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The Sacred Valley- A Pisco Cocktail

A Pisco cocktail inspired by Peru's Sacred Valley. Recipe for Grapefruit Syrup plus Basil, Lime, and St. Germain
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cocktails
Servings: 1 serving


For each Sacred Valley Cocktail:

  • 2 ounces Pisco
  • .75 ounces St. Germain
  • 1 ounce grapefruit syrup recipe below
  • .75 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 4-5 basil leaves torn
  • ice
  • lime wedges as basil tops for garnish

For the Grapefruit Syrup:

  • 3 each pink grapefruit
  • 2 cups sugar
  • note: the sugar should equal the amount of juice from the grapefruit, usually about 2 cups from the 3 grapefruit


  • If you are going to make the syrup, allow several days and see the notes below.

For the Sacred Valley Cocktail:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker about 3/4 full with ice and fill a rocks glass about 3/4 full with ice.
  • Add the Pisco, St. Germain, grapefruit syrup, lime juice and torn basil leaves to the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds.
  • Pour over ice and garnish with lime wedge and basil top.

For the syrup:

  • Peel the grapefruit with a vegetable peeler, trying to avoid the white pith as much as possible. Juice the peeled grapefruit, measure, and reserve the juice in the refrigerator until needed.
  • Roughly chop the peel and place in a medium sized bowl. Add the sugar (amount in cups equal to the reserved juice) to the peel and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 24-48 hours until the sugar melts and absorbs the oils from the grapefruit peel. Stir every 12 hours.
  • After the peel has absorbed the sugar for 24-48 hours, mix in the juice. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for another 24-48 hours. Stir every 12 hours. Strain and refrigerate syrup until needed.


A note about the grapefruit syrup recipe; it's simple but it takes several days to make, time well spent. I got this recipe from my mother and made it, along with the more typical, but faster, version by cooking a sugar syrup with the peel. The version in the recipe blows the doors off the traditional one with it's deeper, more concentrated and less bitter flavor.
If you don't have the time or desire to make your own, you can certainly buy some grapefruit syrup or substitute simple syrup and grapefruit juice (though it won't taste exactly the same).