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Local Libations: Piscojito

2010 August 27

by Kat Durant

Brianna’s Summery Squash Salad couldn’t have come at a better time. San Diego is feeling the heat, it looks like summer is finally here, so a light and refreshing cocktail is in order.  My garden is loving the heat, resulting in an overabundance of mint and other herbs.  The mint was calling out for me to use it but I didn’t want to take the usual route and make a mojito.  Thinking about it I asked myself: what if I leave out the rum typically found in a mojito and replace it with one of my summer favorites: pisco.

Pisco is a brandy-like liquor distilled from grapes.  Other types of grape brandy include Spanish orujo and Italian grappa.  Pisco is produced in Peru and Chile and was originally made by Spanish settlers as a cheaper replacement for orujo (which had to be imported from Spain).  The rights to this cultural beverage have been in dispute between Chile and Peru for many years.  Both countries stake claim as creators and proudly serve the iconic cocktail - pisco sour. No matter its true origin the Piscojito, a variation of a south of the  border favorite will surely keep you cool.

The Piscojito

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Tools- shaker, muddler, lime juicer, shot glass


  • 1 handful (about eight) mint leaves
  • 2 oz. Pisco
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 3 oz. soda water
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Cooking Directions

  1. Put the mint leaves, simple syrup and lime juice in shaker and us the muddler to crush them
  2. Add the Pisco and a handful of ice
  3. Shake lightly
  4. Add soda water and stir mixture
  5. Pour into tall glass with ice
  6. Garnish with a sprig of mint
  7. Enjoy!