You are here

6 of the Most Famous Cocktails From Around the World

Cocktails by the pool

Taste your way around the globe with these six world-famous cocktails. Whether you like a traditional Margarita or prefer your Sex on the Beach virgin, you can agree that there's something out there for every taste. What is it about the amalgamation of fresh fruits, juices, syrups and regional spirits that delight our tastebuds so much? Next time you order a Mojito, think about where it comes from and how it came to be. Explore the origins of these top six classic cocktails, taking you from culture to culture, one sip at a time...

Mai Tai – San Francisco

This worldly and popular cocktail can be traced back to 1944, Oakland, San Francisco. The Mai Tai is a delicious, rum-based vintage cocktail that was created by Victor Jules Bergeron – now commonly known as Trader Vic. Story has it that he was testing out the new concoction on three friends, Ham, Tahiti and Carrie Guild. When Carrie sampled it she exclaimed in Tahitian “mai-tai roa aé!” which translates to, “out of this world – the best!”

Ingredients: rum, Curaçao liqueur, orgeat syrup, and lime juice.

Moscow Mule – Los Angeles

The vodka and ginger beer-based Moscow Mule made its first appearance in Los Angeles, California, in 1941. Before it gained massive success in the 1950s, it is said to have been first concocted by John G Martin, who sold Smirnoff vodka around the US and his friend, Jack Morgan, who was the owner of Hollywood’s famous Cock’n’Bull Saloon and renowned for launching his own brand of ginger beer. The two friends mixed the two together and added a dash of fresh lime juice to create the drink popularly served in a copper mug: the Moscow Mule.

Ingredients: vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice, garnished with a slice of lime and mint leaves.

Caipirinha – São Paulo, Brazil   

The Caipirinha is Brazil’s most famous cocktail and a great summertime drink due to its distinctive and refreshing taste. According to history, it is thought that the Caipirinha first debuted in the Brazilian state of São Paulo around the end of the First World War. Its original recipe is said to include honey and garlic, acting as a remedy for those combating the Spanish Flu. Since 2003, Brazil passed a law for Caipirinha to be its official drink and, today, it's easily one of the topmost consumed beverages in the world.

Ingredients: cachaça, sugar, and lime.

Pisco Sour – Lima, Peru

Although it might be hard to pin down exactly when this tangy, but sweet frothy glass of goodness was concocted, one thing’s for sure, the Pisco Sour is Peru’s most-prized cocktail. It is thought to have erupted onto the scene in 1915 (or 1920, depending on who you ask). The story begins with an American bartender named Victor Vaughen Morris who moved to Peru in 1904 and eventually opened a thriving saloon called Morris’ Bar. Morris created the honourable drink that is now loved worldwide as his own take on the whisky sour. As if we needed another reason to fall madly in love with Peru.

Ingredients: Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, egg whites.

Mojito – Havana, Cuba

This classic cocktail has been pleasing taste buds with its refreshing minty and lime flavours since its inception. There are many disputes as to the when and who first hand-crafted the much-loved cocktail, but many date it back as far as the 16th century. Some say it was when explorer Francis Drake landed in Havana to steal its gold that the world-famous cocktail was crafted by his associate Richard Drake. It was then named El Draque. Others dispute that African slaves created the Mojito as we know it. But it wasn’t until the Bacardi company was established that its popularity truly sky-rocketed.

Ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water and mint.

Negroni – Florence, Italy     

The negroni is the ruby-red Italian drink that packs a punch and is full of character. It first came about in 1919, in the Italian city of Florence. The Caffe Casoni is the birthplace of this now widely-consumed cocktail. A reported version of the drink’s history began with Count Camillo Negroni asking Forsco Scarselli, a friend and bartender, for a stronger Americano. So he added gin in place of soda water and an orange garnish to create the Negroni that we know and love today.

Ingredients: one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel.

Written by Christina Elcock

Christina Elcock is a London-based copywriter and poet who graduated university and left with a desire to learn more about the world. Christina’s profound interest in human connection, art and adventure can be found on her blog and Instagram account - @chrissie.writes.

More articles from this author >

Feeling Inspired? Chat to our Lovely Travel Consultants Today!

Flight Centre’s Travel Consultants really know their stuff when it comes to creating bespoke itineraries. Get in touch below, and let us tailor-make it easy