One of London’s swishest subterranean Jazz bar’s, Nightjar’s mixologists were understandably a little uneasy about sharing the recipe for one of their most popular cocktails. Everything about the speakeasy oozes secrecy: it’s hidden behind an anonymous wooden door in Shoreditch, and previously even featured on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Before lockdown, if you were lucky enough to get in, prohibition-era cocktails and live music add to the allure and exclusive ambience.
After some cajoling, however, head bartender Tony Pescatori decided to share this highly-guarded recipe with Gentleman’s Journal readers to brighten up your locked-down nights. And, as it happens, it comes just in time for Pisco Sour Day, which falls on 6th February.
"Everything about the speakeasy oozes secrecy..."
Both Chile and Peru lay claim to this notorious cocktail — a national drink beloved by travellers and locals alike. Traditionally, it brings together lime juice, egg white, sugar syrup and pisco – a high-proof brandy with a distinctive herbal taste. At Nightjar, though, Pescatori puts his own singular stamp on things. His recipe calls for Pussanga, a flavoursome German liqueur with flavours of pomegranate, vanilla, cardamom, ginger and chilli. It may sound like the ultimate acquired taste — but it’s excellent swirled into tonic, sparkling wine, or shaken into this exciting, striking sour.
As always, if you’re less in the mood for mixology and more in the mood for food, Nightjar’s beautifully packaged Speakeasy at Home range can be ordered straight to your doorstep. But, without further let’s learn how to create the most flamboyant Friday night cocktail of lockdown. Salù!
Nightjar’s Pisco Sour
- 35ml Pisco
- 25ml Pussanga
- 10ml Amaro (we like Amaro Montenegro)
- 5ml Grenadine
- 2 teaspoons Guava or Apricot Jam
- 1 teaspoon Whey Powder (to replace the egg)
- 5ml Cachaca (optional)
- 5ml Cherry Liqueur (optional)
- Angostura bitters to garnish, optional
1. Shake all the ingredients, including the whey powder, with ice.
2. Strain into a straight sided highball glass with a cubes of ice, removing most of the foam as you do so.
3. Garnish. At Nightjar, they garnish with a stencilled Chilean Flag made using Blue Corn Flour and Raspberry Powder on the top of the foam. For something simpler, top your sour with three flavourful drops of angostura bitters.
Want more cocktail inspiration? Here’s how to make Petersham Nurseries’ sloe gin fizz…
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