When in doubt, if it’s warm out, citrus is your friend. Lemonade is a hit for a reason. Limeade, you bet. For those of you with a bit of a drinking bent, such as myself, a Margarita or three will hit the spot nicely. However, sometimes you want to expand your horizons. Sometimes you feel the urge to go beyond the everyday and go into the extraordinary. Well, for you my fine drinking friend, we have the Lemon Cardamom Pisco Sour!
Sours are great, they take an acidic citrus like lime or lemon juice and celebrate them. With a tasty one, you don’t want to hide the inherent sourness. If you do, then you’ve got what I like to call an -ade (lemonade, limeade, etc. — just add booze). As we’ve shown in the past, we like sours around here (looking at you Lavender Pisco Sour and Fiery Ginger Sour). Naturally, it was time for another one.
If you’re not familiar with cardamom, get familiar with it! Every time I smell it, I’m immediately taken back to the holidays as a kid — it’s a big flavoring for many tasty Danish desserts. Bonus points for evidence showing that it was the Vikings who discovered (for Scandinavian purposes) cardamom through their dealings with Constantinople. That’s how this tasty spice infiltrated Scandinavia. Chalk another one up to the Vikings!
Cardamom has a lemony, citrusy, eucalyptus, floral distinct flavor. Oh, I should preface this in the middle of what I’m saying with that I’m talking about green cardamom pods here, not anything pre-ground or anything like that. Anyway, I knew to get a solid cardamom flavor into our drink, we’d need to make a cardamom syrup, so that’s just what we did.
In case it’s your first time here, let’s briefly review how to make a simple syrup. You take one-part water to one-part sugar. Bring to a simmer, cool and enjoy. Now you have simple syrup. Making the cardamom simple syrup, we tossed in a good 5-10 of the green cardamom pods into the mixture and let it simmer for a little while, then cool, strain the pods (after smashing around, gotta get all of the essential oils), cooled and enjoyed it.
Now, with our cardamom flavoring in hand, it was just pairing it with citrus, because it is warmer out after all. That’s where our lemon came in, which matched quite nicely with the natural lemony flavor of the cardamom.
Finally, it was about adding our good buddy pisco — one or our favorite alcohols. If you’re not familiar with pisco, it’s Peruvian brandy (one of the few brandies that I actually enjoy) — it’s sharp, bright, floral (depending on the one you get) and loves citrus.
Add those all together with an egg white (for the damn mouthfeel, if you don’t like it, omit it, but you’re missing out [seriously, live a little]) and you have a damn fine drink.
Now, onto the Lemon Cardamom Pisco Sour!
- 3 oz. pisco
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1 oz. cardamom syrup
- Egg white
- Lemon peel
- Glass type: coupe
- Firstly, make your cardamom syrup.
- One-part sugar to one-part water with some green cardamom pods in it.
- Cool that.
- Now, add your pisco, lemon juice, cardamom syrup and egg white to your cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake the hell out of it.
- It's an egg white cocktail, you need to do that to froth it up nicely.
- When you're finally tired of shaking, pour into your coupe.
- Let settle a bit.
- All that shaking is worth the wait to admire the proper froth.
- Garnish with a lemon peel.