What Cheese Pairs Best with a Pisco Sour Cocktail?

Quick take: pair a Pisco Sour cocktail with a young Crottin de Chavignol

We love a Crottin de Chavignol with a classic Peruvian Pisco Sour cocktail

In our cheese + cocktail pairing project, I combine my cocktail know-how with the encyclopedic cheese knowledge of Jennifer Greco of Chez Loulou for a series of classic cocktail and cheese pairings.

I just got back from Peru, so a pisco sour seemed like a good cocktail to tackle next.  And with Spring (hopefully!) just around the corner it’ll help you transition from winter weather to sunnier skies!

March Pairing: Pisco Sour Cocktail with a young Crottin de Chavignol

In Peru the Pisco Sour cocktails were mostly blended with ice (and tasty!)

Notes, discoveries and tips worth sharing:

-Season matters when it comes to cheese. In the case the Crottin de Chavignol was a bit more funky and meaty, possibly because it’s winter time. And that played well with the citrus in the drink.

-Both Chile and Peru claim the Pisco Sour as a national drink, though the recipes vary slightly. We went with the Chilean version which includes an egg white and is often, these days, blended with ice.

-We also tried the Difford’s version of the Pisco sour which is served up rather than blended and includes a touch of orange blossom water. While this was interesting and worked better with the Buchette cendrée, we preferred the blended classic overall.

-While  Crottin de Chavignol was our overall winner, we found that the classic also worked nicely with the Camembert as its animal and fatty qualities were a nice counterpoint to the fresh citrus of the cocktail.

-Other cheese that worked somewhat well with it: a two year old vieux Mimolette, a youngish Ossau-Iraty, and Livarot. What didn’t work with it: Emmental, two and a half year Comté, and a Bleu d’Auvergne

-We used the classic Peruvian Amargo Chuncho bitters in our drinks but you can substitute with Angostura if you can’t find the Peruvian version.

-If you are not into raw egg whites in your cocktail, you can substitute this with about 10ml of aquafaba (chickpea/garbanzo bean liquid from the can).

-When making cocktails with egg whites, dry shaking all ingredients in your shaker before adding the ice will help them to incorporate and really froth up the drink.

-Many blended recipes call for less sugar than lime; but we used a 3X1X1 proportion as with a blended drink the sweetness will be less noticeably so might need a boost.

Another fine selection of cheeses from Jennifer of Chez Loulou

Classic Peruvian Blended Pisco Sour

60 ml Peruvian pisco
20 ml fresh lime juice
20 ml rich simple syrup (2 parts sugar to one part water)
½ egg white (double the recipe to make two at a time with one whole egg white)
large handful of ice

Blend all ingredients with ice, pour into sour or old fashioned glasses.
Top with a few drops of Amargo Chuncho bitters (or Angostura if substitute needed)

Difford’s Improved Pisco Sour

60 ml Peruvian pisco
20 ml fresh lime juice
15 ml rich simple syrup (2 parts sugar to one part water)
½ egg white (double the recipe to make two at a time with one whole egg white)
1 dash orange blossom water

Shake all ingredients without ice (hold on to the shaker as it has a tendency to expand and leak a bit of you don’t hold it tight.)
Add ice and shake again.  
Pour into chilled martini or old fashioned glass and add a few drops of Amargo Chuncho bitters to the foam on top (can substitute with Angostura if necessary)

A pisco I just brought back from Peru and Macchu Pisco (a brand headed up by a woman who pushes to help other women in the industry make their mark)

If you’re here, I already know you like cocktails. But, if you want to learn more about these or other cheeses, I recommend some time on Jennifer’s blog and Instagram or signing up for one of her cheese workshops with Paris by Mouth.

Up next month: What Cheese to Pair with a Margarita cocktail

The Crottin was great with the cocktail but the Camembert was also a nice pairing
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