Fresh from a nine-day trip to Peru, Felipe's bar manager Nathan Dalton has just unpacked his souvenirs - namely, native bottles of booze. He's also already translated his experience into a new cocktail at Felipe's: the maracuyá sour.
While he and wife Kristen roamed much of the country, Nathan noticed that locals everywhere were imbibing in this simple twist on the pisco sour, made by switching in passion fruit purée for lime juice.
As a fan of South America's grape brandy, Nathan had planned the trip to study pisco, including tours of pisco distilleries in Ica. What he hadn't counted on was this left-field lengthener.
"I never thought about passion fruit in a sour until I went to Peru," says Nathan. "But pisco and passion fruit are the two favorite flavors there. It opened my eyes."
He made one for me at his home bar using BarSol pisco (his brand of choice), passion fruit purée (sourced from Ideal Market), simple syrup, an egg white, and a few drops of Chuncho bitters (complex and cinchona-based).
While bright and tangy, the passion fruit also adds complexity and a surprising creaminess to this sour. Pisco is bold enough, too, to stand up to the sunny purée. "You can use a lot of flavor and still taste the pisco," Nathan says.
His use of passion fruit does more than bring to life one of Peru's most treasured drinks; it also bridges the next step for Felipe's, which will open an upstairs tiki bar in April. The existing Felipe's menu hints at this expansion, with drinks like the Hurricane, Jeff Berry's Ancient Mariner, and rum-based El Presidente (on draft) already available downstairs.
Felipe's "tiki tolteka" bar is slated to run twice a week, with its own food menu and a separate entrance, and will skew more to Latin American spirits (like cachaça) and décor, displaying the carved totems Nathan picked up in Peru.
Felipe's Taqueria, 301 N. Peters Street, 267.4406, and at 6215 S. Miro Street, 309.2776.
Let's talk on Facebook or on Twitter @AnneBerryWrites