After a long day of travel and adventure, there’s nothing better than a strong drink kick back with. Surely, it’s always great to raise a glass of wine or liquor, but we think that a unique mixed drink specific to your destination makes for an even more celebratory “cheers.” These classic cocktails from around the globe are so delicious, you’ll want to travel the world just to drink them!
Chilcano – Peru
This delicious classic cocktail was developed in the 1800s, when Italian immigrants introduced a drink they called the Buongiorno, made from grappa, lime juice, and ginger beer. To curb the craving when grappa supplies ran low, people began substituting local pisco (Peruvian brandy made from fermented grape juice) for the grappa For reasons that are unclear, they named it ‘chilcano’ after the popular Peruvian fish head soup. Luckily for us, this classic cocktail tastes little like the soup, and more like a slightly sweeter, lightly fragrant play on a Moscow Mule.
Kir Royale – France
Kir, which was developed in Burgundy, France, and made using local dry white wine and crème de cassis, a sweet blackcurrant liquor, is the basis for the elegant Kir Royale, which utilizes champagne instead of white wine. Typically served on special occasions, this blush colored classic cocktail was named after priest Canon Félix Kir, who was a hero in the French Resistance during the Second World War and a believer in utilizing local products.
Caipirinha – Brazil
Translating to “little peasant girl,” the caipirinha is said to have originated as a medicine towards the end of World War I to ease the effects of the Spanish flu. The original recipe utilized garlic, but fortunately, they nixed that years ago. These days, this classic cocktail is as sweet and refreshing as it is fun to say. Made by muddling limes and sugar together, adding Cachaça, a spirit distilled from fermented sugarcane juice, and ice, this is certainly a classic cocktail worth traveling for.
Atholl Brose – Scotland
Made using oat milk, cream, honey, and whiskey, the supposed origins of this classic cocktail alone make it worth tasting. Ask any elderly Scotsman, and he’ll tell you that this drink was named after the Earl of Atholl, who instructed his army to spike their enemy’s water well with these ingredients in order to gain an upper hand in battle. According to the legend, his sneaky strategy worked, and since then, the country has been drinking this classic cocktail less for strategic defeat and more for pleasure!
Canelazo – Ecuador
Though most people think of the tropical, warm Galapagos when Ecuador comes up, Quito, the capital, which sits at an elevation of 9,350 feet, can get quite chilly at night! To keep warm and cozy when the temperature drops, there’s nothing better than a traditional Canelazo, made by combining boiling water mixed with cinnamon and sugar, and local sugar cane alcohol called aguardiente. During the holidays, this classic cocktail is especially popular, and it is even sold by street vendors during the night time festivities.
Singapore Sling – Singapore
Created in 1915 at the famous Raffles Singapore Hotel by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, the Singapore Sling is now widely regarded as the national drink! At the time, etiquette dictated that women could not consume alcohol in public, so it was commonplace for them to sip on juice while the men nursed glasses of gin or whiskey. Ngiam saw this as an opportunity and created the Singapore Sling, made with gin, cherry brandy, pineapple juice, lime juice, Cointreau, grenadine, and bitters, as a “punch” for the ladies to drink without raising an eyebrow. Talk about a happy hour!
Fjellbekk – Norway
This delicious classic cocktail has a base of aquavit, which is a neutral spirit distilled from grain or potato and flavored with primarily caraway seeds. A long time favorite spirit of Scandinavians, aquavit dates back to the 1300s, and its distinctive savory flavor makes it the perfect pairing for regional fare. A fjellbekk, which translates to ‘mountain stream,’ combines aquavit, lime juice, vodka, and lemon-lime flavored soda, making it a refreshing and lightly herbal cocktail.
Siam Sunray – Thailand
Created just a few years ago by award-winning Thai bartender, Surasakdi Pantaisong, this drink was dubbed as Thailand’s official signature cocktail in 2009 for good reason; it screams Thailand! Combining lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves, Thai chili pepper, lime juice, ginger, coconut liquor, vodka, soda water, and simple syrup, this refreshing and classic cocktail combines the best flavors of Thai cuisine into one refreshing cocktail.
Love these classic cocktails? They’re reason enough to pick your next travel destination!
For more delicious travel destinations, check out our Travel Ideas section!