bolívar
Location: Jirón de la Unión 958, Lima District
Located in the heart of the historical centre of Lima, the pisco sour here is the heavyweight of the group. While you can find regular sized pisco sours at this bar, this faded glory of a bar is known The Cathedral - a double pisco sour (and it certainly packs a punch). This guy is definitely the heavyweight in size but also in history. It is said that Hemingway spent a lot of time at the Gran Bolívar Hotel and its bar. Hemingway managed to down 8 Cathedrals in one sitting. Could you can do better than the heavyweight champ?
2. The Old School: Bodega Piselli
Location: 28 De Julio 297, Barranco
Bodega Piselli has been at the heart of the neighbourhood of Barranco since it opened in 1916. Bodega Piselli hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened and it still maintains its old school charm which draws locals and tourists alike in nightly. Bodega Piselli is always packed and busy serving up their house pisco sours. Served in small wine glasses these pisco sours may look tiny but they are nothing to smirk at. You might originally stop in for one or two, before ending up spending all night here, caught up in its infectious vibe.
3. The Best View: Cala
Location: Circuito de Playas, Barranco
The Pacific Ocean commands your attention when you are in Lima, especially as you walk the cliffs of Miraflores and Barranco. For the pisco sour with the best view you have to head to Cala right on the water. Grab a seat right above the water or on their patio and watch the sun set into the Pacific Ocean with a refreshing pisco sour. There is no better sunset partner than a pisco sour from Cala.
4. The Educational: Cafe Museo Larco
Location: Av. Simón Bolivar 1509, Pueblo Libre
There are several noteworthy museums in Lima but perhaps my favourite is the Museo Larco and they also happen to have one of the best pisco sours in the city. After an educational day at the museum head over to Cafe Museo Larco which was opened by Lima’s favourite chef, Gaston Acurio, and indulge in an Instagram worthy pisco sour. And don’t worry, these cocktails taste as good as they look!
5. The Classic: Antigua Taberna Queirolo
Location: Av San Martin 1090, Pueblo Libre
Antigua Taberna Queirolo was established in 1880 and was originally a small grocery store for the Queirolo family to sell small groceries, in addition to their wine and pisco which was made right next door. The Queirolo family today has one of the most recognised pisco and wine labels in the country and so it is no surprise that this is one the places to visit to try a pisco sour. Despite the Queirolo brand being recognisable across Peru, the Taberna is still a very local spot and has kept its historical feel. It is the spot to go for a classic pisco sour, great conversation and a classic Peruvian vibe!
Fun Fact: Antigua Taberna Queirolo was one of the first places to have a telephone in Peru!