As we celebrate entering a new decade, in the spirit of the original Roaring 20s and all things decadent and indulgent, we highlight our favourite classic cocktails around the world, and the best places to drink them, whether that’s in the bar that created it or a bar where there’s a beautiful view to accompany them. And better still, many of these cocktails have fruit in them, so this is a great way of getting one of your five a day…
The Singapore Sling, Singapore
The Singapore Sling, made with Cointreau, gin, curacao and fruit juice (pineapple and lime), with cherry liqueur and grenadine giving it its rosy hue, is Singapore’s national drink but has become a worldwide classic. However, there’s still nowhere better to sample it than in the elegant two-storey plantation-style Long Bar at the opulent Raffles hotel.
A perennially popular meeting place, the Singapore Sling was invented here a century ago, and its feminine pink look was aimed at women, to get around the fact that it was not considered socially acceptable at the time for women to drink alcohol. It’s a great time to visit too, as this historic hotel has recently undergone a revamp, so it is even more spectacular than ever. Enjoy this iconic cocktail in a hotel that provides an oasis from the buzz of Singapore.
The Manhattan, Manhattan, New York
Where better to enjoy a signature Manhattan cocktail or two than in Manhattan itself? In this living film set, follow in the footsteps of movie stars and celebrities, and in between sightseeing, unwind over a glass or two of Manhattan's namesake cocktail. Made with whiskey, vermouth, angostura bitters, and garnished with a maraschino cherry, legend has it that it was created here in the 1870s for a banquet hosted by Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston.
Our favourite place to drink a Manhattan? There are so many options in New York that you’re certainly spoilt for choice - but we love the Art Deco-inspired Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel. The bar is named after the creator of the much-loved Madeline children’s books. Sip a Manhattan at a black granite bar beneath a 24-carat gold-leaf ceiling, accompanied by live music.
The Bellini, Venice
The Bellini, a perfect marriage of prosecco and fresh peach juice, is named after the 15th-century Venetian painter, thanks to its pink colour resembling a figure in one of his paintings. This classic cocktail was born at Harry’s Bar in Venice in the 1930s or 1940s. The bar is now a national cultural landmark, and is the obvious place to drink it.
After taking in the city’s world-famous canals and winding streets, put your feet up at this unassuming waterfront bar (so unassuming it can be quite hard to find). Harry's Bar is an authentic place, which seems to stay the same year after year, with plenty of buzz and atmosphere, and also plenty of regulars (it’s not just celebrities propping up the bar here). The staff tend to stay for what can be decades, too – and always create the Bellini to perfection.
The Caipirinha, Brazil
Brazil is synonymous with the Caipirinha, an irresistible cocktail featuring cachaça, sugar and lime, as well as a range of tropical fruit, a tasty concoction which is infused with the spirit of Brazil. You are spoilt for choice as to where to spend a sun-kissed evening drinking these in Rio de Janeiro. We like to make a beeline for one of the bars around the colourful Selaron Steps, or to the elegant Bar Astor, overlooking Ipanema Beach, for the perfect blend of sightseeing, relaxing on the beach and cocktail drinking. Time your visit to sip your cocktail as the sun sets over the beach. You simply can’t come to Brazil without trying one of these.
The rum punch, Caribbean
As well as beautiful white-sand beaches, swaying palm trees and the kind of wow-factor hotels that take luxury to a whole new level, the Caribbean is also known for its rum, which is the perfect ingredient for a tropical rum punch cocktail, which tastes all the better in this beautiful setting.
There are so many islands and so many fantastic bars to sample it in, but we recommend sipping a rum punch at the aptly-named Cane Bar at the luxurious Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, in St Lucia, which overlooks the iconic UNESCO-listed Pitons and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. This stylish bar, all dark woods and creams, even has a ‘rummelier’ who will pick out the very best rum for you from a wide selection of local and international varieties.
The Mojito, Cuba
Made with rum, fresh mint and fresh sugar from the canes, the place to drink the Cuban national drink, the Mojito, is undoubtedly Havana. Head to the characterful La Bodeguita del Medio, which, as well as laying claim to inventing this classic drink, was one of Hemingway’s favourite cocktail haunts. Along with other writers and notable figures of the day, he could often be found propping up the bar here. Follow in these distinguished footsteps and order one of the best Mojitos in the city (and you can never stop at just one), as you listen to traditional Cuban bands. Such is its enduring popularity, this bar has been replicated all over the world, but the original is still the best.
We can create your perfect luxury holiday or honeymoon to any of these destinations and many more, all over the world, including food and drink tours and tastings. Call us on 020 7337 9010 or make an enquiry.