Sun 3 Oct 2010
Here, readers, is a picture of a Pisco Sour, which is not only the National Cocktail of Chile but probably the National Tree, the National Bird, the National Flower, the National Corner Grocery Store and every other National Thing that a country can commemorate. All it took was one of these and two glasses of a very nice Cousino Macul Riesling between 1:30 and 3 this afternoon to knock me on my weary butt. When the group returned to the hotel, I crawled into bed, because, guess what, there’s more eating and drinking to be done tonight. One manfully bellies up to the bar, as it were. The governments of Peru, where pisco originated, and Chile take the Pisco Sour seriously enough that its composition is officially legislated, and Peru has a Pisco Sour Day, the first Saturday of February.
Fortunately we were eating (and drinking, oh yes) at a terrific Peruvian seafood restaurant called La Mar, packed on a Sunday afternoon, where everything we ate was excellent, from the dried vegetable chips and savory dips with which we began to the traditional desserts — rice pudding, “three milks” cake and dulce de leche — with which we ended. Best, however, was a selection of the restaurant’s ceviches, the cleanest, freshest, brightest, most vibrant I have ever tasted. I could have eaten a whole meal of these alone.