The party season has officially begun and Christmas parties wouldn’t be parties without some good old fashioned cocktails. So, we’ve scoured the globe to come up with a list of the best from around the world.
Mojito – Cuba
Mojitos have now become a staple cocktail in bars around the UK, and are now as popular as Daiquiris or Cosmopolitans. However, around five years ago they were seen as the as the height of cocktail fashion, refreshing exotic blends straight from the salsa bars of Havana. Blending sprigs of mint, zingy lime, white rum, sugar, soda water and ice, mojitos are the perfect summer cocktails, or great for when you’ve been partying hard on the dance floor. A favourite of writer Ernest Hemingway, when he lived in Cuba, mojitos are thought to have originated either from the African slaves who worked in the sugar plantations there or from a similar drink the 16th century called ‘El Draque’ – named after Sir Francis Drake.
Pisco Sour – Peru
Pisco sours have not really edged their way onto the UK cocktail scene just yet, but this national Peruvian drink is popular favourite with any traveller who visits there and is increasing in popularity in bars in the US too. While virgin pisco sour drinkers may be wary of this cocktail, because of its unusual ingredient – whipped egg white, the cocktails and a smooth and fluffy texture unlike any other. The cocktail also contains pisco, which is a type of grape brandy; lime juice; and sugar. For a truly authentic taste add a few drops of bitters and a sprinkle of nutmeg on the top. There are many theories about the origins of the pisco sour, with some saying that it was created by a Peruvian in San Francisco and others by an English man in Peru; however the Chileans also have their own version of the drink and lay claims to its origins.
Piña Colada – Puerto Rico
The piña colada has been the official drink of Puerto Rico since 1978 and is synonymous with pictures of 1960s American holiday makers lying on the beach with one in their hand. The piña colada is the classic tropical cocktail, made from coconut cream, pineapple juice and rum. Although it might have lost popularity here in the UK, it’s still a perfect beachside accompaniment. There are many theories as to the origins of this exotic drink but the most widely recognised is that the creator was a bartender named Mr. Ramon Marrero, who invented it while working at the Caribe Hilton International Hotel in Puerto Rico.
The classic Martini has been a regular in cocktail bars throughout the world for decades and is one of the best loved and well known too. Famous for being a favourite of the fictional spy James Bond, who like his ‘shaken and not stirred’ the martini is believed to have originated from the USA. Martinis traditionally contain a mix of gin and vermouth, garnished with an olive or twist of lemon, but cocktails with similar ingredients have existed throughout the 19th century. Nowadays there are many versions of the classic cocktail, including appletinis, chocolate, peach and even espresso martinis. It is thought that the martini was invented in the San Francisco Occidental Hotel in the 1960s, but some say it goes as far back as 1911 or 1912 where it was said that a bar tender named Martini created it in New York at the Nickerbocker Hotel.
Margarita – Mexico
Margaritas have become one the trendiest cocktails associated with fashion and luxury. A traditional Mexican drink, this cocktail contains tequila mixed with an orange flavoured liquor, lime or lemon juice, with a ring of frosted salt around the rim. Often Margaritas come frozen, blended with ice and these days come in variety of colours and flavours, using triple sec or blue curaçao and often adding melon or raspberry. It is said by some that the margarita was invented by a bar tender called Don Carlos Orozco in Ensenada, Mexico in 1941, who named it after the first woman who tasted it.
So, while you’re sipping your favourite cocktail this Christmas party season spare a thought for those far off places where they were invented and image you’re there. The consensus seems be that the best cocktails in the world come from Central and South America.