Cocktails Around the World

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It’s t-minus two days until I board my flight in Shanghai and embark on the 18+ hour ride from China to Washington DC. It’s hard to believe I’m finally off on my next adventure and my first real solo international adventure ever.

When this post goes live I’ll have packed my bags and be teaching my last class for five weeks. Thank you to the lovely Charlotte from Travel Supermarket for putting this post together. She’ll be contributing an article once a month for the foreseeable future.

This week she’s writing about a topic very dear to my heart – the imbibing of alcohol in the form of fruity cocktails! Gotta love that!

Cocktails Around the World

Whether classy, cool, exotic or just plain fun to drink, cocktails are a popular choice all around the world. They are sold in high-end bars or mixed at home with pre-purchased ingredients and always go down a treat at parties.

Few people, however, stop to consider where and how cocktails gained their popularity, got their name or ended up the way they are today.

Here is a rundown of some of the most popular cocktails around the world, for the most intrepid of traveller it would be rude to not to try each one!


Singapore Sling, Singapore

Singapore Sling
I first sampled a delicious Singapore Sling celebrating Christmas in Nelson, New Zealand

It’ll be little surprise that the Singapore Sling comes from, well, Singapore. It’s said that this renowned cocktail, which combines Cointreau, cherry brandy and Benedictine among other ingredients, was invented by a bartender called Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon and that its year of origin was sometime between 1910 and 1915. The original recipe used by the inventor can be seen in the Raffles Hotel, Singapore, where it is kept in a vault. And Raffles hotel is the ultimate place to enjoy this classic cocktail.

White Russian, Russia

White Russian
I had my first White Russian during an Aussie bachelor party. It’s one of my favorite cocktails.

This Kahula, cream and vodka drink’s name harks back to a time when vodka was less commonly consumed and was a little more mysterious. The cocktail’s moniker isn’t a reference to it originating in Russia, but simply to the fact that it contains vodka, which was seen as being a major product of Russia in the 1930s and remains associated with that country today.

Daiquiri, Cuba

It wasn’t so long ago that I had one of these spilled in my crotch while drinking at my local Mexican restaurant here in Nanjing, China

One of the many famed Cuban cocktails, the Daiquiri is originally from a bar near to Santiago in the island nation. It’s said that the Daiquiri was created when rum was used to replace gin due to a stock shortage.

Whatever the exact origin, this cocktail, which also contains sugar and lime juice, was popularised partly thanks to the efforts of noted writer Ernest Hemingway, himself a big fan of Cuba.

The Dark ‘n’ Stormy, Great Britain

Dark & Stormy
I have no interesting travel stories regarding the legendary Dark & Stormy. I’ve only ever had them in a mate’s back yard.

This cocktail sounds as if it should have its origins on the seven seas and unsurprisingly it does. The rum-based drink became a favourite of sailors in the British navy after the company Gosling’s began producing Black Seal Rum in the 19th century. The rum was added to ginger beer and sometimes lime and ice for the finished cocktail.

Caipirinha, Brazil

I haven’t tried one of these yet, but it looks bloody good!

This rum-based drink is not only from Brazil but also generally only encountered there. The reason for this is that it relies on a specific type of rum, cachaça sugar-cane rum to be precise. But if a bar has it, then bartenders can create quite a few varieties of the caipirinha, such as mango or kiwi versions.

The Kir, France

Kir cocktail
Now I think she’s just making these up. I’ve never even heard of a Kir. Shame on me.

Over in France and specifically the region of Burgundy, the Kir began life following the Second World War. It combines black currant liqueur with white wine, both of which were produced in Burgundy and were given as a mixture to visiting dignitaries by Mayor Felix Kir of Dijon in the absence of red wine. Nowadays, the Kir can also be made with cider or peach liqueur.

Mai Tai, United States

Mango Mai Tai
I remember sippin’ Mai Tais by the pool in Las Vegas. Good times.

The Mai Tai appears to have its roots in California, but just who invented this fruity cocktail is lost in the mists of time. Some say it was Victor Buergon, who created the Mai Tai at his restaurant to impress his friends visiting from Tahiti in 1944.

Others reckon that restaurateur Donn Beach was responsible for the Mai Tai’s appearance, back in 1933. Either way, the drink has long been associated with Hawaii and contains rums and fruit juices such as pineapple and orange.

Tinto de Verano, Spain

Tinto de Verano
I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks suspiciously like the vast quantities of sangria I consume whenever able

This Spanish cocktail has become known beyond the country thanks to tourists who have sampled it on their holidays to Spain, particularly in the south of the country.

It’s produced using red wine, soda and slices of lemon and is probably best enjoyed during the peak of the summer months.

Spritz, Italy

The Spritz. Incredibly masculine.

The Spritz is a cocktail found throughout Italy, though it is sometimes called Brescia in the north of the country. Created using campari, soda, white wine and slices of fruit, a Spritz is served in a champagne flute and tends to be imbibed as a drink before mealtimes.

Margarita, Mexico

Believe it or not, I had my first margarita in South Korea >_>

The tequila and Cointreau cocktail, the Margarita, is another drink for which it isn’t hard to guess the country of origin. Yes, where there’s tequila, there’s Mexico.

Thanks to the Margarita’s widespread popularity around the globe, there are various versions in existence. But the original simply contains orange liqueur, white tequila and lime juice and ice of course.

If any of these cocktails take your fancy and you want to visit any of these countries to experience the cocktails as they were intended visit TravelSupermarket for great deals on flights and cheap hotel prices.

Your Favorite International Cocktails

Charlotte has listed ten pretty fantastic international cocktails above, but I know she’s only scraping the surface of the iceberg. What are your favorite cocktails from at home and abroad? More importantly, how do you make them?

Me? I’m all about the Grasshopper.

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