El Capitán Cocktail Recipe

How to make El Capitán, a Pisco Cocktail recipe that’s a riff on a classic.

El Capitán Cocktail

Unlike the Pisco Sour, the Chilcano and the Pisco Punch, when it comes to Pisco cocktails, the majority are either shaken or built. El Capitán, a take on the classic Manhattan, is a stirred 3 ingredient cocktail using Pisco, sweet vermouth and bitters.

El Capitán is said to date back to the 1920s when the army captains in the Puno highlands of Peru ordered a drink that’s a mix of two grape-based spirits: Pisco and sweet vermouth. The drink has since evolved with variations on the ratio including the Reverse Capitan which swaps the ratios of sweet vermouth and Pisco.

Peruvian Pisco can be made from eight types of grapes and in our interview with Otis Florence (Attaboy NYC), he recommends using Moscatel, an aromatic Pisco grape varietal when mixing El Capitán

El Capitán Cocktail Recipe


  • 60 ml Pisco (Moscatel varietal)
  • 30 ml sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Glassware: coupette
Garnish: lemon peel or Maraschino cherry


In a mixing glass, stir all ingredients with ice until cold. Strain into a chilled coupette and garnish with lemon peel or Maraschino cherry.

Photo by Cocktails & Bars – © Copyright: All rights reserved.

El Capitán Cocktail Recipe was last modified: October 13th, 2017 by Corinne Mossati
Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of Cocktails & Bars and popular online magazine Gourmantic. She is named in the Australian Bartender Magazine Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy who judges the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions. Read the full bio here.