Chiaroscuro at Churrascos

The rain was coming down in buckets when we left the Latin American Film Festival at the Museum of Fine Arts, but we managed to stay dry enough to enjoy a nightcap at Churrascos (2055 Westheimer, 713-527-8300). With most customers already seated and the storm still lighting up the evening sky, we had the bar practically all to ourselves. The bartender suggested a Pisco Sour, and my mouth watered at the description. The first one he served was out of a machine, and frankly, it tasted that way. He began to tell me how it was made: a big batch of simple syrup, a quart of this, followed by a pint of that...When he offered to make one fresh, I gladly took him up on it. The egg white intrigued me -- that's what gives the drink its rich, creamy foam. The finishing touch of a few drops of Angostura bitters cuts the foaminess and makes digesting this concoction a little easier on your stomach. The recipe on the bottle of Pisco brandy omits the egg white and bitters, but these two ingredients are what make the drink so unique.

Churrascos' Pisco Sour:
1 1/2 ounces Pisco Brandy
1/2 egg white
3 ounces fresh lime juice
4 to 5 drops Angostura bitters

Fill a Tom Collins glass three-quarters full of ice. Using the shell of an egg, carefully separate the yolk from the white and add half of the egg white to the glass. Add brandy and lime juice. Pour contents of glass into blender and mix for ten to 15 seconds. Pour back into glass and top off with bitters.

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