While away some (happy) hours at home with these cocktail recipes. You can probably guess the origin of a Singapore Sling and a Long Island Iced Tea, but some of these classic drinks have more surprising places of origin. You can’t travel to these destinations at the moment, but we’re hoping a sip of one of these will transport you somewhere special.
Now’s the time to check your drinks cabinet. We’re betting you’ll find some random Christmas presents and duty-free purchases from past travels in there gathering dust. Random liqueurs, schnapps and cordials you’d totally forgotten about. The glasses you normally use for guests? Get them out, may as well. And you’re going to need ice. Lots of ice.
Prost, sláinte, cin cin and cheers! Please drink responsibly.
Where’s it from? Padua, Northern Italy
It took brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri seven years to get the Aperol liquor just right after inheriting their father’s drinks business in 1912, and it was time well spent. Now a quintessential international summer drink, this vibrant cocktail has been around for more than a hundred years and it has that orange hue to make the heart sing.
3 parts Aperol
2 parts Prosecco
1 part soda water
Fill your glass with a few ice cubes, pour the prosecco followed by the Aperol and add a dash of soda and an orange slice to garnish
Where’s it from? Brussels, Belgium
Created in 1949 by Hotel Metropole bartender Gustave Tops, for the United States Ambassador to Luxembourg (Gustave, you’re spoiling us). You might be thinking why does it have Russian in the name. Well, it’s vodka-based and Russian vodka is the most widely used. Just add some cream if you want to create its sister cocktail, the White Russian.
50 ml Vodka
25 ml Kahlúa (Or an alternative coffee liqueur)
Mix two parts vodka to one part Kahlúa over ice. Give it a stir. You’re done.
Where’s it from? Paris, France
The New York Bar in Paris lays claim to several cocktails and the Bloody Mary is one of them. Is it named after a famous British Queen, a US film star or some randomer’s girlfriend who worked in a cabaret? Frankly, who cares because who doesn’t love a cocktail which is also a classic hangover cure? Yes, drink it before 12pm, you’ll find no judgment here. Take out the vodka and you’ve got yourself a Virgin Mary mocktail.
1 part vodka
4 parts tomato juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt (celery salt if you have it)
Celery and lemon slices to serve
You need one part vodka to four parts tomato juice. Pour over ice with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Now it depends on preference, add a few splashes of Worcester sauce and tabasco and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add more or less as you can handle.
Where’s it from? New York, USA
This drink has been around for decades in various forms but we’re going to plump for the Manhattan version from the 1990s as the trump card of citrus-flavoured vodka makes it a true Cosmo. Thanks to Carrie and co in the hit TV show Sex in the City that launched this drink into the stratosphere and reignited the cocktail revolution.
45ml lemon vodka (lemon-flavoured ideally)
15ml triple sec
30ml cranberry juice
10 ml lime juice
Orange zest for garnish
Just shake all the ingredients together and pour them over ice.
Where’s it from? Havana, Cuba
This is one of the oldest cocktails around, apparently it was originally invented for medicinal purposes. Sir Francis Drake allegedly discovered the drink in Havana and used it to treat scurvy. Definitely a case of ‘down the hatch’ then.
50-70ml white rum
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sugar
Soda water to taste
Mix the lime, sugar and crush the mint together, then put into a tall glass with ice. Then pour your rum and if you have a long-handed spoon mix it with that. Then soda water to taste a sprig of mint and serve it up.
Where’s it from? São Paulo, Brazil
It’s Brazil’s national cocktail. So you can drink one as an act of diplomacy if nothing else. Although we would recommend learning to pronounce it - kai·puh·ree·nyuh - before drinking it. And try not to call it the Brazillian mojito.
2 tsp of Golden castor sugar
Break down the lime and sugar together in a jug and get all that juice out. Take the peel out and you’re left with some syrup. Mix it with the cachaça and pour over some crushed ice. Use the end of a rolling pin if you don’t have fancy cocktail accessories.
Where’s it from? London, United Kingdom
The martini, so many different types, so little time. We nearly went with the Vesper (James Bond’s drink of choice), but we all need a bit of a pick-me-up so the espresso martini wins. It’s also almost a dessert. Isn’t it? Invented in the 1980s in the Soho Brasserie when a future supermodel asked for a cocktail with coffee and voila.
50ml coffee (ideally espresso)
50 ml Kahlúa (or any coffee liqueur)
Simple syrup to taste
Coffee beans (if you want to be fancy)
Plan ahead and put the sugar into a small pan with 50m water and boil. Then put it into the fridge to cool. Next, pour a teaspoon into a shaker with some ice, the vodka, coffee and Kahlúa. Shake it until it feels ice cold. Strain into a cold glass and then add the coffee beans as you want.