Pisco Punch

Patrick Spears / Supercall

In the late 19th century, pisco was all the rage, especially in San Francisco. In the 1890s, bartender and bar owner Duncan Nicol first stirred up the zesty libation at the Bank Exchange (which was a bar, not a bank) in the city by the bay. When Prohibition hit, it killed pisco madness (not to mention the Bank Exchange). One of the last remaining relics of the golden era of pisco adoration, Pisco Punch is made with pisco (naturally), lemon juice and a pineapple gomme syrup (a pineapple simple syrup enriched with gum arabic). We’d say it’s potent, tangy and absolutely delicious, but we’ll never do better than Rudyard Kipling who, in his 1889 book, From Sea to Sea, wrote that the Pisco Punch was “compounded of the shavings of cherub wings, the glory of a tropical dawn, the red clouds of sunset and the fragments of lost epics by dead masters.” No need to show off, Rudyard.

Sweet, Sour


  • 1 750-mL bottle Pisco
  • 8 oz water
  • 9 oz lemon juice
  • 9 oz pineapple gomme syrup
  • Pineappl


Step one

Mix everything, save for the pineapple wedges, in a large pitcher and refrigerate until chilled (preferably overnight).

Step two

Pour into chilled coupes and garnish with pineapple wedges.

Contributed by Supercall

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