The World’s Favorite Cocktails

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10 drinks you’re sure to find at any bar

Though originally an invention of Anglo-Saxon culture, nowadays cocktails are a staple at bars and restaurants around the world. A seemingly infinite number of cocktails have come into existence, but only the most popular mixes have survived the passage of time.

There is plenty of debate around the origins of the cocktail. They are commonly considered to have been created in the United States, but it is also true that cocktails had significant influence from England, given that alcoholic punch originated there in the 18th century. Furthermore, the term “cocktail” was first found in a British newspaper in 1798.  

However, it was in the United States where the cocktail became the standout beverage that it is today. Their popularity began to surge at the beginning of the 20th century, and one of the key players in the evolution of the cocktail was the bartender Jerry Thomas, who wrote the first cocktail manual, The Bartender’s Guide.

The following drinks were created in distinct moments, but what’s certain is that each one remains important in the current cocktail and mixology world.

Caipirinha

The Caipirinha is Brazil’s national drink, but it is consumed all around the world. It is prepared with cachaça, a liquor typical of the region, which is made from sugarcane and is similar to aguardiente or rum.

It also contains lime and sugar, and is a sweet, simple beverage. Another popular version of the drink is the Caipiroska, which is made with vodka instead of cachaça.

Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan is thought to have been created at the end of the ‘80s and was popularized by the TV show “Sex & the City”. It has a smooth flavor and is characterized for its bright pink hue.

A Cosmopolitan is made with vodka, cointreau or triple sec, lime juice, and cranberry juice. Most importantly, it must be served in a Martini glass.

Daiquiri

With origins in Santiago de Cuba, the Daiquiri is a cocktail that reminds us of the beach and everything tropical. It is typically prepared with Cuban rum and also contains some sort of citrus juice (normally lime) and sugar.

Daiquiri
Daiquiri

There are many variations of the beverage, one of the most popular being the Strawberry Daiquiri, which is usually blended and prepared as a frozen drink. However, the original version is simply shaken with ice and served cold.

Dry Martini

The Dry Martini has over 100 years of history, given that it is believed to have been created at the end of the 19thcentury or the beginning of the 20th century. This timeless cocktail is sophisticated and always in style.

The beverage is made with dry white vermouth (like Martini Bianco) and gin and is served with a lemon twist and green olive. The Dry Martini is made with less gin than other versions of the drink, like the Wet Martini, and is always served cold.

Mai Tai

Another tropical cocktail made with rum, the Mai Tai was created by the Californian Victor Bergeron, the owner of an Oakland tiki bar, in 1944. Though nowadays you can find many versions of the drink, the original recipe is quite simple.

The most traditional version of the Mai Tai is made with rum, Curaçao liqueur, orgeat syrup, lime juice, and fresh mint. If you can’t find all of these ingredients, you can also use triple sec and simple syrup.

Manhattan

The Manhattan is one of the oldest and most classic cocktails, given that it is believed to have been invented before 1880. It has its origins in New York, hence its name.

It is a mix of bourbon, red vermouth, and Angostura bitters. It is shaken with ice and served in a special Manhattan glass with a maraschino cherry garnish.

Margarita

The most important tequila cocktail, the Margarita was invented in Mexico in the mid-20th century. Like with many cocktails, various people claim to be the inventor of the popular drink, but what’s certain is that it is now enjoyed around the world.

This drink is made with tequila, Cointreau or triple sec, lime juice, and crushed ice. You can line the rim of the glass with sugar or salt, depending on if you want a sweet or salty touch.

Mojito

Like the Daiquiri, the Mojito is also a Cuban creation. In the 16th century, Sir Francis Drake arrived on the island in search of gold. When various members of his crew fell sick, locals served them a mix of aguardiente, mint, sugar, and lime very similar to the Mojito that we know and love today.

Mojito
Mojito

However, it wasn’t until centuries later that the current version of the cocktail became popular. Nowadays, a Mojito is made with soda water, white rum, lime juice, sugar, and mint.

Negroni

The Negroni is a classic Italian aperitivo cocktail. It originated in Florence, concretely a locale called Caffe Casoni. It was created when Count Camillo Negroni requested that the bartender strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by replacing the soda water with gin.

The Negroni is made with gin, red vermouth, Campari, and orange peel. It has an aromatic and bitter taste and is served on the rocks.

Piña Colada

The Piña Colada was born at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the mid-20th century. It is one of the sweetest cocktails that you can order and is a great companion for a sunny beach day.

Piña Coladas are made with rum, coconut milk or cream, and pineapple juice. They are served frozen or over crushed ice with a maraschino cherry garnish or a slice of pineapple.

These classic cocktails remain popular century after century thanks to their simplicity and artisanry. It’s always fun to order a new and creative drink, but these ten beverages will never let you down.

See: SPAIN, AT THE FOREFRONT OF SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION IN EUROPE

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