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London's best pisco sours, senor ceviche

London’s best pisco sours

Have yourself a pisco disco at these London bars shaking up a mean pisco sour

By Laura Richards
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Forget ceviche – Peru’s hottest export has to be the pisco sour. Made from the high-proof Peruvian brandy pisco mixed with lemon or lime, bitters and egg white, we defy you to not call this cocktail a party in your mouth. And luckily, you can find your sour fix all over London. Here’s a list of London bars mixing the finest pisco sours – available to sample during London Pisco Week or all year round.

London's best pisco sours

Casita Andina

Restaurants Pan-South American Soho

This adorable ‘little house’ may be based in a Georgian townhouse, but it’s Peru through and through. And that extends to the bar, where they mix a mean classic pisco sour for £8, using lime, quebranta pisco and Peruvian bitters. They also make nine other pisco-based drinks, including a Peuvian take on an old fashioned.

London's best pisco sours, ceviche old st
© Paul Winch-Furness

Ceviche Old St

Restaurants Peruvian Old Street

The Old Street branch of Martin Morales’ top restaurant Ceviche is the one to tap up if you’re on the hunt for a winning sour. The dedicated pisco bar does this classic cocktail for £8. The other tipples are worth browsing too, with a menu of ‘imposters’ substituting the base spirit in classic cocktails with pisco. A Peruvian take on a Long Island iced tea needs your attention.

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Chick 'n' Sours

Restaurants Chicken Seven Dials

Come on down to Sour Town. At Chick ‘n’ Sours the formula is as simple as the restaurant’s name would have you believe: fried chicken paired with sour cocktails (yeah, actual heaven). Check out their take on the pisco sour if you spy it on the menu – the Pisco Punch (£7) contains pisco, apple, citrus and sherbet. And you won’t have a soundtrack of salsa beats or panpipe nonsense to contend with. Just pure hip hop bangers.

Chotto Matte

Restaurants Peruvian Soho

The cocktail menu here is titled ‘From Tokyo to Lima’ to reflect the fusion of cultures you’ll also find on the food menu. But for straight-up Peruvian drinking, seek out a short list of pisco drinks, including a sour that uses Macchu Pisco and costs £11. It’s joined by Pisco Peach and a Pisco Picante – because some like it hot.

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K Bar

Bars and pubs Hotel bars South Kensington

Tired of Quechua threads and salsa on the stereo? Sip pisco sours from the cosseting comfort of this swish Kensington hotel bar. The Town Hotel’s K Bar mixes all of the classics with precision and care, and you can make yours a pisco sour for £12.50. A classy setting for a punchy cocktail.

Lost Alpaca

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Covent Garden

Underneath Covent Garden Peruvian restaurant Lima Floral is the Lost Alpaca, a joint focused on South American spirits and ideal for the uninitiated. There’s a whole host of pisco drinks on offer, should a £9 sour not tempt. Peruvian fried chicken pairs with the sours exceptionally well. 

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Oriole

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Farringdon and Smithfield

This plush City bar has a touch of the Americas about it. They’ll make all the classics on request in this tropical setting, or try a Ollantaytambo (named after a stage on the Inca Trail) with Pisco Portón, tequila, a host of exotic ingredients and lime. As refreshing as it is creative.

Papa's Bar at Pachamama

Restaurants Peruvian Marylebone

Pull up a pew at the lengthy bar of this colourful Peruvian playhouse, where the menu is divvied up into two – Papa’s cocktails and Mama’s cocktails. There’s a strong list of piscos behind the bar from which to build a sour, or order a Piscoroni (£10) – pisco meets negroni from Papa’s lisy of drinks. 

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Señor Ceviche

Restaurants Peruvian Soho

For £9 choose from classic, tropical and fruity takes on a pisco sour at this nifty cevicheria. The menu also includes a Chilcano, another cocktail typical in Peru. If you fancy trying the lot, visit during pisco power hour (Mon–Thu 5pm–6.30pm), when three of the tipples cost £5 a pop.

Sushisamba Bar

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Liverpool Street

Sky-high restaurant Sushisamba fuses Japanese and Peruvian cuisines. Expect the same treatment at the classy bar, where a Samba Sour (£14) adds maraschino, yuzu and turmeric to the typical mix of pisco sour ingredients. Plus, at floor 38 you can recreate the feeling of drinking at altitude like you did on your gap year.

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