Photo: BravissimoS, Getty Images.
If you need an excuse to drink, there’s always one right around the corner. The latest is World Cocktail Day on Saturday, May 13. It was on that day in 1806 that the word “cocktail” first appeared in the Oxford Dictionary. Celebrate the holiday by learning about international varieties of cocktails and recreating them in your own home. It’s the only trip around the globe you can take without a passport.
The Old Fashioned (USA)
The first Old Fashioned ever made was poured in New York on May 13, 1806. The craft spirits industry has come a long way since then, and Hudson Whiskey is one of the trailblazers. The company’s Baby Bourbon was the first legal whiskey made in New York since Prohibition and the first bourbon to ever be made in the state.
- 1 part Hudson Baby Bourbon
- 3 dashes bitters
- 1 teaspoon bar sugar
- 1 lemon peel
Muddle sugar, bitters, and soda. Add Baby Bourbon and ice and stir. Garnish with a lemon peel.
Spicy Milagro Paloma (Mexico)
Mexico and tequila are forever entwined. Rancho La Gloria, halfway between Tijuana and Rosarito, Mexico, was the birthplace of the margarita. While that cocktail is oft associated with Mexico, it’s actually the paloma that our neighbors south of the border adore. This paloma recipe comes Jaime Salas, an ambassador for Milagro tequila, a brand that unites the integrity of traditional tequila with the modern culture of Mexico City. Aside from selling alcohol, the company partners with contemporary artists to create vibrant murals around the city.
- 1 1/2 parts Milagro Reposado
- 1/2 part Ancho Reyes
- 1/2 part fresh lime juice
- 3 parts grapefruit soda
- Grapefruit wheel
Using a lime wedge, wet the rim of the glass and salt half the rim. Add ice, Milagro Reposado, Ancho Reyes and grapefruit soda. Squeeze a wedge of lime and discard. Garnish with a thin grapefruit wheel.
The Elderflower Collins (Scotland)
Hendrick’s Gin is distilled in Girvan, Scotland, a place with a rich distilling history, superior techniques, and a landscape with lowland water that produces the ideal balance of grain spirit and botanicals. This Elderflower Collins was created by Hendrick’s Gin ambassador Erik Andersson.
- 2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
- 1 part elderflower cordial
- 1 part lemon juice
- 1 part sugar syrup
- 1 part soda water
Pour ingredients into a pitcher and stir. Pour into an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with cucumber.
Piña Colada Fresca (Nicaragua)
When you think of award-winning rum, Nicaragua probably doesn’t come to mind. But it should. Flor de Caña was named the #1 rum on the planet by the Huffington Post. The slow-aged rum’s origins date back to 1890, and while the company has remained a single estate operation since then, it’s adapted to our changing world by distilling with 100% renewable energy. This cocktail, created by Ashlea Richardson, contains all the sweetness you’d expect from a sugar cane-derived beverage.
- 1 1/2 parts Flor de Caña 7
- 1 part coconut water
- 1 part fresh pineapple juice
- 1/2 part fresh orange juice
Combine ingredients. Swizzle over crushed ice and top with nutmeg and orange slice.
Icelandic Mule (Iceland)
Vodka and mule cocktails are typically associated with Russia, but that’s not the only place great vodka is made. Iceland is home to a brand called Reyka, the country’s first-ever small-batch vodka distillery. Surrounded by a landscape of volcanoes, lava rock, glaciers, waterfalls of arctic spring water, and clean air, the environment contributes to the smooth taste, silky finish, and distinctive flavor of Reyka.
- 2 parts Reyka Vodka
- 3/4 part ginger syrup
- 1/2 part lime juice
Make ginger syrup by combining 4 parts freshly pressed ginger juice with 3 parts sugar. Shake until sugar is dissolved. Combine ingredients; shake and strain into iced Collins glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with a lime wedge.
The Montserrat (Ireland)
This cultural mélange is confusing, we know. But Montserrat, a Caribbean island, is populated with descendants of Irish and African slaves. Today, Montserrat is the only nation other than Ireland that celebrates St.Patrick’s Day as a national holiday. Tullamore D.E.W. ambassador Tim Herlihy created this summery cocktail in tribute to this unlikely melting pot.
- 2 parts Tullamore D.E.W. Original
- 1/2 part simple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1/4 part fresh apple juice
- Orange twist (for garnish)
Fill glass with ice and Tullamore D.E.W., simple syrup, and both types of bitters. Stir quickly until cold. (Be careful not to over-dilute.) Strain mixture into an ice-filled rocks glass and float 1/4 ounce fresh apple juice on top. Garnish with an orange twist.