A South American icon, the Pisco Sour (Photo: iStock)
If ever there was a day to get legless, tipsy, trolleyed or hammered (responsibly, of course), it’s International Cocktail Day, celebrated world-round on 13 May. And what better way to toast it than a liquid lunch in one of the world’s cocktail capitals?
Whether you’re travelling the world bottoms-up or stone cold sober (except on International Cocktail Day), here are some top tipple tips.
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Havana is the birthplace of the Mojito and it is enjoyed in Cuba using spearmint or yerba buena, instead of pure mint. Its origins are said to hail back to the 16th century when Sir Francis Drake and his ‘merry’ soldiers would enjoy a bit of ‘El Draque’.
Ingredients: White rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water and mint
Best place to drink it: El Chanchullero in old-town Havana
What could be more fabulous than celebrating International Cocktail Day with a Manhattan in New York? The drink is said to have originated in its namesake in the 19th century and can be enjoyed in several variations, from a Perfect Manhattan to a Dry Manhattan.
Ingredients: Whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters
Best place to drink it: Buvette in Greenwich Village
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It may be all Venice, but the Spritz Veneziano actually has Austrian roots having first been crafted when the Queen of the Adriatic formed part of the Austrian Empire. Over the years, the wine-based sparkling cocktail has evolved and now incorporates liquor like Campari, giving it its orange hue.
Ingredients: Prosecco and a dash of Campari or Aperol
Best place to drink it: Osteria Al Squero in Dorsoduro
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The sweet-sour flavours of Pisco Sour were first mixed in the 1920s in Lima, Peru. Today, this beverage is not only a firm favourite in its homeland, but also in Chile and other parts of South America. In fact, both countries claim pisco sour as their national drink, and Peru actually has an annual holiday commemorating the cocktail.
Ingredients: Peruvian pisco, freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, ice, egg white and Angostura bitters
Best place to drink it: Bar Ingles in San Isidro, Lima
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A trip to Spain would be bereft of fun if it did not include at least one pitcher of chilled sangria. A cocktail reflecting the colour of blood (sangre in Spanish), sangria is served across the Iberian peninsula and recipes vary greatly, perhaps because it is so easy to mix.
Ingredients: Red wine, chopped fruit, orange juice and brandy (sometimes)
Best place to drink it: Los Caracoles, just off Las Ramblas in Barcelona
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So named for the favourite French brandy of its creator, Sazerac was born in New Orleans’ French Quarter in the early 19th century. This beverage holds the distinction of being America’s very first cocktail and was whipped by a pharmacist as a hot-toddie of sorts.
Ingredients: Rye whisky, 1 sugar cube, bitters, absinthe
Best place to drink it: The Sazerac Bar in New Orleans’ Roosevelt Hotel
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Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha has become popular all over the world. But its origins are said to be the state of São Paulo where farmers would mix and imbibe the drink at parties. At its base is cachaça, which is Brazil’s most common distilled alcoholic beverage.
Ingredients: Cachaça, sugar, ice and lime
Best place to drink it: Academia da Cachaça, Rio de Janeiro
(Source: Flight Centre Travel Group)