Peru is synonymous with incredible sights, sounds, and tastes found nowhere else in the world: the striking expanse of Machu Picchu, the rushing waters of the Amazon and Urubamba rivers (and their many winding sisters), and of course, the signature dishes and drinks for which the country’s culinary scene has become so well-known. Perhaps lesser known than pisco (a grape brandy native to Peru), chicha morada is another beloved drink, made from purple corn and known for its deep violet hue. It’s a celebrated drink born in the Andes and consumed countrywide, and it’s no surprise that the drink captivated one of the most revered bartenders in the world and wound up on the menu at one of New York City’s hottest new bars, Le Chalet, the beautifully designed bar iteration of its upstairs restaurant, L’Avenue at Saks.
Here, Nico de Soto’s Chicha Morada Sour is where the classic pisco sour and chicha morada collide, resulting in a perfectly balanced, subtly spiced egg white cocktail that goes down just a bit too easy. See below for the full recipe to make it at home.
LE CHALET’S CHICHA MORADA SOUR:
2 oz La Diablada Pisco
.75oz Chicha Morada Syrup•
.75oz Lemon Juice
.75oz Egg White
5 drops Angostura Bitters
Preparation: Add all ingredients besides Angostura to a shaker with just one small ice shard and shake vigorously until the egg is well-beaten (the liquid should appear frothy). Then, add a handful of ice and shake again until well-chilled. Fine strain into a chilled coupe and add Angostura to the head (foam) of the drink.
*Chicha Morada Syrup
1 pound of purple corn kernels
2 liters water
1 cinnamon stick
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into chunks
Peels of 1/2 pineapple
Preparation: Put corn kernels, cinnamon stick, cloves, apple chunks, pineapple peels, and 1L of water into a pot and cover; boil for 1 hour. Strain liquid into a container, retaining the corn, spices and fruit. Add the other liter of water to the corn, spices and fruit and boil again for 1 hour. Then, take the weight of chicha morada and mix it with same weight of sugar (i.e., once chicha morada is done, add 1kg of sugar to 1kg of chicha morada). Allow to cool; store in glass bottles for use.