This simple pisco cocktail is the perfect blend of fall flavors! Fresh lime juice and muddled pear emphasize the clean, fruity flavor of pisco, while a ginger honey syrup adds sweetness and spice.
What is pisco?
Pisco is a type of brandy made from grapes in the countries of Chile, Peru, and Ecuador. Both Chile and Peru claim to have first invented pisco, and it’s the national liquor of both countries.
The Pisco Sour is one of the best known classic pisco cocktails and it reportedly originated in Lima, Peru in the early 1900s. An American bartender named Victor Morris created the drink as a pisco version of a whiskey sour, including the fluffy egg white froth and a garnish of aromatic bitters on top.
Most classic sour-style cocktails are made with egg whites, which softens the sharpness of the citrus juices and the alcohol. It’s also possible to use vegan alternatives such as aquafaba, or skip the foam completely and enjoy a sour with brighter, bolder, edgier flavors.
Because we’re muddling fresh fruit into this Pisco Sour, I’ve skipped the egg whites. Egg whites tend to not froth very well when there are particles in the cocktail shaker.
About Catan Pisco
I used Catan Pisco for this recipe. Catan is a woman-owned business, founded by Chilean-American Catalina Gaete in 2018. Notably, Catan is the first American pisco brand in the US and also the first female-owned pisco brand in Chile.
Catan Pisco is made with 100% Pedro Ximenez grapes in Ovalle, Chile. These hand-picked grapes are organic and certified fair trade. Catan has a fruit-forward flavor with notes of peach, citrus, and magnolia.
- Ripe pears
- Fresh lime juice
- Ginger honey syrup (recipe below)
The best pears to muddle
There are many different types of pears, some sweeter or juicier than others. I recommend using very ripe Bartlett or Bosc pears for this recipe. Comice pears are also a great option, if you can find them. Skip the mild-tasting varieties like Anjou and Asian pears. Their flavor is easily eclipsed by the pisco and ginger.
How to make the honey ginger syrup
Honey ginger syrup is a welcome addition to many autumn cocktails. It’s used in the wintery modern classic the Penicillin, and it kicks simple cocktails like a Gold Rush or Tom Collins up a notch. It’s sweet, spicy, and a little floral, with a caramel note that works beautifully with ripe pear and fresh lime.
To make the syrup, you can use fresh ginger or ginger juice. I love the ginger juice from The Ginger People and it’s easy to find at grocery stores like Whole Foods or on Amazon. It makes adding ginger flavor super quick – no long cooking and cooling time required.
If using fresh ginger root, you’ll need a couple of pieces about the size of your thumb. Peel the ginger and roughly chop it. This will help extract more flavor more quickly. Combine a half cup each water and wildflower honey in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir frequently until the honey is fully dissolved, then bring the mixture to a boil. Add the chopped ginger and reduce to a simmer. Let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat. Allow the syrup to cool fully before straining out the solids.
If using fresh ginger juice (recommended), combine 2 tablespoons of the juice with a half cup each of warm water (does not need to be boiling) and wildflower honey. Stir until the honey has dissolved and the ginger juice is fully incorporated.
Store your ginger honey syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Add an ounce of vodka or grain alcohol to help the syrup last longer.
How to garnish with pear
You can garnish with a pear slice placed on the rim of the glass or a fancy pear fan like I used here. Learn how to make apple and pear fans in my 5 Easy (and Beautiful) Cocktail Garnishes tutorial.
You may also enjoy these other fall cocktails:
- 8 Cocktails to Make You Fall in Love with Fall!
- First Frost (Rum and Green Chartreuse) Cocktail
- Calvados Jack Rose
- Blood Orange Turmeric Collins
Pear Ginger Pisco Sour
- 2 oz Catan Pisco
- ¾ oz lime juice
- ¾ oz ginger honey syrup (recipe below)
- ¼ Bartlett pear, chopped or sliced
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle the pear with the lime juice.
- Add the pisco and ginger honey syrup and fill the shaker about 3/4 with ice.
- Shake until chilled, then fine strain the liquid into a Nick and Nora glass.
- Garnish with a pear fan.
Ginger Honey Syrup (2 ways)If using fresh ginger root, you’ll need a couple of pieces about the size of your thumb. Peel the ginger and roughly chop it. This will help extract more flavor more quickly. Combine a half cup each water and wildflower honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the honey is fully dissolved, then bring the mixture to a boil. Add the chopped ginger and reduce to a simmer. Let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat. Allow the syrup to cool fully before straining out the solids. Ingredients:
- 2 chunks of fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup wildflower honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons ginger juice
- 1/2 cup wildflower honey
- 1/2 cup warm water