How to Make an Angostura-Scorched Pisco Sour

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I’m a big fan of Jamie Boudreau’s website Spirits and Cocktails. The writing is engaging, the photography is brilliant, and his techniques push the boundaries of mixology. So when I read about how Jamie would brulée brandied cherries with a Misto filled with 151-proof rum and Angostura bitters, I was inspired.

And I immediately thought: this sounds like a perfect treatment for the Pisco Sour.

You see, a Pisco Sour is made with egg white, and shaking the hell out of the drink creates a thick, foamy head on the cocktail. And while the traditional garnish for a Pisco Sour is a couple of drops of bitters in the foam, but I’ve never been particularly impressed with the way these few paltry drops of bitters sat in their little egg-white mattress and didn’t play along with the rest of the drink.

So when I read about Jamie taking the old Angostura flamethrower to his drinks, I envisioned a Pisco Sour with a uniformly-distributed bitters-scorched foam: slightly crisp as the fire burnt the sugars, and slightly warm as the foam insulated the rest of the frosty cocktail from the heat. A pisco creme brulée in a glass!

Although I had some great test-runs with the 151, I was missing the intensity I was looking for. Jamie wrote and suggested I try Stroh 80, which is 160-proof rum that has a distinct aroma of butterscotch and packs a wallop of alcoholic punch which is well-suited to lighting things on fire (thanks, Jamie!)

Anyway, I won’t bother you with a Pisco Sour recipe at this time, especially since so many others have written about such matters more eloquently than I could hope to do. What I’m going to do is show you how I scorch my Pisco Sour foam. And yes, this is on the menu at El Vaquero.

First off, grab yourself a Misto. You can find them just about anywhere you find kitchen supplies. And don’t get the vermouth sprayer, get yourself the Big Boy.

Next, fill your Misto with two ounces of Angostura bitters and two ounces of Stroh 80 rum. Cap your Misto and shake to mix the two ingredients. Pump your sprayer full of air and get ready to get pyrotechnic.

** Disclaimer: You’re about to spray a stream of flammable liquid toward an open flame. Be careful, and don’t point it at anyone or anything other than the cocktail. You could seriously harm yourself or others, so don’t be a dick.

Light a match or strike up a lighter about 4 inches from the top of your already-prepared Pisco Sour. Carefully spray your Misto toward the drink, through the open flame, burning the top of the drink. Here, watch this (sorry, video was taken down)

When you’re done, the foam should look something like this:


The fire will really open up the aromatics in the Anogstura, and when served immediately, the foam will be a real treat for the senses. It’s been a big hit at the bar these past few weeks, so grab a Misto and try it for yourself!

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