Pisco Punch

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This famous cocktail came into being after the California Gold be due to the large amount of Pisco available in San Francisco.  Lima, Peru was the last stop on the trip around South America. This meant San Francisco bound ships were stocked with Picso along with prospectors and their gear.

Being a huge drinking town, it didn’t take long for San Franciscans to figure out want to do with that Pisco

Pisco is a grape brandy from Peru. Just like French brandies, varieties range from rotgut to super premium. The main difference is that Pisco is aged in ceramic or metal, vs. wood. The resulting spirit is clear but complex.

So with all this potent Pisco around it became quite popular in San Francisco. This prompted owner, Duncan Nicol, of the Bank Exchange to create Pisco Punch a mix Pisco, pineapple juice, lime juice, simple syrup and Gum Arabic, and ingredient that helps it fizz.

Unfortunately, the original recipe went to the grave with Duncan and Prohibition closed the bar. There are several variations of the recipe as bartenders try to recreate the original.

Here’s one.

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  • 3 parts Pisco
  • 2 parts pineapple juice
  • 1 part lime juice
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • 3-4 drops gum arabic


Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a shaker with ice. Pour into a punch or tall glass and garnish with pineapple.

For a party, make a batch in a large punch bowl. Just use the same proportions.

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