One of the most perfect punches you’ll encounter is the Pisco Punch. This punch is easily 150 years old, possibly finding its origins on coastal ocean steamers traveling up the Pacific coast of the Americas from Peru to California. Unquestionably, though, this punch was made famous at the Bank Exchange, the iconic San Francisco bar haunted by the likes of Rudyard Kippling, Mark Twain, and Harold Ross.
The Bank Exchange Billiard Saloon was established in San Fran in 1853 and held a mythical status in the city, surviving the earthquake of 1906 until Prohibition shut down the bar in 1919. Like many legendary drinks from the West Coast, the recipe was jealously guarded by the two bartenders who ran the Bank Exchange—John Torrence, then Duncan Nicol. The investigation about the drink’s original recipe and creation are told in this awesome article on Difford’s.
The Pisco Punch is part of the South American cocktail flight on Volume #5a, joining the Caipirinha and the Batida Rosa. Our version of the Punch is made with Pisco, pineapple gomme, pineapple, lemon, and soda water.