10 of the world’s best cocktails to make from home

If you’re anything like us then you’re probably dreaming of that first glorious cocktail on the lakes of Italy or the beaches of Croatia post quarantine. Until then, why not make your own international happy hour? To celebrate ‘International Cocktail Day’ this 13 May, we invite you to take a trip around the world with some of the best international cocktail recipes! These delicious alcoholic drink recipes will help you whip up classic cocktails from all over the globe. From the margarita of Mexico to the sangria of Spain, here are 10 of the world’s best cocktails you can enjoy from the comfort of home – until the day you’re able to order these drinks in their rightful home!

 

1. Aperol Spritz – Italy

One sip and you’ll be instantly transported to the sunny shores of Italy – where it was first created! This iconic cocktail is said to have been invented in, and has held onto its place as one of the world’s best cocktails for over 100 years. Have one in the late afternoon to really channel aperitivo hour vibes.

Ingredients: 
3 parts prosecco
2 parts Aperol
Splash of soda water
Garnish: Orange slice

How to make it: 
Pour all ingredients into a wine glass with a handful of ice and stir until fully blended. Garnish with a fresh orange slice then kick back and enjoy!

 

2. Piña Colada – Puerto Rico

For those that are missing the piña coladas… then why not make one at home! This delicious, creamy cocktail is like summer in a glass and was created by Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. He is said to have experimented for several months in 1950’s before he captured the tropical flavours of Puerto Rico in a glass.

Ingredients: 
120ml pineapple juice
60ml coconut cream
60ml white rum 
Wedge of pineapple and maraschino cherry, to garnish 

How to make it: 
Pour all the ingredients plus a handful of ice into a blender, and pulse until smooth. Once you’ve got a good consistency, pour the mixture into a tall glass and garnish with a sweet wedge of pineapple or a maraschino cherry. Delicious!

 

3. Pimm’s – England

Since we can’t be physically in the UK to get our Pimm’s fix, or try any bars here (I was so pleasantly surprised to find it at the Little Cayman Beach Resort), the next best thing is to make your own at home! What would an English summer be without a refreshing Pimm’s Cup? 

Ingredients:
200ml Pimm’s No. 1
600ml lemonade
Cucumber, sliced
Chopped fruits (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, orange slices)
Mint sprigs
Lemon wedge

How to make it:
Fill a jug with ice then pour over the Pimm’s and lemonade. Give it a good stir to blend, then add the fruit, cucumber and mint sprigs. 

 

4. Mojito – Cuba

A favourite cocktail of Ernest Hemingway, this Caribbean classic is one of Cuba's greatest legacies, along with cigars and Communism. This sweet, minty, citrusy cocktail is as Cuban as can be, and while the exact origins of the cocktail are unknown, it has been traced all the way back to 1586, as a medicinal drink for pirates who sailed to Havana in search of gold.

The most famous place to have a mojito is La Bodeguita del Modia, a bar in Havana, but until we can get there, we’ll happily sip away mojitos at home.

Ingredients: 
60ml white rum
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp granulated sugar
small handful mint leaves, plus extra sprig to serve
soda water, to taste

How to make it: 
Muddle the lime juice, mint leaves and sugar in a jug, making sure the mint is well crushed. Pour the mixture into a tall glass, add a handful of ice, then pour over the rum and stir. Top it up with soda water, garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy!

 

5. Sangria – Spain

So you’ve probably had a few glasses bottles of wine to pass the time while stuck in lockdown (let’s be honest haven’t we all?). Now you can go one better with a glass of sangria, the beloved wine punch of Spain and one of the world’s best cocktails. There are endless recipe variations, with ingredients ranging from simple red wine to white wine to cava, a Spanish sparkling wine. But if you’re looking for an easy yet delicious sangria recipe to make at home, we’ve got you covered. Get the tapas ready and get to it!

 

Red Sangria recipe

Ingredients:
750ml bottle light red wine
100ml brandy
Diced apples, pears, oranges
2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 chopped
200g red berries, chopped (strawberries and raspberries will work)
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Ice

How to make it: 
Put the chopped fruit in a bowl, then sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon, and stir to coat. Cover the mixture, pour in the brandy and leave to soak in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Next, stir the fruit mixture to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Fill a large jug with ice, then tip the fruit mixture into the jug with the wine. Stir it all together, splash in the sparkling water, pour yourself a glass and enjoy. 

 

White Sangria recipe

Ingredients:

750ml bottle crisp white wine (Sauvignon Blanc adds a nice complexity, Pinot Grigio works too)
100ml brandy
Diced apples, peaches, lemon and lime (sliced into rounds)
1 cup of strawberries (sliced)

How to make it: 
Put the chopped fruit in a bowl, pour in the brandy and leave to soak in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Fill a large jug with ice, then tip the fruit mixture into the jug with the wine. Stir it all together, splash in the sparkling water, pour yourself a glass and enjoy. 

 

6. Margarita – Mexico

If you’ve ever been to a bar, you’ve probably had a margarita, or two. Who’s counting anyway? It’s a blissful blend of tequila, citrus juice, cointreau (or triple sec if you don't have cointreau handy).

It pairs perfectly with those tacos and nachos we can’t stop making constantly, even after Cinco de Mayo. We love this deliciously citrusy drink that everyone can now make at home.   

Ingredients: 
35ml Reposado Tequila
20ml Cointreau
35ml fresh lime juice
ice cubes
lime wedge, to garnish

How to make it: 
Pour the tequila, cointreau and lime juice into a cocktail shaker or a blender. Add a handful of ice cubes and shake vigorously (or blend) for 10-15 seconds. Take a glass and dampen half the rim with water, then dip it in salt. Strain the tequila mixture into the glass, and garnish with a lime wedge. Salud!

 

7. Ireland: Irish coffee

At the end of a long St. Patrick's Day (or indeed at the beginning!) there's nothing quite like an Irish coffee as a little pick-me-up (Also works wonders in these isolation work from home days…) this classic beverage is known globally and appreciated by all whiskey and coffee lovers.

Ingredients:

1 cup freshly brewed coffee

1 tbsp of brown sugar

1-2 shots of Irish whiskey

Whipped cream

How to make it:

Fill footed mug or a mug with hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot.

 

8. French 75 – France

Sure you could drink a mimosa or even just a glass of sparkling wine. But we’re here to turn it up a notch with a French 75, the elegant cocktail of France and one of the world’s best cocktails. 

Ingredients: 
50ml gin
Champagne, to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar syrup
lemon zest
ice

How to make it: 
Pour the sugar syrup, lemon juice, sugar syrup and gin into a cocktail shaker or a blender, then fill up with ice and shake (or blend). Strain the mixture into a champagne flute, top up with champagne, and then stir gently. Garnish with a slice of lemon zest and toast to your classiest cocktail yet!

 

9. Caipirinha – Brazil

If you like mojitos, you’re going to love the caipirinha, the funky Brazilian cousin of the mojito. Instead of using rum, a caipirinha is made with cachaça, Brazil’s national spirit, a rum-like liquor with a peppy sugarcane juice kick. 

While no one knows the exact origins of the cocktail, it was thought to have been created as a home remedy during the Spanish flu outbreak in the early 19th century, as the limes provided a good dose of Vitamin C. Pairs perfectly to our current situation … We’re not doctors (and definitely don’t condone this drink as a remedy for any flu) but we think it can’t hurt to enjoy a caipirinha or two at home. Next stop – caipirinhas on the beaches of Rio!

Ingredients: 
200ml cachaça
6 tbsp golden caster sugar
2 limes, chopped into wedges, plus extra lime wedges to serve (optional)
crushed ice

How to make it:
Put the lime wedges and sugar in a jug, then use a muddler (or improvise) to crush them together. Try to get as much juice out of the lime wedges as possible and mix it with the sugar to create a syrup. Take the lime peel out, then pour the syrup and cachaça into a glass, and top with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wedge for an extra citrus buzz.

 

10. Pisco Sour – Peru

Both Peru and Chile claim rights to the creation of the Pisco Sour, but most accounts agree that it’s Peru’s national drink – and although we can’t head to Peru right now to try this world famous cocktail, we can make it in our own kitchen first!

Ingredients: 
50ml Pisco
1 egg white
50ml sugar syrup
50ml lime juice
few drops of Angostura bitters
lime slices, to garnish (optional)

How to make it:
Pour the Pisco, sugar syrup and lime juice into a blender or cocktail shaker with the egg white and add a handful of ice. Blend for 10 seconds or shake vigorously for 30 secs, then strain into glasses. Add a few drops of Angostura bitters to the top of the cocktail, then garnish with a lime slice and enjoy the frothy goodness.

 

AND THE ODD ONE OUT - Sake Bomb 

This psychotic combination of Japanese rice liquor and American beer was first dreamed up during the American occupation of Japan after the Second World War. If you’ve never had a sake bomb, you can either consider yourself as having missed out or, alternatively, greatly privileged. Sake bombs, typically comprised of cheap beer and cheap sake, are unpleasant, both in taste and consumption method. If you wish to subject yourself to a sake bomb, see below: 

You will need American beer at room temperature, chopsticks and a shot of rice liquor. Balance the shot about your beer using your chopsticks. Then start pounding the table while repeatedly shouting "sake!" The force of your fists will shift the chopsticks and send the sake tumbling into the beer. Ichi…ni…san…sake bomb! Consume immediately and pray for mercy.

You might be extremely puzzled and wondering why the Japanese would invent something that subjects sake, a delicious and often holy beverage, to such a strange practice.

The answer is, they didn’t.

…most Japanese think the West is crazy for wasting sake by dumping it into beer and righteously so. Basically, it would be like doing a Chardonnay bomb and let’s be honest how many oenophiles do you see doing Chardonnay bombs?

The origins of the same bomb are mysterious, but there seems to be a consensus that the drink – or drinking ritual, depending on how you look at it – did not originate in Japan, and is basically never practiced there.

 

Have you tried making any of the world’s best cocktails at home? Let us know your favourite cocktail or where you wish you were enjoying a cocktail to celebrate international cocktail day! 

May 13 2020

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