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Your Complete Guide to the Tastiest Cocktails around the World

 By Marie-Antoinette Issa. 

Alongside museums and local markets, nothing gives you an insight into a destination quite like its cuisine - particularly cocktails, which go beyond beverages to serve as cultural artefacts each with its own story to tell over sips and socialising.

From the secret speakeasies of Manhattan to the trendy beachside bars of Rio in Brazil, cocktails often reflect the traditions, flavours and histories of their countries of origin.

In this post, we’re going on a virtual trip (no concerns about travelling with a hangover, here) to discover the colourful concoctions that have captivated drinkers for centuries.

Mojito magic: 
Your Complete Guide to the Tastiest Cocktails around the World

Cuba is home to vintage cars, smoky cigars and world-class cocktails led by the iconic Mojito - a refreshing blend of rum, mint, lime, sugar and soda water - that gained prominence in Havana during the 16th Century. 

One theory suggests the mojito has its roots in a medicinal drink consumed by the indigenous people of Cuba. While another proposition points to the influence of African slaves who worked in Cuba's sugarcane fields, as they would have had access to similar ingredients and techniques.

However, it is generally accepted that the Mojito's rise to fame outside of the Caribbean Island nation can be attributed in part to American author Ernest Hemingway, who famously enjoyed the drink during his time in Havana. 

Although likely originally consumed for its healing properties, the Mojito has since become synonymous with leisure and relaxation, embodying the laid-back spirit of Cuban culture. Today, it's a staple in bars worldwide, cherished for its timeless appeal and refreshing taste.

Perfect Pina Coladas:
Your Complete Guide to the Tastiest Cocktails around the World

Many come to Puerto Rico for the sun-drenched beaches and swaying palm trees, but most stay for the cocktail that inspired one of the biggest bops of the 1970s - the Pina Colada. 

The drink’s popularity stems from its use of locally abundant tropical ingredients, its appeal to tourists experiencing the island's vibrant atmosphere and its historical origin at the famed Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan. This is where it's widely accepted that the cocktail was first created by a bartender named Ramon ‘Monchito’ Marrero Perez. 

According to legend, Marrero spent months experimenting with different combinations of rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice before finally perfecting the recipe for the cocktail that was officially introduced to the public on August 15, 1954 and quickly became a sensation among locals and tourists alike.

Magical Margaritas: 
Your Complete Guide to the Tastiest Cocktails around the World

The best accompaniment to a couple of tacos? An icy cold Margarita! Fortunately, Mexico delivers excellent versions of both - with the tangy cocktail, made with tequila, triple sec and lime juice, practically synonymous with festivities in the Land of the Aztecs.

Its origins are steeped in folklore, with multiple stories claiming to be the true inspiration behind the drink. One narrative attributes the invention of the beverage to a bartender named Carlos ‘Danny’ Herrera.

According to this version of events, Herrera created the drink in 1938 at his bar Rancho La Gloria in Tijuana, Mexico, where he supposedly concocted it for a customer who was allergic to many spirits but could tolerate tequila.

In contrast, another popular account credits a socialite named Margarita Sames with inventing the cocktail in 1948. Margarita reportedly mixed tequila, Cointreau and lime juice at her vacation home in Acapulco and served it to her guests. One of her guests, a hotelier, later added the drink to the menu at his hotel's bar, spreading its popularity.

Regardless of its precise history, the Margarita has become a global sensation, beloved for its versatility, vibrancy and ability to transport drinkers to the sun-drenched beaches of Cozumel with just one sip.

Martinis to make your mouth water: 

Your Complete Guide to the Tastiest Cocktails around the World
Although many anecdotes offer insights into how this classic cocktail came to be, the origins of one of the most iconic drinks in the world are shrouded in a bit of mystery and debate surrounding its precise inception remains elusive. 

One theory traces the Martini's roots back to the mid-19th Century in the United States. It's believed that the drink evolved from a cocktail called the Martinez, which was first mentioned in a bartender's guide from the 1880s.

The Martinez was typically made with gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur and a dash of bitters. Over time, the recipe gradually evolved, with the proportions of ingredients shifting and the sweetness reduced, eventually leading to the creation of the Martini as we - and James Bond - know it today.

All about the Aperol Spritz:
Your Complete Guide to the Tastiest Cocktails around the World

Across the Atlantic, Italy’s elegant Aperol Spritz reigns supreme. Originating in Venice, this bittersweet cocktail - a combination of Aperol, Prosecco (sparkling wine) and soda water - is a quintessential part of Italian Aperitivo culture.

With its vibrant orange hue and refreshing taste, the Aperol Spritz embodies the Italian zest for ‘la dolce vita’. Its popularity has surged in recent years, becoming a fashionable choice for social gatherings and happy hours around the world.

Carnaval, capoeira and Caipirinhas:
Your Complete Guide to the Tastiest Cocktails around the World

Finally, in Brazil, the Caipirinha holds special sway as the national cocktail. Made with cachaca, lime, sugar and ice, today, this zesty concoction captures the essence of South American hospitality and charm.

The word ‘caipirinha’ itself comes from ‘caipira’, a term used to describe someone from the countryside in Brazil. Thia simple, economical three-ingredient drink, was originally created to be consumed by labourers and farmers as a form of refreshment during their workday.

Since then, the Caipirinha has evolved into a beloved symbol of Brazilian identity, celebrated during festivals, beach parties and everyday gatherings. Today, the drink endures as a symbol of leisure and indulgent libation, everywhere it is drunk! 

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