One of my favorite parts of exploring the world with my ever-amazing husband is exploring the cuisine and cocktails that each country has to offer! Sometimes you find that the unknown is amazing, like when Rob and I found pitchers of Clerio being served on Bikini Beach in Punta del Este (pictured below). Other times, the unknown knocks you on your ‘ars’, as the caipirhina did to us on our first trip to Brazil (I wish I had pictures of that day)!
Here are my favorite Top Eleven World’s Coolest Cocktails-with recipes. Some are international classics and some are a modern version of my favorites. So- Cheers! – Salute! – Salud! – Pura Vida! – Kampai!
1. Italy- The Raspberry Bellini
This is a fruity twist on the classic peach flavored bellini. The bellini is a common and traditional cocktail enjoyed by all generations of Italians, especially in celebration. And the best part is, the Italians always have something to celebrate!
- 1 bag frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 bottle (750-ml) chilled brut Champagne
Blend the raspberries and sugar in a food processor or blender until pureed. Strain the raspberry puree through a sieve; discard the seeds, if you wish. Set up 6 Champagne flutes and put about 1 tablespoon of raspberry puree in each glass. Add Champagne to each glass; stir gently and serve. Thanks Giada!
2. France- The St. Germain Sangria
I’m crediting the French with this version of the Spanish sangria because the recipe calls for my favorite new liquor- St. Germain!
- 1 Bottle Sauvignon Blanc or Dry White Wine
- 1 cup St. Germain
- 2 Peaches (sliced)
- 1 cup sliced Strawberries
- 1 cup Grapes
- 1 cup Blueberries
Stir ingredients in a pitcher or carafe. Allow fruit to soak in the mixture between 3 and 8 hours. Serve in an ice-filled glass.
3. Brazil – The Champagnirinha
This is a bubbly twist of the the basic Brazilian Caipirinha!
- 2 oz. Leblon Cachaça
- 1 Orange slice
- 1 Lemon slice
- 1 Lime slice
- Dash of simple syrup
- Champagne to top off
Cut one-quarter inch slices each of orange, lemon, and lime. Muddle the slices and simple syrup in a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and add Leblon Cachaça. Shake vigorously. Serve in a rocks glass. Top with champagne. Garnish with a mint leaf.
4. Mexico- The Real Margarita
Easy, quick and always amazing, this Margarita is the real thing. The number one rule here is: No Mix.
- 4 oz tequila
- 4 oz Mexican Controy (Cointreau or Triple Sec may be substituted)
- 4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- Crushed ice
- Margarita salt (coarse salt-optional)
Place tequila, Controy and lime juice in blender. Fill until almost full with crushed ice. Shake well. Wet rim of martini or Margarita glass with water and swirl in small dish of salt. Pour Margarita into the glass. Ole!
5. Japan- The Saki Mellon Sword
Saki is something that people love or hate. Here’s a saki-cocktail recipe that everyone will love!
- 1 oz. Sake (Kizakura Yamahai)
- 1.5 oz. Midori
- Splash of Lemon Juice
- 2 oz. Soda Water
Pour all ingredients into a high ball glass filled with crashed ice and stair softly. Garnish with a wedge of lime.
6. Ireland- Paddy’s Girl
When you think of the Irish, you think whiskey & beer. Here’s a sweet version of the old-Irish standards.
- 4 oz. Irish whiskey
- 4 oz. Irish cream liqueur
- 4 oz. chocolate liqueur
- 4 oz. chilled espresso
Pour ingredients into a blender filled with crushed ice, and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a margarita glass, and serve garnished with chocolate shavings.
7. Argentina- Clerico (Sangria Blanco)
This is the sexy sister of Sangria. I found this one of the beaches of Uruguay. It’s a bit sweeter, definitely lighter and more refreshing! Perfect for summer!
- 1 Bottle White Table Wine
- 2 Bananas
- 1 Apple
- 1 Orange
- 6 Strawberries
- 1/2 Lb Grapes
- 1/2 Lb Sugar
Remove the skin of all the fruits and cut the fruit into small pieces. Put the fruit in a large bowl and cover the fruit with the sugar.
Pour enough wine to cover the fruit and sugar and place bowl in the fridge. Leave it for at least 2 hours (longer preferred), and then mix it with the rest of the wine. Serve each drink with some fruit in the glass
8. Kenya- Dawa
This cocktail is also based on the Brazilian Caipirinha. And it is sweeping the African country of Kenya as one of the most popular cocktails! Dawa means “magic potion” in Swahili.
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 oz Vodka
- 1 Lime – quartered
- 1 Dawa Stick (or a regular cocktail stick) dipped in honey
Pour vodka in a rocks glass, add lime quarters. Then, put in dawa stick after dipping in honey. Add crushed ice to taste. Stir with dawa stick and use it to press lime wedges.
9. New Zealand- Honey Bear Sling
42 Below is a New Zealand brand of Vodka and flavored Vodkas. Lovin’ the unique flavors like honey and kiwi!
- 2 oz. 42BELOW Manuka Honey
- 1 Splash of Raspberry Liqueur
- 4 oz. Cranberry Juice
- Lime wedge to garnish
Fill a glass with ice, and add 42BELOW Manuka Honey and raspberry liqueur. Top with cranberry juice, stir well, and squeeze in a wedge of lime.
10. Russia- Blakberi Lavender Fizz
From Russia with love! Stolichnaya Authentic Russian Vodka has introduced Stoli Blakberi. This flavorful and refreshing drink is a far cry from the popular 80’s calorie dense white-Russian!
- 2 parts Stoli Blakberi
- 1 part fresh lemon juice
- 1 part fresh lime juice
- 1 part lavender-infused agave nectar syrup
- Top off with club soda
Shake ingredients together over ice. Strain into a Collins glass with ice and top with soda. Garnish with fresh lavender and a lime wheel.
11. USA- Cinnamon Apple Martini
This one is as American as Apple-pie…well, almost! The apple martini is the default drink to many in the US. Here’s my favorite twist on this American favorite. FYI: A great apple martini is not bright green and doesn’t come with a cherry!
- 1/4 oz Cinnamon Liqueur
- 1 oz Van Gogh Appel Vodka
- 1 oz Van Gogh Regular Vodka
- 1/4 oz Van Gogh Sour Appel Liqueur
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add crushed ice and let stand for five seconds. Shake vigorously for five seconds. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with a floating slice of apple.