Pisco Punch (Rail Stop Restaurant & Bar)

Alexis Jesup

Rail Stop Restaurant & Bar didn’t invent the Pisco Punch; the refreshing mixture of lime, pineapple, and the iconic South American brandy has been popular since the 19thcentury. But beverage manager Eli Shapiro has added some flavorful twists of his own—and a whole lot of garnishes.

Shapiro stresses the importance of picking up cold-pressed pineapple juice instead of the canned variety, as it yields superior flavor and a frothy texture. Another key component is oloroso sherry, which even in a small amount lends a boost of dryness to the drink’s profile. Shapiro also uses house-made tiki bitters, but recommends Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters as an easy substitute.

The drink is shaken not strained, which amps up its froth factor. The eye-popping garnish job begins with a grating of cinnamon and star anise on top, and goes on to add both those spices whole to the drink along with dehydrated lime, brûléed pineapple, and pineapple leaves (a blowtorch is needed to brûlée the pineapple, but don’t worry if you can’t mark every garnish checkbox).

While the resulting cocktail is as juicy and fruity as you’d expect, it’s also got a dark, nutty flavor from the sherry. It’s a little more complex than a punch—but every bit as drinkable.

Pisco Punch
1½ ounces Macchu Pisco

1 ounce cold-pressed pineapple juice
½ ounce lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce oloroso sherry
3 dashes tiki bitters
Star anise, cinnamon stick, dehydrated lime wedge, pineapple leaves, and a brûléed pineapple wedge, to garnish (optional).

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Pour (do not strain) into a rocks glass. Grate star anise and cinnamon over the top of the drink and add remaining garnishes.

Brian Samuels

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