Sipping a fresh cocktail, while chilling out on a paradise beach can be one of the best things about an exotic holiday. Each destination boasts a different flavour that becomes part of our special travel memories. The locals’ most popular liquid refreshment can win the status of ‘national drink’.
We’ve put together this list of our favourite national drinks to help you slurp your way around the world from the comfort of your sofa. Pineapple-shaped cocktail sticks, beach shorts and sunglasses optional!
The national drink of Cuba and a favourite amongst its talented cantineros (Cuban bartenders) is of course Rum! Popular around the world, there’s a cocktail catalogue of ways to enjoy its sweet taste. When on holiday in Cuba, make sure you have at least one fresh banana daquiri, and be sure to try an authentic version of Hemmingway’s favourite, the Mojito.
But, the easiest option for having a Cuban night at home is the Cuba Libre. Simply mix up 1 part rum, 2 parts cola and pour over ice. Then add a generous squeeze of lime for that fruity Caribbean flavour.
It will have you getting your Mambo dancing shoes on quicker than you can say ‘Salud!’.
Many of us have a few painful memories involving cheap tequila… But there’s a lot more to Mexico’s national drink than you might think. Tequila is a type of mezcal, made from the blue agave plant. Artisanal producers in Mexico use several processes to create different versions of tequila. These come with varying price tags, and flavours to try while you’re there. Locals in Oaxaca favour straight mezcal made with a variety of rare agave roasted in a fire pit. It must be served as it comes, with no ice, beside a glass of water. Under no circumstances will it be put in a cocktail! The diversity of the intense flavours need no accompaniment to be enjoyed.
For the rest of the world, the popular way of drinking tequila is in a refreshing Margarita. It’s easy to make at home. You’ll need some high-quality tequila, triple sec, fresh lime, plenty of ice and sea salt to line to the glass.
Peruvians are proud of their national drink, Pisco. A type of brandy made from distilled grape juice, it’s often served as a sharp cocktail. As soon as you land in Lima, you’ll never be far from a bar or café offering traditional Pisco Sour. Some bars in Lima or Arequipa will offer classes in making the perfect Pisco Sour, so you can get the skills for the perfect Peruvian party.
Ingredients include: Pisco, fresh limes, sugar syrup, egg white, bitters and ice.
For a sweeter alternative with a fruity twist, try a Passion Fruit Pisco.
Party holidaymakers in Thailand will inevitably encounter the potent Mekhong Whiskey, made of 95% sugarcane and 5% rice. Often this is referred to as the national drink of the country, alongside a SangSom rum. However, in 2009, Thailand’s tourist board tried to introduce a tastier option in the form of new cocktail: the Siam Sunray. To make it, you’ll need vodka, coconut liqueur, sugar syrup, a chilli pepper, fresh ginger, lemongrass, a Kaffir lime leaf, lime juice, ice and soda water. Shaken together, these spicy flavours are said to be ‘Thailand in a glass’. A perfect way to beat the holiday blues!
One of the most famous cocktails, the Singapore Sling, quickly became the national drink after it was invented by a bartender working in the Raffles Hotel. The exact date of its creation is debatable, though it’s thought to be as early as 1915. This fabulously pink tropical long drink is best tasted in the famous bar of its creation. But, once you get home you can easily make your own. Stock up on gin, cherry brandy, triple sec, Benedictine, grenadine, bitters, pineapple and lemon juice and you’ll soon be reliving memories of the city.
When on holiday to Vietnam, you’ll no doubt be starting your days with a traditional Vietnamese coffee, before quickly moving on to bia hoi in Hanoi. You may even be persuaded to try some mind-blowing rice wine. But, the official national drink in Vietnam, is much better suited as a hangover cure at the end of your world-wide cocktail party. Green tea is drunk regularly by locals throughout the country at social gatherings, business meetings and after most meals. A perfect stomach soother.
What’s your favourite national drink? Tweet us your pics to @destination2uk