If there’s one thing I excel at besides traveling, it’s enjoying a tasty beverage. Most of you are familiar with Global Debauchery’s traditional pre-flight libations, right? (Exhibit A, here: Drinks Around the World, A Photo Essay.) But combine this particular expertise with a quarantine. Add a bunch of other bloggers, and summer around the corner. What do you get? A really excellent blog post of cocktails from around the world. Try something new at a virtual happy hour, or at a small gathering, if you’re allowed. Whatever you do, just enjoy. A huge thank you to all the bloggers who contributed to this fun piece!
Buffalo Milk from Catalina Island, USA
Catalina Island, just off the coast of Southern California, has a long reputation as a fabulous SoCal romantic getaway. From being the historic winter home of the Chicago Cubs to appearances in pop culture, like the “Step Brothers” fictitious Catalina Wine Mixer (which is now a real thing), this little island creates a peaceful and relaxing escape from the hectic LA scene. Not surprisingly, it has a signature drink—Buffalo Milk—that epitomizes the island vibe.
This drink doesn’t contain any buffalo milk, but it is an homage to the herds of wild buffalo that roam the island. It’s cold, sweet, and the perfect pairing with idle days of leisure on Catalina Island. Think of it as a White Russian gone crazy. The recipe for buffalo milk is:
- Half shot of Creme de Cocoa
- Half shot of Kahlua
- One shot of vodka
- Half shot of Creme de Banana
- Half & Half
Blend these ingredients with ice to create a cool and naughty treat that adjusts your clock to island time.
Contribution from: Jen and Ed of Coleman Concierge.
Caipirinha from Brazil
The Caipirinha is a well-recognized Brazilian cocktail made with Cachaça ou Pinga (a sugar cane spirit), lime, sugar and ice. Served widely everywhere you go in Brazil, the Caipirinha originated in the rural parts of São Paulo. Big sugar cane producers would throw parties and serve the traditional drink to the elite.
Nowadays, the drink has many variations. It can be done with different fruits and different liquors, which would give a different name to the cocktail. If you use vodka, it’s called Caipiroska; wine is Caipivinho; and sake is Caipisake, among others.
The best way to drink Caipirinha is using a straw so the sugar that accumulates on the button of the glass is consumed with the fruit juice and not just the alcohol.
Here is a simple recipe for a great caipirinha. You’ll need:
- 1 lime
- 1 shot of cachaça
- 2 tablespoon of sugar
Wash the lime and cup the ends of it. Then cut the lime in slices or lengthwise. Transfer the lime to a cocktail shaker and add the sugar. Muddle the lime and sugar, add the cachaça, ice and mix well. Serve with a straw. If you like a lighter version of the Caipirinha, you can add some club soda and monkfruit sweetener. The perfect cocktails from around the world!
Contribution from: Patricia at Travel Fam Life.
Chilcano from Peru
Although many people come to Peru with dreams of drinking Pisco Sours every day, it’s not the most popular of Peruvian drinks. In Latin America Pisco is unique, because while most countries make spirits from sugarcane such as aguardiente and rum, Pisco is a brandy made from local grapes.
The Chilcano is an easy cocktail made with three ingredients—ginger ale, fresh lime juice and Pisco. It’s a clean and refreshing drink, similar to a Moscow mule, with a spicy fizzy punch.
No one really knows where the drink was invented, but many suspect it was in Lima and invented by Italian immigrants. This makes a lot of sense since the Italian Buon Giorno cocktail is so similar, except it uses Grappa instead of Pisco. A multi-country cocktail truly deserving of being on the list of cocktails from around the world.
Every Peruvian bartender knows the Chilcano recipe, so it may not even be on a menu since it’s expected to be available. However, it is sometimes called a Chilcanito and almost always served in a Tom Collins glass.
Contribution from: Ayngelina at Bacon Is Magic.
Daber Sherbet from India
One of Kolkata’s iconic drinks is “Daber Sherbet,” a green coconut sherbet served at an old and reputed cafe named Paramount. Tucked inside the old lanes of College Street, Paramount takes pride being the only sherbet parlour of Kolkata, which has been traditionally serving a wide range of sherbets.
With demand increasing every day, Paramount sells its unique mix of Sherbet in syrup form as well. Everyone from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to eminent writer Arundhati Ray has stepped in at Paramount to drink their cocktails from around the world.
Though more famous for Daber Sherbet (Green Coconut sherbet), Paramount also excels in Malai Sherbet, an unapologetically sweet sherbet influenced by the famous dessert Roshomalai.
To prepare Daber Sherbet, use diced green coconut meat, syrup, coconut water and ice. You can also buy Paramount’s sherbet syrup mix and use it as a cocktail base. It goes especially well with vodka. Daber Sherbet is a perfect drink to rejuvenate yourself in the sweaty heat of Kolkata, especially during summer.
Contribution from: Madhurima at Orange Wayfarer.
Fernet con Coca from Argentina
The most ubiquitous liquor in Argentina is Fernet, which locals mix with Coca-Cola. Call it Fernando or simply Fernet con Coca. Locals love it, Italians (the originators of Fernet) are disgusted by the blend. It’s so popular here that Argentina remains the only country outside of Italy that produces Fernet-Branca. Another multi-country drink for the cocktails around the world list!
This herb-filled liquor features a blend of 27 herbs. It’s heavy and best enjoyed as a digestif. However, that doesn’t stop Argentines from drinking it around the clock, whether it be over dinner with the best Argentine steak, all night at parties, and of course the next day as hair of the dog.
Legend places its origins in the city of Cordoba, where students cut off the tops of two-liter coke bottles and poured in Fernet in order to share one massive cocktail among all (similar to the yerba mate tradition, but drunker).
It’s impossibly easy to make. Blend 1 part fernet with 2 parts coke (give or take) and serve over ice in a tall glass.
Contribution from: Erin at Sol Salute.
Lassi from India
Buttermilk, popularly known as “Lassi,” is a traditional Indian beverage that you must try while traveling in India. One of our only non-alcoholic cocktails from around the world on the list! The secret of making a glass of yummy lassi lies in the yogurt.
The recipe for Lassi is very simple. I mean really simple. All you need is a bowl of yogurt, sugar, chilled water, some spices and/or fruit. Add yogurt, sugar and water in a blender and blend it until it becomes smooth. Serve the Lassi by adding 1 teaspoon of crushed cardamom powder and a few saffron strands. Most Indians use a traditional hand blender to make the taste more delicious.
Nothing can beat Lassi during the hot summer in India. It is not only tasty, but also helpful for your immune system and digestive health, since it is rich in lactic acid and Vitamin D. You can find the best quality Lassi in Varanasi, one of the cheapest places to travel in India. Their hand-churned Lassi is famous across the country for their different flavors, like chocolate, strawberry, banana, and coconut.
Contribution from: Trijit at Budget Travel Buff.
Many countries have their own iconic soft drink brand. In the U.S., Dr. Pepper is enjoyed by many. Australia is Schweppes. In New Zealand, L&P is our iconic soft drink.
Lemon & Paeroa, as its name suggests, is a lemon-flavored soft drink made in the small town of Paeroa in the North Island of New Zealand. The sweet soda makes for a perfect mixer for a cocktail.
The L&P Highball has a gin base. Take a highball glass and fill it with ice. Add 1.5 ounces of gin to the glass. One great New Zealand brand of gin that is becoming internationally-recognized is Scapegrace which works perfectly in an L&P Highball. Squeeze half an ounce of lemon juice, then pop the lemon wedges in for flavor and aesthetic. Top the glass with L&P, then a dash of Angostura Aromatic bitters.
One of the best places to enjoy an L&P-based cocktail in New Zealand is on the waterfront in Wanaka. Just across the street from the lake are some of the best cocktail bars and outdoor eateries in the country.
If you’re keen to make it at home, drink it on a summer’s day at the start of your barbecue, or pair it with some takeaway fish and chips on the beach. It doesn’t get more Kiwi than that!
Contribution from: Delilah at Our Travel Mix.
Limoncello Spritz from Italy
Spritz and Italy go hand in hand, and while the Aperol Spritz is now becoming ubiquitous further afield, you may not know that there is also a limoncello spritz (and an Hugo Spritz, Campari Spritz and the list goes on). So if you find the zest of lemon better than the sharp bitter tang of Aperol, this just may be the drink for you.
Limoncello is already a classic after dinner shot you’ve probably come across, though never in a spritz. The combination make a limoncello spritz fizzy from the prosecco and sweet and lemony from the limoncello.
Spritz originated in the Roman Empire but was made popular in the nineteenth century when Austrian soldiers in North East Italy found Italian wine too strong and would dilute it with a splash of water (the German word for splash being “spritz”).
So, it’s easy to make. All Spritz start the same way. Fill glass half with ice. Add Prosecco and Soda water. Then the third ingredient is what differentiates the spritz—Campari, Aperol, elderflower (for a Hugo) or limoncello. Some people like to garnish with citrus fruits and herbs, but it’s not necessary. For the best consistency I’ve always used a mix of 1 part soda, 2 part prosecco, 3 part limoncello, but play around with it as you see fit.
The best time for a drink is Apperitivo hours, generally 4–6 pm in Italy, when spritz are served with free nibbles like crisps and nuts. Just try not to overindulge before dinner!
Contribution from: Dave of DaveChant.com.
Mai Tai from Hawaii
If you ever visit Hawaii, you must try the unofficial signature drink of the islands, a Mai Tai. A popular cocktail to have at happy hour (or “Pau Hana” here in Hawaii), Mai Tais are the perfect tropical drink for the end of the day at a bar or restaurant with a fantastic sunset coming into view.
You may be wondering what’s in a Mai Tai. Basically, it combines white and dark rum, orange Curacao, pineapple juice, Orgeat syrup and lime juice. Variations include adding coconut rum, grenadine syrup, simple syrup and/or orange juice with garnishes of mint, cherry or pineapple.
The tiki-inspired Mai Tai has become associated with Hawaii as a Polynesian drink, and is probably at the top of every bar menu with different variations of the main ingredients. You’ll find this iconic drink with tropical flare served on cruises and at bars or restaurants all over Hawaii. And, of course, on our list of cocktails around the world.
Contribution from: Noel of This Hawaii Life.
Mary Pickford from Cuba
The Mary Pickford is one of the most famous Cuban staple cocktails, and 1000% deserves a spot on the guide to cocktails around the world. It takes its name after an Oscar-winning Hollywood star Mary Pickford from the 1920s. She was known as a ‘little Mary’ because she often played little boy’s and girl’s roles in the silent movies. The cocktail comes from the Prohibition times when American celebrities were flocking to Cuba to enjoy Cuban casinos and rum. Mary Pickford was created by an American bartender—Eddie Woelke, that also invented the famous El Presidente cocktail. The ingredients are:
- A double measure of white rum (ideally Havana Club for authenticity)
- A dash of Grenadine
- Maraschino Cherry
- Pineapple juice
Fill a martini glass with ice to cool it down and set aside. Fill half a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and the ingredients, close the shaker and shake well. Strain it into an empty, chilled martini glass, then open the shaker and pour some foam to top up the glass. Optionally, you can garnish it with a cherry.
Contribution from: Mal at Raw Mal Roams.
Mojito from Cuba
The classic mother of all Cuban cocktails is the Mojito, and the legends surrounding its origin are certainly interesting. Native Indians used a form of rum called aguardiente mixed with sugarcane, lime juice and mint to cure certain diseases. These are all the ingredients that go into a Mojito.
The original Spanish explorers and settlers realized that some diseases, especially scurvy, were indeed cured by the Indian drink. They tried the mixture when they were ill and, along with feeling better, got a little tipsy. It is no surprise that the medicinal mixture continued to be popular over the years. Time passed and the drink evolved into what we know today as a typical Mojito. But where does the name come from? Many believe it derived from “mojo” (pronounced “moho”), which is the word in Spanish for a sauce used to marinade many Cuban style dishes.
The person most commonly credited with making the Mojito popular is Ernest Hemingway. He truly immortalized the cocktail by drinking copious amounts almost every day while he lived in Cuba. His favorite haunt was the Bodeguita del Medio Bar on a side street off beautiful Cathedral Plaza in Old Havana. Visitors to the Bodeguita write their name on the walls, a touristy but fun thing to do in Havana.
Contribution from: Talek of Travels with Talek.
Pisco Sour from Peru
When visiting Peru, a Pisco Sour is a popular drink to try and also a delicious option to remember your trip at home. The original Pisco Sour dates back to the 1700s, but the drink as we know it today was created in Lima in 1920. Its base liquor, Pisco, is a type of brandy made from fermented grape juice. Pisco was developed in the 1500s by Spanish settlers and is found all over Peru.
A bit tart but bright and frothy, a Pisco Sour is the perfect drink as a pre-dinner cocktail to pair along with a chicken dish.
A Pisco Sour is a very easy drink to make. It only takes four ingredients—Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, and an egg white. Pour 1 oz of lime juice, 1 egg white, 2 oz of Pisco, and a half oz of simple syrup into a shaker. Top off with ice and shake. Then, pour into a glass and serve!
Contribution from: Francesca of Homeroom Travel.
Pimms from Great Britain
It’s a beautiful british summer’s day, you’re sitting outside or with friends in a beer garden. There’s not a cloud in the sky, music in the background and you’ve got a fresh jug of Pimms. Pimms is the ultimate English summer drink. You get it at garden shows, cocktail bars, festivals. It’s an unwritten rule that you drink it at outdoors events. Though of course not obligatory.
So, what is Pimms? It’s a fruity punch first made in London, UK by James Pimms in 1823. Pimms itself is a gin-based fruity liquor which, when put with lemonade (Sprite or 7-Up for Americans) and fruit, is served in its most traditional form. To make it:
- Cut cucumber, strawberries and oranges.
- Grab some fresh mint.
- Fill a jug with ice.
- Add as much Pimms as you wish.
- Then, top up with Lemonade.
Super simple. Super tasty. Really refreshing.
Contribution from: Charlotte of Bursting My Bubbles.
Porto Tonico from Portugal
One of my favorite places in Europe is Porto. A stunning Portuguese city on the banks of the river Douro, it is famous for a particular kind of fortified wine, port, which is made by adding grape brandy to wine to stop the fermentation, before barrel aging. White port may be less well known than the classic ruby port we all enjoy with cheese after dinner, but it is equally delicious. In Portugal, Porto Tonico or White Port and Tonic is a popular aperitif, light, refreshing and relatively low in alcohol.
It’s a simple cocktail to prepare—a blend of white port and tonic with ice and a citrus garnish to complement the port you choose. And, for me, it takes me back to Porto, to river trips along the Duoro, to exploring the port cellars and to sitting by the Dom Luis I Bridge, looking across to Gaia. Porto Tonico is a simple drink that reflects the culture and heritage of its origin. Easy to make and even easier to drink, white port and tonic is simple, charming and quintessentially Portuguese.
Contribution from: Fiona of London Unattached.
Singapore Sling from Singapore
You don’t need to visit Singapore to get a taste of the country. All you need is a few ingredients and a love for tasty cocktails from around the world. Singapore’s national drink is the Singapore Sling, which is the perfect combination of sweet, sour, and tropical. One sip of this drink and you are transported to the top of Marina Bay Sands and feel the romance of Singapore in the air. The drink has many origin stories, some saying it dates back as far as 1985. All we know for sure is that it has been around for almost 100 years, and is still a star drink of Singapore.
To make one yourself you will need; gin, pineapple juice, dom Benedictine, grenadine, cherry brandy bitters, Cointreau, and lime juice. Mix all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a tall glass. Add the final garnishing touch with pineapple and a cocktail cheery to complete the Singapore Sling and enjoy!
Contribution from: Samantha of Sam Sees World.
Szarlotka from Poland
One of the best cocktails around the world is Szarlotka from Poland. Known to locals as “Apple Pie,” this sweet and heady drink has a taste that you will never forget.
It comes as a surprise to most that this amazing drink is completely straightforward and as simple as mixing unfiltered apple juice and vodka, possibly Poland’s answer to the American’s screwdriver.
Made with only two ingredients, this cocktail only goes well with Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka, a Polish blend that is flavored by a bison grass blade that only grows in the Białowieża Forest. The secret ingredient adds subtle hints of jasmine, caramel, and hay to Szarlotka, creating the taste of apple pie.
To add to the flavor of the Szarlotka, some bars have started adding cinnamon or anise, while some garnish it with blades of bison grass or a cinnamon stick. In whatever shape this drink comes in, make sure to put it in your list of drinks to try in Poland.
Contribution from: Karolina of Polish Foodies.
More Cocktails from Around the World?
Are you also a beverage aficionado? A global debaucherer? If so, add your very own cocktails from around the world in the comments below. Everyone will be really grateful, trust me. Myself included. Happy summer to us!