"Masterfully distilled in the heart of the Andes Mountains, Portón Pisco personifies adventure in the form of the world's ultra-premium white spirit. Portón expresses the passionate power of the Peruvian spirit, inspiring, intriguing, alluring and enlivening connoisseurs and cocktail lovers in search of sophisticated flavor. From islands to oceans, east to west, Portón brings bold, personal experience to lovers, risk-takers, world travelers and anyone who understands how to explore without fear. Portón contributes an authentic aura to any setting, always adding enjoyment, inciting and emboldening others to see adventure anywhere in the world. Discover without apology. Act without fear. Embody success."
~ Marketing blurb from the Pisco Portón website
If you thought that promotional intro piece from Pisco Portón was a bunch of bull crap (sorry—I am a huge fan of The Voice, and I am starting to talk like Blake Shelton—accent and all), then just wait until you take a sip of the stuff. My son Jordan, who is not unaccustomed to drinking spirits, not only said it gave him "goose flesh", but also pronounced the cocktail to taste like "cobra venom", and he refused to drink a drop more. Pisco brandy, I would venture to say, is an acquired taste. I am aware of its ancient and honored past, and generally speaking I like things made from grapes—but I believe that we were missing the cultural piece that would have allowed us to properly appreciate the taste of Pisco. I am pretty sure no one is born liking the taste of Pisco—it is learned over time and hopefully in one's adulthood. I am told that it also tastes better with delicious Peruvian food, which we did not have on hand when we made this pair of cocktails.
|Although Jordan was not drinking a Pisco cocktail at this particular moment—this is how
I remember his face looking after he told me he would rather drink cobra venom.
Me (sounding puzzled): You're at home… what are you doing?
Jordan (happily): I have been sleeping and now I am reading a book… what are you doing?
Much more conversation then ensued (not so happy) ending with...
Jordan (unhappily): "Oh, sh*t, I missed my flight! I am calling the airline right now."
|Our sister, Juliette, dresses up these antique bottles with bits of bric-a-brac that she finds thrifting.
While Jordan was frantically trying to catch another plane in the middle of the overbooked Thanksgiving travel weekend, Michelle and I went to BevMo to pick up the special Pisco brandy that we would be needing later in the week for our cocktails. There were two varieties of brandy to choose between, so we picked the one that was a few dollars more and had the most most impressive bottle since the clerk had never tried either and could not make a recommendation. Back at home, we set the Pisco Brandy aside, declaring it off limits for Thanksgiving weekend casual drinking.
|Cousincation was happening out in the backyard.
|Michelle, Jordan and Paul mug for the camera.
|The cousins even had their own "Cousincation" table for Thanksgiving dinner.
|Lime Pisco Punch with Gomme Syrup and Egg White
Lime Picso Punch—Version #1
Though we did triple this recipe, I personally was grossed out by the thought of adding three raw egg whites to our drink mixture. So I tripled the ingredients and added one egg white, which I do believe led to a less fluffy foam on the top. I also blended the ingredients and then shook the mixture in a cocktail shaker. The group panel decision was that this was a nasty drink and we should move on to Michelle's hopefully much better cocktail.
1 ounce gomme syrup
3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 egg white
3 ounces Pisco brandy
Blend ingredients vigorously in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Pour into desired glass. The coupe is traditional. Enjoy or don't enjoy. We were decidedly on the "don't" side.
|The Lemon Pisco Punch—although pretty—fell short of our expectations.
We all voted that we should have made Margaritas instead.
Lemon Pisco Punch—Version #2
The recipe seemed lacking in ingredients somehow, but we weren't sure what to add, so we left well enough alone we thought… but we were wrong. This cocktail sucked, too.
2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
2 Tbps pineapple gomme syrup
4 ounces Pisco brandy
Add mixed ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake or stir and pour into a cocktail glass. Sip and wish that you are having a different cocktail.
|Jordan in a contemplative mood at The Mission in the Sun
dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was built by Ted DeGrazia in the 1950s.
|Juliette's son Paul with his son Parker.