The Best Cocktails from Around the World

If not wholly canceled, COVID-19 has at least postponed everyone’s vacation plans for the year. Whether it’s that European trip to find yourself or that trendy trip to Iceland everybody is taking all of a sudden, we’re all staying grounded for now. I started thinking, though, that a restriction on travel doesn’t have to mean a limit on the cultural experience. We’re used to sipping on the American classics, but why can’t we travel around the world in our kitchens? That pushed me to create an Around the World Cocktail Menu. Think Epcot, but just for alcohol. Almost all of these cocktails can easily be made at home, barring some that feature native ingredients. I did try to include some dupes for those, so no cocktail is off-limits. Let us know in the comments what your national cocktail is or if you’ve tried any from our list. You can also tag us at @boozeworldnews on Instagram to show us your creations!

Africa

Dawa Cocktail
Photo from somak.com

The Dawa | A much-loved cocktail in East Africa, Dawa translates to “medicine” in Swahili. Legend has it that this cocktail can cure just about anything and gained popularity at The Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ oz Vodka
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • Honey

 Instructions:

  • Place lime wedges and brown sugar in a lowball glass and muddle, 5-10 seconds
  • Add vodka and crushed ice
  • Traditionally, a Dawa stick is coated in honey and placed in the drink, but a regular wood stirrer covered in honey or a spoonful of honey will also work
  • Stir the drink using the stick or spoon, and continue occasionally stirring to add sweetness

Belgium

The Black Russian Cocktail
Photo from Liquor.com

The Black Russian | This dark cocktail was created in Brussels in 1949 by Gustave Tops, bartender at Hotel Metropole. It was created in honor of Perle Mesta, the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, and has been described as the “big brother” to the well known White Russian.

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

  • Combine ingredients in a lowball glass with ice
  • Stir 10-15 seconds until combined

Brazil

Caipirinha | Known as Brazil’s signature drink, the Caipirinha is equally as refreshing as it is easy to make. The main ingredient, Cachaça, is distilled and mostly sold in Brazil, but you can find brands like Novo Fogo and Leblon sold in the U.S. 

Ingredients:

 Instructions

  • Cut half of a lime into small wedges and place in a lowball glass
  • Add sugar and muddle
  • Add ice and Cachaça
  • Stir until combined
  • Garnish with a lime wedge or wheel

England

Black Velvet | A classic British cocktail, the Black Velvet was first made by a bartender at Brooks’s Gentlemen’s Club in 1861 London. Combining equal parts stout and Champagne, the drink was originally created to mourn the death of Prince Albert.

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

  • Fill a highball glass with stout
  • Top with Champagne poured over a spoon, equal parts

France

Serendipity Cocktail
Photo from Washington Post

SerendipityThis cocktail hails from Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris. 

Colin Field, regarded as the world’s most exceptional bartender by Forbes, and head bartender at Bar Hemingway, has shared his recipe with the world, allowing us to make our own at home. 

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

  • Place a bunch of fresh mint in a highball glass
  • Add sugar, apple juice, Calvados and ice
  • Top with Champagne

Hawaii

Tropical Itch | This tropical cocktail was invented in 1957 by Harry Yee, bartender at the Hilton Hawaiin Village in Waikiki.

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake about 15-20 seconds
  • Strain into tulip or highball glass filled with ice
  • Traditionally garnished with a bamboo back scratcher, pineapple, mint, orange, or paper parasol garnishes will also work

Israel

The Rosie Lee Cocktail
Photo from Liquor.com

Rosie Lee |  According to Haaretz, Mosh Bundik of The Social Club in Tel Aviv created this sophisticated and rosy cocktail to match Israel’s growing interest in complex flavors.

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

  • Mix lychee syrup and rose water in a blender
  • Add gin and lemon juice
  • Shake with ice,
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Italy

The Americano Cocktail
Photo from Campari.com

AmericanoA classic cocktail by any standard, the Americano was first served at Gaspare Campari’s Cafe Campari in 1860s Milan. It has since gained popularity all over the world.

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

  • Combine Campari and sweet vermouth in a rocks glass filled with ice and stir
  • Top with a splash of club soda
  • Garnish with an orange twist

Japan

Ginza Mary | A Japanese take on the Bloody Mary believed to be named after Japan’s famous nightlife area, Ginza

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Sake
  • 2 oz Tomato Juice
  • ½ oz Lemon Juice
  • 2-5 Dashes Tabasco 
  • 2 Dashes Soy Sauce
  • Ground Black Pepper

 Instructions:

  • Combine vodka, sake, tomato juice, lemon juice, Tabasco and soy sauce into an ice-filled shaker
  • Shake 15-20 seconds, until combined
  • Strain into a lowball glass filled with ice
  • Garnish with black pepper

Nicaragua

The Macua Cocktail
Photo from Liquor.com

The Macuá | The Macuá is named after the tropical bird Pajaro macuá, native to Nicaragua. This fruity cocktail is noted as Nicaragua’s national drink.

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

  • Combine ingredients with ice in a blender
  • Blend and pour into a highball glass
  • Garnish with an orange slice

Puerto Rico

The Pina Colada
Photo from Crazy For Crust

Piña Colada | Ramon Marrero created the piña colada in 1954 while working at the Caribe Hilton International Hotel. He received many accolades and even an award from Coco Lopez, the coconut cream brand used in the original recipe. In 1978, Puerto Rico declared the piña colada as their national drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz White Rum
  • 1 oz Coconut Cream
  • 3 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Cup Ice

 Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Pour into a hurricane glass
  • Garnish with a pineapple slice and maraschino cherry

Singapore

The Singapore Sling
Photo from The Spruce Eats

The Singapore Sling | This classic cocktail from Singapore was created sometime before 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon. Boon worked as a bartender in Singapore at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel.

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Spain

Agua de ValenciaA Spanish take on the mimosa, the trick with this cocktail is to use oranges from Valencia. Unless you’re in Spain, that most likely isn’t an option, so any oranges available in your region will have to do.

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

  • Combine orange juice, gin, vodka and cava in a pitcher or carafe
  • Add sugar, pinch by pinch, and stir and taste to desired sweetness
  • Traditionally served in Martini Glasses

Thailand

The Siam Sunray Cocktail
Photo from AskMen.com

Siam Sunray | The Siam Sunray has been described as “Thailand in a glass.” It has been promoted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Thai Hotels Association in the hope that the drink would be recognized as the signature drink of Thailand. It was created by award-winning bartender Surasakdi Pantaisong who won a Thailand national cocktail contest in 2008.

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

  • Combine Thai chili pepper, young ginger, Kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass in a shaker
  • Crush to let out their aroma
  • Add simple syrup, lime juice, and vodka
  • Shake well, 20-30 seconds
  • Strain until cocktail glass with ice
  • Top with soda water
  • Garnish with chili, lemongrass and lime slice
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