When you’re travelling around the world and seeing the sights there’s no better way to pause in the afternoon or early evening other than popping into the local bar and waiting for the sun to set over a glass of something exotic and refreshing.
Finding the right bar and the right drink is always going to set you up for the evening ahead and if you’re looking for a topic of conversation then why not spend a little time discovering the origins of some of the world’s most famous cocktails as detailed in the list below.
Of course, once you’re done conversing and have made the most of the cocktails on offer then pay heed to the wise words of Ernest Hemingway as the morning after can often be slightly more interesting than the night before.
Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
Harvey Wallbanger – first mixed by Donato Antone back in the early 50’s using vodka, Galliano and orange juice. This drink is thought to have got its name from a surfer who regularly used to frequent Antone’s Blackwatch Bar on Sunset Boulevard.
Screwdriver – simple yet effective, the Screwdriver contains half orange juice and half vodka to be served in a highball glass over ice. Originally thought to have been the conception of American aviators or Smirnoff breweries both of which lay claim to it around the late 30’s to early 40’s.
Black Russian – this dark and mysterious mix of vodka and coffee liquor first appeared in Brussels at the Hotel Metropole and is accredited to a Belgian barman named Gustave Tops who created it for the US ambassador to Luxembourg, Perle Mesta. The name derives from the use of Russian vodka and the colouration of the dark coffee.
Singapore Sling – this famous Southeast Asian cocktail is known the world over and no trip to Singapore is complete without paying your respects to its creator, Ngiam Tong Boon, who worked as a barman at the famous Raffles Hotel. Sling is an American term used to describe a mix of spirit, water and flavourings which is why the Singapore version appeared thanks to a blend of gin, cherry brandy, lemon juice and soda, shaken and strained over ice.
The Hangovertini – thanks to parts of the sequel to the Hangover being shot in Bangkok, the Hangovertini has emerged as the city’s latest ‘must try’ drink. Created by cocktail barman Alex Holzer at Lebua and served for the first time to the film’s director Todd Philips, this bad boy’s got legs and includes Chivas, sweet Vermouth and honey-infused rosemary to create the perfect tipple.
Caipirinha – anyone visiting Brazil has to try a Caipirinha cocktail as this is the national drink and not to be missed on a hot day in or out of the city. Blending Cachaca, lime and brown sugar this drink is thought to have originated in Sao Paulo state as a remedy for those suffering with the flu and is still used to this day to ward off colds. The name can be used to refer to a person from the countryside i.e. caipira but these days it’s mainly used to describe the cocktail.
Pina Colada – rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice are used to make this sweet and exotic classic cocktail that was first concocted in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the early 50’s. The name itself means strained pineapple and is drunk throughout the world with Pina Colda Day held every year on 10th July.
Mojito – there’s only one place to try your first Mojito and that’s Cuba as that white rum, lime, mint, sugar and soda concoction never fails to hit the mark on a hot day in Havana. Thought to have originated as a drink to stave off scurvy, a derivative of a modern day Mojito was used by British sailors during the 1700’s however, the drink is more commonly associated with the Spanish descendants who used mojo creole mixes created from imported and local varieties of citrus.
Margarita – thought to have originated towards the end of the 1930’s around the Tijuana area of Mexico when Carlos Herrera mixed tequila, triple sec liquor and lime juice for a Broadway dancer who was allergic to all other spirits except tequila.
Rusty Nail – a blend of Drambuie and Scotch whisky that was first invented around the early 60’s by those tending bar in Manhattan, primarily at the 21 Club. A favourite of the Rat Pack and endorsed by the makers of Drambuie, this is a cocktail that’s been presented in many guises but the name Rusty Nail tends to suit it the best.
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