Latin Twist: Machu Picchu Cocktail


Magical times of year call for out-of-the-ordinary festivities. For this reason, I bring to you a not-so-usual drink: the Machu Picchu Cocktail.

As, my friends, you may know, Machu Picchu was built around 1450, not too far from the Inca capital of Cuzco in Peru. If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Sacred Valley, or Machu Picchu, you know that it’s an extraordinary place. (Yes, it should be on your must-visit list!)

But let’s get back to this cocktail: the Machu Picchu cocktail, not unlike it’s North American cousin, the Tequila Sunrise, is a fiesta in a glass! It’s fun to serve adorned with colorful straws, and even umbrellas–and of course, some great snacks.Macchu Pichu

And as we wind down this year, I thank you for reading and sharing all of our Small Bites blogs, and hope that this next year brings you lots of great health, love, and happiness. As always, ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

(Photo is by Dasha Wright, from my first cocktail book,  Mambo Mixers©2005 Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

Latin Twist: Machu Picchu Cocktail

Yield: Serves One

The Machu Picchu, originally published in Mambo Mixers, is colorful--and potent!


  • 2 ounces pisco (Peruvian-style brandy, available at large liquor stores, like Wine Bazaar in New Rochelle)
  • 4 ounces fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 ounce grenadine
  • 1/4 ounce crème de menthe


  1. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour in 1 ounce of the pisco followed by the orange juice.
  3. Now slowly pour the grenadine in so it sinks to the bottom.
  4. In a cocktail shaker, combine the remaining pisco, crème de menthe, and three ice cubes and shake well (this will lighten the crème de menthe so that it floats on the top).
  5. Pour on top of the orange juice mixture in the tall glass and add a straw—but don't stir or the color will blend together!


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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