Here are six international cocktails to take you on a pleasantly tipsy trip around the world (from your couch of course), together with the best bars to order them at once we can travel again. There’s a chance you’ll find us there, sipping away on a perfectly crafted concoction.
The ultra-refreshing Mojito stands as the quintessential Cuban cocktail and conjures images of white sand beaches, sunshine, warm weather and tropical holidays.
All you need are five easy–to–find ingredients: white rum, cane sugar, fresh-squeezed lime juice, sparkling water, and mint – then put on your best bikini and you’re done. For the first-timers, this is a good place to start.
When in Havana, stop in at La Bodeguita del Medio. One of the city’s most popular bars, described as a ‘second home’ by Pablo Neruda, Hemingway and Salvador Allende, this is where the Mojito is said to have made its first appearance back in 1942.
“I’d like a cheeseburger, large fries and a Cosmopolitan,” said Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, thereby enshrining this late–‘80s entrant to the cocktail world as a staple on every bar’s drink list.
With only four ingredients required to make one yourself (vodka, triple sec, lime and cranberry juice), simply combine with some ice cubes and follow with a good shake, and you have NYC’s favourite ready to go.
PDT (or Please Don’t Tell) is New York’s most sought-after speakeasy – and serves incredibly good cocktails. To enter this sleek bar, you’ll have to find your way through a hot-dog shop, locate the secret phone booth and follow the instructions for what to dial on the old red phone. All worth it for a good Cosmo.
You might be a connoisseur of the Negroni, but have you ever tried a Negroni Sbagliato? Sbagliato means ‘wrong’ in Italian – this tasty concoction was accidentally invented when waiter Mirko Stocchetto replaced gin with Prosecco while mixing a classic Negroni. The rest is history.
Just like in a Negroni, the sharp red spirit Campari is this cocktail’s hero. Add red vermouth, sparkling wine and a slice of orange and you’re done. Make sure you serve this cocktail in a rock tumbler glass.
Taste a Sbagliato in Milan at Bar Basso, the historic bar nestled in the heart of the Città Studi — where Mirko made his lucky mistake and created the cocktail now considered the ultimate aperitivo.
Before the espresso martini, there was the Black Russian. A cocktail for coffee-lovers, the Black Russian – simply vodka and Kahlúa coffee liqueur — was created in 1949 in Brussels by bartender Gustave Tops, in honour of the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.
There are several versions of the classic: a splash of cream makes it a White Russian, a cola top-up makes it a Dirty Black Russian. If you’d like to stick to the original, grab an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes, shake vodka and Kahlúa and there you have it.
Hotel Metropole, birthplace of the Black Russian, is the last original 19th-century hotel still operating in Brussels. Take a seat in the striking Belle Époque-inspired Le 31 bar, order a Black Russian and feel like royalty.
Free your inner James Bond while sipping this unique version of a Martini, invented by Bond creator Ian Fleming. This powerful creation made with three shots of gin, one shot of vodka and half a shot of Lillet Blanc (previously known as Kina Lillet) made its first appearance in 1953 on the pages of the first 007 novel, Casino Royale.
No one can forget Daniel Craig ordering a Vesper Martini in the 2006 hit of the same name, during what must be the world’s most high–value poker hand: “Three measures of gin, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, then add a thin slice of lemon peel.” Be sure to thank James for the perfect recipe.
Rumours say that London’s best Martini bar is Dukes Bar, dubbed by the New York Times ‘one of the world’s best bars’ and known as the inspiration behind James Bond’s signature Martini. Rumours also say that its Martini is so strong you can order a maximum of two per person. Consider that a challenge.
No one can agree on who invented this delicious tequila–based cocktail, but it’s generally accepted that it originated in Mexico. There are some colourful stories behind its origins; our favourite goes that a bar owner from Tijuana rustled it up to please a customer who only drank tequila but was over shots. We thank them both for their fine contribution.
What do you need to make a good Margarita? Good tequila, some Cointreau or triple sec, and fresh lime juice. You’ll also need a chilled cocktail glass, rimmed in salt.
Travelling to Mexico City? Visit Villa María for a good Mexican feed, accompanied by a few of their famed super-sized Margaritas, available in an array of flavours.
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