For many of us, the idyllic picture of a paradise holiday has a colourful, refreshing cocktail somewhere in frame. Whether it’s a signature favourite or something more experimental, a cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to sunny weather, toes in the sand or swish rooftop views of a beautiful city at twilight. Dreaming of a holiday? Want to learn more about your tipple of choice? Look no further – we’ve got a run down of our top 7 internationally renowned cocktails right here:
Brazil – Caipirinha
The Brazilian national cocktail of choice, the humble caipirinha (also known as pinga or caninha) is said to date back to 1918, when a similar recipe of lemon, garlic and honey was mixed up to treat the Spanish flu! One day, a brave experimenter decided to remove the garlic and honey, and add a few tablespoons of sugar to offset the sourness of the lemon or lime…the ice came next, to cool down on a hot day, and mixed with cachaça, a sugarcane rum, the caipirinha was born!
What’s in it: sugarcane rum (cachaça), white sugar, fresh lime, ice
Italy – Spritz
A Venetian invention born in the 1800s, the simple spritz combines equal parts of white wine, which Italy has an abundance of, and soda water. Though many variations of the spritz cocktail have been tried and tested, to include flavoured and colourful liquors, this staple mix has carried through from its interesting origins. Merchants, diplomats and employees of the Austrian Empire in Veneto at the time were unaccustomed to the strength of the local wines offered in taverns, so would ask bartenders to ‘spritzen’ (a German word for ‘spray’) a little water into their wine to make it lighter.
What’s in it: white wine, soda water, optional flavoured liquor/bitters/lemon peel
Peru – Pisco Sour
The national drink for both Peru and Chile, this cocktail is based entirely around the pisco liquor – a classic South American type brandy. An American bartender, Victor Morris, who moved to Lima in 1913 and opened up a bar- Morris’ - is responsible for this delicious draft. In the latter parts of the 1920s, Angostura bitters and egg whites were added to the mix of lime juice and a sweetened syrup by Mario Bruiget, making this drink a Peruvian staple at its core.
What’s in it: pisco, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, one fresh egg white
Spain – Sangria
Though you can find a quirky version of a good Sangria in almost any latin country, the Sangria is actually a traditional Spanish invention. A simple punch perfect for hot weather, it’s name is said to be taken from the Spanish ‘sangre’ meaning blood – an indicator of the key ingredient of red wine, present in any traditional Sangria.
What’s in it: wine, chopped fruit, sweetener (orange juice, honey, syrup etc), touch of brandy, ice
Cuba – Mojito
Though it is undisputed that the mojito originates from Havana, Cuba, the exact story of how it was formed is murkier than this refreshing drink. Some say African slaves working on sugarcane plantations were instrumental in its birth, others say it was a drink invented to treat scurvy onboard one of the ships involved in the Great Expedition to the Spanish New World. Whatever version you choose to believe, it’s solid fact that this delicious drink is a highball full of history.
What’s in it: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice, soda water, mint
Singapore - Singapore Sling
This bright, sweet cocktail has a very signature story – much like the place where it was invented. The Singapore Sling was whipped up in the Long Bar of the upscale, colonial gem that is the Raffles Hotel in Singapore - created by Ngiam Tong Boon, bar captain in the early 1900s at the Long Bar, and still served to this day in the quirky establishment! The Long Bar is also famous for ‘”littering” – it’s customary to chuck the shells of the monkey nuts served as snacks at this bar, straight on the floor!
What’s in it: ice, dry gin, cherry brandy, Benedictine, fresh lime juice, soda water & Angostura bitters
UK – Pimm’s Cup
A popular English favourite, this great cocktail is seeped with English history and for many, signifies British summer days, Wimbledon and a sense of patriotism. James Pimms created the recipe for Pimm’s Cup No. 1 in the early 1820s, and though many flavours were tested after that, this unique mix of gin, flavoured liquors and herbs has remained the favourite to date.
What’s in it: Pimms Cup No. 1 liquor, ginger ale, fresh fruit, ice
If we haven’t already convinced you to go on a cocktail exploration tour of the world, then we hope we’ve at least made you thirsty – thirsty to book a trip to somewhere sunny, ideally while you’re sipping a drink in the process! Remember, you don’t have to go as far as Singapore to enjoy a Singapore Sling! In fact, you can enjoy one (or 4) in any of these great vacation destinations we’ve handpicked just for you…