12 Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World

Wondering what are the best cocktail drinks from around the world? There is no doubt that consuming alcohol has become a form of socialisation in the British pub culture and anywhere in the world. I have gathered some of these cocktail drinks from different parts of the globe to share with you their tasteful flavours and origins. I personally love to drink some of these cocktails and would love to share them with you.

Cocktail drinks are alcohol-based drinks mixed with other ingredients for flavour and colour. Numerous countries have at least one cocktail drink regarded as their own, some of which are consumed and celebrated all across the globe.

The best cocktail drinks from around the world have so much to offer even to the most discerning drinker. You have the rich, fruity taste of a piña colada, the elegant appeal of a Cosmopolitan and the bold hit of Turkish raki. Vacation in a drink? Order a Caipirinha. Hangover cure? Have a Bloody Mary!

What makes these cocktail drinks even more enticing are the stories behind them. The countries where these beverages are born and the circumstances that helped mould the drinks to what they have become are worth reading into!

Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World

Piña Colada – San Juan, Puerto Rico

Alcohol base: Light rum

Piña colada is for those looking for a rich, perfect blend of sweet and sour flavours. It is my go-to drink when I want something tropical, with every sip bursting with vibrancy.  

Piñacolada Cocktail Drink
Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World: Piñacolada Cocktail Drink

Piña colada is made by mixing light rum with coconut cream and pineapple juice. The name piña colada literally means “strained pineapple” as, ideally, you use freshly pressed pineapple when making one. Pineapple and coconut are two local ingredients that are common in Puerto Rican drinks and dishes.

The debate on who’s the real creator of this summer drink is still unresolved. One account says it was made in 1954 by Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, a bartender at the Beachcomber Bar of Caribe Hilton. Another says it was created in 1963 by Ramón Portas Mingot at Barrachina Restaurant. 

24 years after the drink was supposedly created, piña colada was declared the official drink of Puerto Rico. July 10 is celebrated as National Piña Colada day!

Mojito – Havana, Cuba

Alcohol base: Rum

If you want something refreshing to the taste – think sweet, tangy and minty – then your cocktail drink of choice might as well be the mojito. I’d drink this on a warm summer evening!

Mojito is considered Cuba’s national drink. It is made by mixing rum, lime, mint, and sugar. These ingredients are indigenous to the country.

Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World: Mojito Cocktail drinks
Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World: Mojito Cocktail drinks

There are many claims as to how Mojito as a drink came to be. Perhaps the most popular one is that of the Bodeguita del Medio, a bar in Havana. The place does not only take credit for making this delicious drink but it also tells a fascinating story about Ernest Hemingway and his handwritten note. It read, “My Mojito in La Bodeguita, My Daiquiri in El Floridita.”

July 11 is National Mojito Day – a day after Piña colada Day. That sounds like a valid reason for me to have one!

Caipirinha – Sao Paulo, Brazil

Alcohol base: cachaça or sugarcane hard liquor

Caipirinha is a summer cocktail you’d want on your glass when the weather is so hot and your next tropical vacation is nowhere in sight. One sip and you’ll taste how others relate it to a mojito, but caipirinha is more earthy and citrusy.

Caipirinha is made by mixing fresh lime juice and sugar and then adding cachaça, a sugarcane hard liquor regarded as Brazil’s national spirit.

Caipirinha
Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World: Caipirinha from Brazil

The name caipirinha means “country little girl” which is probably a nod to where the cocktail drink was created. The many stories that revolve around the creation of caipirinha have the countryside of Sao Paulo as its setting. 

National Caipirinha Day is celebrated every September 13th. Celebration aside, this drink is also used as a treatment for the common cold. The key to having the perfect caipirinha is by using a good-quality cachaça. 

Cosmopolitan – Miami Beach, Florida

Alcohol base: vodka

How would I describe a Cosmopolitan? You have the kick from the vodka, the sweetness from the fruits and the sourness from the lime juice. It’s something I’d serve to my guests prior to dinner because it is elegant and delicious at the same time.

Cosmopolitan, cosmo for short, is made by mixing vodka with triple sec, lime juice, and cranberry juice. This iconic pink drink may just be too pretty to look at in a martini glass, but it actually contains 28% alcohol.

Cosmopolitan drink
Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World: Cosmopolitan drink

The inventor of Cosmopolitan is Cheryl Cook, a head bartender at The Strand restaurant in Miami Beach. It was in 1985 when she played around with the Absolut Citron which was being test marketed in Miami. 

Every May 7, people celebrate Cosmo Day. The show Sex and the City made the drink popular particularly among young women as the main characters, especially Carrie Bradshaw, made cosmo their go-to cocktail order. 

Singapore Sling – Singapore

Alcohol base: gin

The iconic Singapore Sling: it is a great balance of acidity, non-overpowering sweetness and pleasant bitterness. I’d automatically have a Singapore Sling if it’s on the menu!

What’s in this delectable drink? A proper Singapore Sling would have gin, pineapple juice, lime juice, curaçao, Bénédictine, grenadine and cherry liqueur. 

Singapore Sling
Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World: Singapore Sling

We have Hainanese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon to thank for the Singapore Sling. He created this cocktail drink at the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Long ago, stories were told of women needing something pink and fruity to drink in public. Today, this classic favourite is widely regarded as the country’s national cocktail.

June 27 has recently been named Singapore Sling Day by no other than the equally iconic Long Bar. The said date was chosen because it coincides with International Pineapple Day, an important ingredient of the Singapore Sling.

Ouzo – Greece

Alcohol base: anise-flavoured liquor

Ouzo is uniquely Greek, so much so that it can only be prepared in Greece. They drink this cocktail usually as the sun sets, alongside small plates of food or Greek mezze. It’s strong to the taste and will definitely make you think of liquorice.

Ouzo is made with anise-flavoured liquor made from the by-product of grapes when making wine. Spices are then added, some of which are fennel, mint and eucalyptus.

Ouzo drink from Greece
Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World: Ouzo drink from Greece

The history of ouzo dates back to the 14th century when it was supposedly created by monks on Mount Athos. Ouzo has a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) as approved by the European Union, which is why an authentic one can only be made in Greece.

When you visit Greece, don’t forget to drop by an ouzeri (a Greek tavern that serves Ouzo) and have a taste of the famous ouzo. Drink it as the locals do – neat, with no ice and in a kanoakia glass.

Raki – Turkey

Alcohol base: brandy

Raki tastes like ouzo, kind of like a solid and sweet anise-flavoured cocktail drink. Turkish raki differs in that it is way stronger with its alcohol content.

Raki is a brandy made from pulp grapes. Anise is added for flavour, and on its own Turkish raki is quite powerful. It is therefore always served with equal parts cold water. By adding ice cubes or water to the raki, the clear drink becomes milky white in colour. 

Raki is also called “Lion’s Milk,” loosely saying that it is “the milk for the strong.” When consumed with close friends and family, the raki table becomes “cilingir sofrasi” which literally means “the locksmith’s table.” It is so because the raki helps you loosen up, release your feelings and process your thoughts with those around drinking with you. 

Pimm’s Cup – London

Alcohol base: gin

It is bubbly and earthy at the same time, with a great balance of fruitiness and sweetness to boot. It is Pimm’s Cup, and England certainly cannot get enough of this classic cocktail.

Pimm’s Cup is made with a gin-based liqueur (Pimm’s No. 1 Cup) followed by sparkling lemonade or ginger ale. It is then garnished with herbs and fruits such as fresh basil, strawberries and cucumber.

Pimm's Cup
Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World: Pimm’s Cup

Pimm’s Cup was invented by James Pimm, hence the name. Pimm was the owner of a London oyster bar at a time when alcohol was regarded for its medicinal benefits. He then bottled his creation and marketed it as a health tonic which people bought and often enjoyed on a very hot day.

This quintessentially British drink is said to be a staple at garden parties in Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth II’s former chef reveals that the Queen’s choice of garnish for her Pimm’s Cup include “sliced oranges, lemons, cherries, strawberries, cucumber, mint and borage.”

Bloody Mary – New York City, USA

Alcohol base: vodka

A Bloody Mary is not your regular cocktail drink. It is savoury – spicy and salty at the same time – and is definitely not something you would expect of an alcoholic beverage. It is surprisingly good, though, and if you have not tried one – you’re missing out!

Bloody Mary is made by mixing vodka with tomato juice and other spices and flavourings. This can include Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, lemon juice, celery salt and black pepper, finished off with a celery stick. Sounds crazy, I know, but given good quality ingredients, this cocktail drink will not disappoint.

Bloody Mary
Best Cocktails from Around the World: Bloody Mary

The history of the Bloody Mary can be traced back to George Jessel, a Hollywood star claiming to have made the drink back in 1927. In an effort to sober his friends up, he mixed different ingredients in vodka and voila, they have gotten better. How he came up with the name is a long story for another time. 

January 1 is considered National Bloody Mary Day. After all the drinks you’ve had counting down to another year, a glass of Bloody Mary is said to cure even the toughest hangover.

Margarita – Mexico

Alcohol base: tequila

How would I describe a Margarita? It is smooth to the taste, and the sour-sweet combination is playfully cut by the saltiness which warrants your full attention as you sip. Despite the many taste profiles that this drink has, it works.

A Margarita consists of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. It is served with salt on the rim of the glass. The note of sweet, earthy agave which is native to Mexico is a desirable treat. First-time drinkers will find the Margarita pleasantly refreshing and familiar with the taste.

Margarita Cocktail Drinks
Best Cocktails from Around the World: Margarita Cocktail Drinks

The history behind the classic Margarita is complicated, although one famous story tells of a gentleman named Carlos Herrerra making this cocktail drink for Marjorie King, a gorgeous showgirl. Another story connects the Margarita to the already-existent Tequila Daisy, as coincidentally, Margarita means “daisy” in Spanish.  

February 22 is National Margarita Day. The consumption of Margarita went beyond borders, making it a constant candidate in every “Best Cocktail Drinks” list out there.

Old Fashioned – Louisville, Kentucky

Alcohol base: whiskey

An Old Fashioned cocktail is sweet to the taste and very aromatic. It is a perfect after-dinner drink and a true crowd pleaser. You can never go wrong with this classic cocktail!

An Old Fashioned is made with whiskey, sugar, Angostura bitters, plus an orange peel for garnish. Today, there are several variations of the Old Fashioned including those that swap the classic whiskey with rum or brandy.

The first-ever Old Fashioned cocktail was made by James E. Pepper in 1880 at a private social club called The Pendennis Club. He then went on to bring the recipe to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City.

Louisville, Kentucky regards the Old Fashioned as its official cocktail. National Old Fashioned Day is celebrated every June 14th. 

Bellini – Venice, Italy

Alcohol base: Prosecco or Italian sparkling wine

Bellini is simple yet sophisticated to the taste. The careful selection of sparkling wine is essential so as not to overpower the light fruity taste that is synonymous with this cocktail drink.

raspberry bellini
Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World: Raspberry Bellini

Bellini is made by mixing Prosecco or Italian sparkling wine with peach or raspberry puree. It is a perfect brunch cocktail because it is light and delicate and goes well with anything. It is also something simple enough to do at home.

The creation of Bellini is credited to Giuseppe Cipriani who is the founder and barman of Harry’s Bar in Venice. It was in the summer of 1948 when Cipriani decided to highlight the region’s white peaches by mixing them into sparkling wine. It was named supposedly after the Venetian Renaissance painter Giovani Bellini.

I hope that helped and inspired you to try some of these best cocktail drinks from around the world! Have you tried any of these? Which one is your favourite?

Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World
Best Cocktail Drinks from Around the World

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany

Travel Blog

Everything Zany Travel Blog exploring the UK and beyond. Sharing travel guides, tips, history and culture. Our travel media brand is founded by travel and hotel industry expert – Ryazan Tristram, a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina) based in Birmingham, UK. Everything Zany is a reputable and award-winning travel blog. Our work and contributions have been featured in Huffington Post, CNBC, Discovery Channel, GMA, Readers Digest, and Lonely Planet. Our missions are to build a great travel community and resource of travel tips, visas and travel guides for travellers. Join us as we travel around the UK and beyond with a mission to share the best of the world.

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