11 Signature Cocktails From Around the World

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11 Signature Cocktails From Around the World
Every country around the world has at least one national dish: There’s goulash in Hungary, tagine in Morocco, and Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore. But what about a national drink? We’re not talking about the various regional beers available in countries around the globe—we’re thinking mixed drinks. Whether they’re blended and served with a tiny umbrella, muddled with fresh fruit, or made with only two ingredients, these cocktails are as unique to their home countries as any national dish.
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    Pimm’s Cup (United Kingdom)
    The Pimm’s Cup has been touted as the summer cocktail by Brits, likely because the drink is like a spiked fruit salad. Although a Pimm’s Cup can be made with a variety of fruits, the traditional mixture includes cucumber, fresh berries, citrus, and an herb (such as lovage or mint). The fruit is then covered with Pimm’s No. 1, gin, dry curaçao, and ginger beer. Some bartenders add a few drops of an anise tincture or use Sprite instead of ginger beer, but every version is good to sip on a patio. 

    Plan Your Trip: United Kingdom


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    Caipirinha (Brazil)
    The origins of Brazil’s national cocktail—which means “little peasant girl” in Portuguese—are often debated. Some locals believe that the Caipirinha was created as a remedy for cholera in the mid-1800s while others argue that it comes from the coastal region of Santos, where the first cachaça distilleries sprouted. While the cocktail’s origins are a mystery, there’s no arguing that the mix of cachaça, lime, and sugar is a perfectly refreshing cocktail to sip on a hot Brazilian day.

    Plan Your Trip: Brazil


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    Singapore Sling (Singapore)
    In 1915, when the Singapore Sling was created, it was frowned upon for women in Singapore to drink alcohol in public. A bartender at the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore would often serve a woman fruit juice instead of a cocktail until, one night, he realized he could create a drink that looked like juice for women who wanted to join in on the fun. To make it, he mixed gin with pineapple juice, grenadine, lime juice, Cointreau, Benedictine, and a dash of cherry brandy to boost the juicelike color. The drink soon became popular among more than just the women in the room—and now it’s the national drink of Singapore. 

    Plan Your Trip: Singapore

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    Mojito (Cuba)
    Cuba’s national drink was most famously enjoyed by Ernest Hemingway, who moved to Havana from Florida in 1939. Hemingway is said to have written an ode to the cocktail on the walls of a now-famous bar in Old Havana, La Bodeguita del Medio. Here, bartenders muddle piles of mint with sugar and fresh lime juice until it’s nearly pulp. The minty mix is then topped with ice, white rum, and a spritz of soda. 

    Plan Your Trip: Cuba


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    Negroni (Italy)
    The inspiration for the Negroni came from a cocktail, known as the Americano, that was popular with tourists. Italians, however, thought that the drink—made with Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda—wasn’t strong enough and insisted that bartenders add gin and take out the soda. Ecco! The Negroni was born and is now Italy’s most recognizable cocktail.

    Plan Your Trip: Italy


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    Piña Colada (Puerto Rico)
    Do you like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain? We’re not too crazy on the rain part either, but the blended mixture of rum, pineapple, and coconut cream would help us weather any storm. A few different bartenders claim that they created the quintessential Puerto Rican cocktail back in the mid-1950s, but do you really care who invented it when you’re sipping one on the beach?

    Plan Your Trip: Puerto Rico


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    Dark ’n’ Stormy (Bermuda)
    This two-ingredient cocktail was invented in Bermuda in the 1860s by the Gosling family (of Gosling’s Rum). After distilling their first dark rum, the family then created a ginger beer. One fateful evening, the two Gosling libations were poured over ice, garnished with
    lime—and the rest is history.  

    Plan Your Trip: Bermuda


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    Sangria (Spain)
    While you may have tried your first glass of Sangria at a Mexican restaurant, the cocktail’s origins are actually Spanish. Sangria’s history dates back to the Middle Ages, when water was often unsafe to drink and a fermented beverage—such as a mix of red wine, brandy, and diced fresh fruit—was less likely to make you sick. Today, sangria is ubiquitous in Spain, where it’s also made with white wine or cava. 

    Plan Your Trip: Spain

    Photo by Petr Kratochvil 
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    Pisco Sour (Peru)
    There’s an ongoing argument about the origins of the Pisco Sour. Some say that it was invented in Chile, but all signs point to Peru as the birthplace of the cocktail in the 1920s. Victor Morris, a barman in Lima, made a riff on a Whiskey Sour (whiskey, lemon, sugar, and egg whites) using pisco instead of whiskey and lime instead of lemon. He topped the frothed mixture with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, which add small orange-hued flecks to the drink’s fluffy white top. Now a staple at bars around the world, the Pisco Sour is Peruvian through-and-through.

    Plan Your Trip: Peru


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    Kir Royale (France)
    The Kir Royal gets its name from its creator, Canon Felix Kir, the former mayor of Dijon and a man who knew how to execute a good idea when he had one. Kir began adding crème de cassis, a black currant liqueur, to the white wine he served at parties. The party drink was soon dubbed the Kir after its fearless inventor. His grand idea eventually transformed into the Kir Royale, which is made with champagne instead of white wine—so much more festive. 

    Plan Your Trip: France


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    Paloma (Mexico)
    We know what you’re thinking: Isn't the margarita the official drink of Mexico? While the margarita is widely consumed across the country, the Paloma is the true national drink. And, surprise, it’s not much different from a margarita: Skip the Cointreau, add grapefruit soda to the lime-and-tequila mixture, and you’ve got a truly authentic drink for Taco Tuesday. 

    Plan Your Trip: Mexico


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