A bit of background
Martin Morales, the brains behind London’s first pisco bar Ceviche, was been born in Peru and lived there for 11 years of his life. Fair to say this guy knows good ceviche.
After leaving his job as Director for Disney (we questioned this too) Martin wanted to dedicate his life to his love and passion for Peruvian food, and boom - Ceviche was born. Martin opened Ceviche’s doors in 2012 and just as London got loco about Peruvian he followed its success with his second restaurant, Andina, in 2013.
In 2015 Martin opened the doors of his hotly tipped third spot at the historic Alexandra Trust Dining Rooms in Old Street. A 70-cover dining room, a ceviche bar, Peruvian chicken rotisserie and separate pisco (party) bar. Safe to say BarChick are regulars.
Who better to chat to about all things pisco, parting and Peruvian?
Martin, tell us why you love pisco:
When I lived in Peru, I grew up travelling to pisco distilleries as a child. An uncle of mine had his own pisco distillery so a few times a year we would visit and enjoy the full experience of watching the grapes grow and see the pisco being distilled. The smell of the vines, the taste of the different grapes, and the coastal dry countryside of the Ica region south of Lima were all seductive to me.
Pisco is a complex spirit; as complex and exciting as wine and as sophisticated as any other spirit. It’s strong but light at the same time, so that’s why intellectually it’s fascinating and a whole world in itself. Above all, it makes you feel great. Those are the reasons why I love it.
What’s your favourite pisco cocktail?
My favourite cocktail changes regularly because our pisco bar team, headed by the brilliant Miguel Arbe, create some of the most ground-breaking and delicious pisco cocktails. We don’t just mix pisco, we pre-infuse it with a whole variety of fruits, or spices. My favourite at the moment is called Peru Bravo, and is a homage to a Peruvian funk music compilation on our own record label. It’s made with pineapple and limo chilli infused pisco, pomegranate juice, lime juice and Fever-Tree ginger ale.
How do Peruvians party?
There are 4 key elements to partying like a Peruvian, you’ll need:
- a Pisco Sour in one hand
- ceviche in the other
- Peru Boom Bass electronic or Criollo music on the speakers
- your best friends
Tell us a Peruvian dish anyone can make at home?
Ceviche of course. It’s the most exciting dish on earth for either a restaurant to serve or to make at home. It’s easy, you can freestyle and make your own interpretation. Just ensure you have super fresh fish, freshly squeezed limes (not too much – don’t make it bitter) and the right balance of chilli, salt and love.
What are your favourite bars in London for pisco cocktails?
Ceviche Soho, Andina and Little House (by Soho House).
How do you make the perfect Pisco Sour?
50ml Pisco quebranta (quebranta is the variety of grape)
50ml sour mix (30ml freshly squeezed lime juice, 20ml sugar syrup - made from sugar and a few drops of water)
1 egg white
Ice to cool
Angustura bitters (or preferably Peruvian Chuncho bitters)
For home making and parties of more than 4, you can put all the ingredients into a blender with 3 ice cubes and blend until smooth.
Or, for the perfect serve, fill a shaker with 5 ice cubes, add the other ingredients and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain and serve.
Add 2 drops of bitters in the centre of the drink before serving. Que rico!