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Pisco Sours: A Word of Caution

Pisco Sours: A Word of Caution

Old Apr 9, 2018, 4:20 pm
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Pisco Sours: A Word of Caution

I've been to Peru several times and have never had any issues with getting sick, but my latest trip down with a group of 13 people for two weeks proved different. Almost 90% of the group got hit at least once through the two week trip with a food related illness. Most of the group had been very careful to avoid tap water and also careful about what types of food they ate. One thing that was common among everyone in the group is that they had been drinking Pisco Sours (made with raw egg whites) on and off during the whole trip.

I've read more recently that due to the high protein of the egg, the Pisco's alcohol content does not do much protecting against salmonella. I've also read that even if the alcohol content of the drink was high enough, it would need a decent amount of time to "rest" after the drink has been made in order to kill it off. There is also the potential that the water used to make the drink or the water used to make the ice in the drink could cause issues.

Even if you remove the risk of salmonella, the large amount of sugar in the drink could upset some stomachs after just a few. I'll probably stick with Cusqueas on my next visit.

Just a word of caution. It is a very tasty drink otherwise!
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Old Apr 9, 2018, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Astrophsx
I've been to Peru several times and have never had any issues with getting sick, but my latest trip down with a group of 13 people for two weeks proved different. Almost 90% of the group got hit at least once through the two week trip with a food related illness. Most of the group had been very careful to avoid tap water and also careful about what types of food they ate. One thing that was common among everyone in the group is that they had been drinking Pisco Sours (made with raw egg whites) on and off during the whole trip.

I've read more recently that due to the high protein of the egg, the Pisco's alcohol content does not do much protecting against salmonella. I've also read that even if the alcohol content of the drink was high enough, it would need a decent amount of time to "rest" after the drink has been made in order to kill it off. There is also the potential that the water used to make the drink or the water used to make the ice in the drink could cause issues.

Even if you remove the risk of salmonella, the large amount of sugar in the drink could upset some stomachs after just a few. I'll probably stick with Cusqueas on my next visit.

Just a word of caution. It is a very tasty drink otherwise!
I visited Peru back in December and had a similar experience. I pretty much have a 'cast-iron stomach' and have eaten all sorts of questionable street foods all over the world without any issues. However, while having dinner at El Albergue in Ollantaytambo and trying their Pisco sour variations, I also got very sick. Mind that this was the night before starting our Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu. Needless to say it was a very rough day hiking up the mountains...
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Old Apr 9, 2018, 8:12 pm
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After "just a few"?!
Those things are pretty strong, if I remember!
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Old Apr 15, 2018, 7:16 pm
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Originally Posted by TBD
After "just a few"?!
Those things are pretty strong, if I remember!
They are damn good, too. Don't discourage me!!!
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Old Apr 17, 2018, 6:03 am
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I would suspect the ice more than anything else.
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Old Apr 18, 2018, 9:50 am
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Another option is a chilcano, which is actually my favorite Peruvian drink (especially a maracuya chilcano!). It has pretty much the same ingredients but no egg whites.
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Old Apr 18, 2018, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by FrogProf
Another option is a chilcano, which is actually my favorite Peruvian drink (especially a maracuya chilcano!). It has pretty much the same ingredients but no egg whites.
This isn't correct. A Chilcano is made of ginger ale, lime, and Pisco. A Pisco Sour has a lot of added sugar as well.
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Old Apr 25, 2018, 4:04 pm
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My wife and I spent 4/7-4/14/2018 at a beautiful Hotel on the beach 70 miles South of Lima. We made the mistake of both having salads on the 11th. I had the Inca's revenge the next day and my wife had it 4 days later and a lot worse. 2 hospital visits after our return the results were positive for e coli. We've been to many Countries in Asia, Central and S America but this was our first.
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Old Apr 27, 2018, 4:38 pm
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Pisco sterilizes food in your stomach.
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Old Apr 28, 2018, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by TBD
Pisco sterilizes food in your stomach.
I wish that were true!
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