Travel With a Twist: The World in Cocktails
Can’t afford a plane ticket? Toast these world-class destinations through their signature cocktails.
> Singapore: Singapore Sling
This year marks the 100th birthday for the tall tipple, which was allegedly first made in its namesake city by combining London dry gin, cherry Heering liqueur, Bénédictine, lime juice, soda, and angostura bitters. You can still order the classic at its birthplace—Singapore’s Raffles Hotel.
> Peru: Pisco Sour
In preparation and history, the pisco sour is complex. There’s a century-old dispute between Chile and Peru as to which country invented it (Peru apparently wins). The cocktail calls for lime, simple syrup, pisco, and angostura bitters, but Peru’s version needs an egg white for its frothy top layer.
> Dijon, France: Kir Royale
Named for Frenchman Félix Kir—a priest and WWII resistance fighter who became the mayor of Dijon—this fizzy apéritif surprisingly has a feminine quality. Crème de cassis, a dark, sweet liqueur made from black currants, is poured into a flute and topped with dry champagne.
> New Orleans, Louisiana: Sazerac
Legend has it that a 19th-century New Orleans apothecary made the world’s first cocktail by mixing his bitters with a popular French cognac, Sazerac de Forge et Fils. Now the official cocktail of the Big Easy, the recipe evolved to rye whiskey, simple syrup, Herbsaint, and Peychaud’s bitters.
> London, England: Pimm’s Cup
Often served with fruit, cucumber, mint, and carbonated lemonade, this English drink is a summer staple. In the mid-1800s, London restaurateur James Pimm blended liqueurs, herbs, and quinine with gin, and bottled it as Pimm’s No. 1. By 1900, it was sipped throughout the British Empire.
> Mexico: Michelada
This hair-of-the-dog beer mixture doesn’t have an exact recipe. You’ll need cold cerveza and an ice-filled glass with a salted rim, then improvise with lime, tomato juice, and a bevy of spices and condiments. In Mexico, your bartender might even add chicken bouillon if you’re looking extra faint.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
This piece, reported by Jenny Adams, first appeared in the May 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.