A Cocktail in Every Country
It is always best to make the most of any country you have the pleasure of exploring for the first time by diving into to local culture and customs, which, oftentimes meaning asking a local bartender for the drink they’re best known for. Many countries around the world have their own national cocktails- drinks that were invented in-country and lauded worldwide. This is where many of our Happy Hour classics started- in a bar in some small corner of the earth, all around the globe. Check out some of our favorite destinations’ signature cocktails and the stories behind them below.
Peru- Pisco Sours
Pisco Sours are also Chile’s national drink, but this famously delicious cocktail was invented in Peru by Victor Vaughen Morris, and American who moved to Peru for work. He invented the Pisco Sour in the establishment he later started, Morris’ Bar, in Lima. This popular place amongst high society and travelers is also home to the modern, modified version of the drink which was revamped by Morris’ Bar employee, Mario Bruiget, which incorporated egg whites and Angostura bitters. See our favorite pisco recipe here or check out the video below to try your hand and this smooth, frothy, citrus drink!
Singapore- Singapore Sling
Singapore’s Raffles Hotel is the home of the Singapore Sling. It was invented at the hotel’s Long Bar by Ngiam Tong Boon in the early 1900’s for female guests. This famous cocktail now decorates the specialty cocktails list at bars around the world. It features tropical flavors made up of fruity liqueurs and pineapple juice, and the staple liquor of the early 20th century, gin. The Raffles Hotel still makes it’s signature cocktail today and offer demonstrations to curious visitors. You can see a demonstration from the hotel below so you can try to make one at home in the traditional style!
Raki is actually a liquor, not a cocktail, which is Turkey’s national drink. This beverage is considered to many to be an acquired taste, as it is flavored with anise, a strong, licorice-flavored herb. There are many cocktails that can be made using raki, including Raki Sours and other, fruitier concoctions reminiscent of a tequila sunrise, but most often it is served with water, which, when mixed with the clear spirit, turns it a milky color. Give it a whirl if you’re feeling adventurous, and learn more about how the liquor is traditionally served and how this drink fits into Turkish culture and rituals below.
It is easy to fine Sake, or Japanese rice wine, in the United States; however, the most sophisticated and complex brews are typically found in Asia. In Japan, sake is an important part of culture and partaking in this drink is done in a ceremonious way, with an unspoken etiquette to be followed. For a taste of sake at home, head a large liquor store to pick up a bottle or visit a local Japanese or Chinese restaurant, which often carry sake. Of course, we will always recommend a culinary tour of Japan where you can experience the beautiful culture and culinary perfectionism first hand. See how sake is made below!
Mexico- La Paloma
Many people in the states think of Margaritas or Tequila Sunrises as Mexico’s primary tequila cocktail, when in fact the country’s national cocktail is La Paloma. There are many rumors about who invented the drink, but no one really knows for sure. This absolutely refreshing beverage is made using tequila, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and grapefruit flavor soda served on the rocks. This bubbly, citrus flavored drink is amazing for beating the summer heat and offers a fresh alternative to other, more common tequila drinks. Watch the video below to learn how to make this drink for your next summer cocktail party. We recommend using Izze or San Pellegrino sodas for the best color and fresh flavor, but many Americans will use Fresca or other sparkling juices if it’s easier to find.
Brazil’s national cocktail features sugarcane hard liquor called cachaca muddled with fresh limes and sugar. This drink is sometimes used as a cold remedy, but its origins are widely unknown. The drink has just recently become more popular outside Brazil as the liquor used becomes more widely available to other countries. If you make it to Brazil or can get your hands on some cachaca, give it a try- we think you’ll love it!
Who doesn’t love a good mojito? This Cuban drink was invented by farmers who tried to improved the flavor of the poorer quality rum they had access to. Lime and mint were so successful at disguising the flavors of less-than-ideal rum varieties and enhancing the loveliness of better quality rums that the drink became widespread throughout the country and made a big hit in the United States. In the summer months when many people have access to bundles of fresh mint, this makes an ultimately refreshing cocktail on a hot day. See how to make a classic Cuban Mojito below!