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Around The World In Cocktails And Spirits


by Kittie Villatoro



Welcome to the delicious world of food travel! If you have a passion for exploring new cultures, experiencing diverse flavors, and indulging in the culinary delights of different countries, then you are in for a treat. In this article, we will take you on a journey around the world, not only through the lens of food, but also through the delightful world of cocktails and spirits.


Food travel is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture, traditions, and history of a destination. From street food stalls to Michelin-starred restaurants, every country has its own unique gastronomic offerings. While food plays a central role in any travel experience, it is often complemented by the tantalizing world of drinks, including cocktails and spirits.


Throughout this article, we will delve into the fascinating cocktail and spirit traditions of various countries, uncovering the stories, flavors, and techniques that make them special. From iconic drinks that have stood the test of time to innovative concoctions that push the boundaries of mixology, we will explore it all.


So get ready to indulge your taste buds and quench your thirst for knowledge as we travel from country to country, discovering the vibrant and diverse world of cocktails and spirits. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist, a casual cocktail lover, or simply curious about the libations that define different cultures, this article will take you on an unforgettable journey.


Buckle up and raise your glasses, because we’re about to embark on an epic adventure around the world in cocktails and spirits! Cheers!


United States

The United States is known for its vibrant cocktail culture, with each region offering a unique twist on classic drinks. From the lively bars of New Orleans to the craft cocktail scene in New York City, there is something for every palate.


One of the most iconic American cocktails is the Martini, traditionally made with gin and vermouth. However, variations such as the Vodka Martini and Dirty Martini have gained popularity. Another beloved cocktail is the Manhattan, a potent mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. It originated in the 19th century and continues to be a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts.


When it comes to spirits, Bourbon is a true American gem. Produced primarily in Kentucky, it is made from at least 51% corn and aged in charred oak barrels. The result is a rich and flavorful whiskey that is enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned.


The United States is also famous for its craft beer scene. With numerous microbreweries and brewpubs, beer enthusiasts can sample a wide range of styles, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts. The craft beer movement has gained immense popularity in recent years, with beer festivals and tasting events drawing beer lovers from all over the country.


When you visit the United States, be sure to explore the local cocktail bars and craft breweries in each city. From the speakeasy-style bars in San Francisco to the trendy mixology spots in Chicago, you’ll find a plethora of creative concoctions and unique flavor combinations.


Whether you prefer a classic cocktail or a bold craft beer, the United States offers a diverse and exciting drinking scene that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.



When it comes to cocktails and spirits, Mexico holds a special place with its rich and vibrant drinking traditions. Tequila, Mexico’s most famous spirit, is known worldwide and is the key ingredient in the beloved Margarita cocktail. Made from the blue agave plant, tequila is synonymous with fiestas, celebrations, and good times.


In addition to tequila, Mexico is also renowned for its lesser-known but equally delicious spirit: Mezcal. Made from various types of agave plants, Mezcal has a distinct smoky flavor that sets it apart. It is often enjoyed neat or in cocktails like the Mezcal Negroni or Paloma.


No visit to Mexico is complete without trying a refreshing Paloma cocktail. Made with grapefruit soda and tequila, it is a light and fruity drink that perfectly complements a hot day on the beach. Another popular Mexican cocktail is the Michelada, a savory blend of beer, lime juice, hot sauce, and spices. This zesty drink is a fantastic way to beat the heat and pairs well with Mexican street food.


When it comes to spirits, Mexico’s contribution extends beyond tequila and mezcal. Mexican rum is gaining recognition for its unique flavor profiles. From light and smooth to dark and robust, Mexican rum offers a wide range of options for rum enthusiasts to explore.


While cocktails and spirits take the spotlight, it’s worth mentioning that Mexico also boasts a vibrant beer culture. Mexican lagers, such as Corona and Dos Equis, are popular around the world and have become synonymous with beach vacations and outdoor gatherings.


So, whether you’re sipping on a delicious tequila cocktail, savoring the smoky flavors of Mezcal, or enjoying a cold Mexican beer, the rich drinking culture of Mexico offers something for everyone. Raise your glass and toast to the flavors and traditions of this vibrant country!



When it comes to cocktails and spirits, Brazil is a vibrant and exciting destination with a wide array of flavors to offer. Known for its lively culture and samba rhythms, Brazil also boasts a diverse drinking scene that showcases the country’s unique ingredients and cultural influences.


One of the most famous cocktails to come out of Brazil is the Caipirinha. Made with cachaça, a Brazilian spirit derived from sugarcane, muddled limes, and sugar, this refreshing drink has gained international acclaim. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and boozy, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.


Cachaça, similar to rum, is a key ingredient in many Brazilian cocktails. The spirit is made by fermenting and distilling fresh sugarcane juice and is available in various aged and flavored options. From classic Caipirinhas to creative concoctions like the Batida (a blend of cachaça, fruit, and sweet condensed milk), cachaça is the heart and soul of Brazilian mixology.


In addition to cachaça-based cocktails, Brazil also has a vibrant beer culture. Brazilian breweries produce a variety of styles, from light and refreshing lagers to bold and flavorful craft beers. Whether you’re sipping on an ice-cold Brahma or exploring the offerings of a local microbrewery, beer enthusiasts will not be disappointed.


Another spirit that plays a significant role in Brazilian drinking culture is pinga, also known as aguardente or caninha. Similar to cachaça, pinga is made from sugarcane, but it has a higher alcohol content and a sharper taste. It is commonly enjoyed straight, as a shot, or used as a base spirit in cocktails.


Whether you’re sipping on a Caipirinha by the beach, exploring the local craft beer scene, or embracing the strong kick of pinga shots, Brazil offers a diverse and exciting range of drinks to enjoy. So, raise your glass and toast to the vibrant flavors of this captivating country.



Cuba, with its vibrant culture, lively music, and colorful streets, is not only known for its salsa dancing and vintage cars but also for its rum-based cocktails that have gained international acclaim.


When it comes to iconic Cuban cocktails, the first that comes to mind is the legendary Mojito. Made with white rum, lime juice, mint leaves, soda water, and a touch of sugar, the Mojito is a refreshing and invigorating drink that perfectly captures the spirit of Cuba. Its combination of citrus, sweetness, and herbal notes makes it a popular choice for those seeking a taste of the Caribbean.


Cuba is also home to the classic Cuban Daiquiri, which has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Made with rum, lime juice, and sugar, this simple yet delicious concoction has a timeless appeal. Hemingway’s favorite variation, the Hemingway Daiquiri (also known as the Papa Doble), includes grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur.


An essential element of Cuban drinking culture is the country’s renowned rum. Cuban rum is world-renowned for its smoothness and versatility. From light and subtle rums to aged and full-bodied varieties, Cuban rum caters to every palate. It can be savored neat, on the rocks, or used as the base in classic cocktails like the Cuba Libre or Piña Colada.


While rum takes center stage, Cuba also offers a unique beer called “Cerveza Bucanero.” This pale lager has a crisp and refreshing taste, making it a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.


When visiting Cuba, be sure to explore the lively bars and lounges, often featuring live music and salsa dancing. Immerse yourself in the vibrant cocktail culture, sipping on a perfectly mixed Mojito or Daiquiri, and let the rhythms of Cuba transport you to a world of intoxicating Caribbean charm.


So, raise your glass and toast to the flavors of Cuba. Salud!



Spain, a country known for its rich culinary traditions, is also home to a vibrant cocktail and spirits scene that reflects its diverse regions and cultural influences. From refreshing sangrias to potent spirits, the drinking culture in Spain is as diverse as its gastronomy.


One of Spain’s most famous contributions to the cocktail world is the classic Spanish Sangria. Made with red wine, fresh fruit, and a splash of brandy, Sangria is a delightful and refreshing drink that is enjoyed year-round. It is often served during warm summer evenings or as a festive accompaniment to tapas.


In addition to Sangria, Spain is renowned for its unique liqueurs, such as Licor de Hierbas and Patxaran. Licor de Hierbas is a herbal liqueur made from a mixture of aromatic herbs, while Patxaran is a sweet liqueur flavored with sloe berries. Both are commonly enjoyed as digestifs after a meal.


One cannot discuss Spanish libations without mentioning the country’s national spirit: Sherry. This fortified wine, produced in the region of Andalusia, comes in various styles and flavors, including Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, and Oloroso. It is often sipped as an aperitif or paired with tapas.


Spain also boasts a thriving craft beer movement, with breweries popping up across the country. From hop-forward IPAs to traditional styles like blonde ales and stouts, beer enthusiasts will find a wide variety of options to explore.


When in Spain, be sure to visit bustling bars and Bodegas, where you can immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere while enjoying a wide range of cocktails, spirits, and beers. Whether it’s savoring a glass of Sherry, delving into the world of Spanish liqueurs, or embracing the flavors of a refreshing Sangria, Spain offers a delightful drinking experience for every taste.


So, raise your glass and say “Salud!” as you embark on a spirited adventure through the diverse drinking culture of Spain.



Japan is not only known for its rich cultural heritage and exquisite cuisine but also for its unique and refined approach to cocktails and spirits. Japanese bartenders are renowned for their attention to detail, precision, and craftsmanship, making the country a prominent player in the global mixology scene.


One of Japan’s most famous contributions to the cocktail world is the elegant and sophisticated Japanese Highball. Made by combining whisky and sparkling water over ice, the Japanese Highball is a refreshing and light drink that allows the flavors of the whisky to shine. Japanese whisky itself has gained international recognition for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship, often compared to renowned Scotch whisky.


Aside from whisky, sake is a traditional Japanese beverage that has a long history dating back centuries. It is a rice wine with a range of flavors, from light and floral to rich and full-bodied. Sake is typically enjoyed chilled or warm, depending on the variety and personal preference.


Japanese shochu is another popular local spirit made from various ingredients like rice, barley, or sweet potatoes. It has a smooth and clean taste and can be enjoyed straight, on the rocks, or used as the base in cocktails.


In addition to these traditional spirits, Japan has a thriving craft beer scene with an emphasis on quality and innovation. Many microbreweries have emerged, offering a variety of styles, including hoppy IPAs, fruity ales, and rich stouts. Beer enthusiasts can explore the local brews at beer festivals or izakayas (Japanese-style pubs).


When visiting Japan, be sure to indulge in the artistry of Japanese bartending at upscale cocktail bars known as “speakeasies.” These hidden gems offer a luxurious and immersive experience where skilled mixologists create bespoke cocktails tailored to your tastes.


Whether you’re sipping on a meticulously crafted Japanese Highball, exploring the nuances of sake, or tasting the innovative flavors of Japanese craft beer, Japan provides a captivating drinking journey that seamlessly blends tradition and innovation.


So, raise your glass to the artistry of Japanese mixology and embark on a taste adventure through the refined and diverse world of Japanese cocktails and spirits.



Australia, known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, is also home to a diverse and exciting drinking scene. From unique native ingredients to innovative cocktail creations, Australia offers a drinking experience like no other.


One of Australia’s most iconic contributions to the cocktail world is the refreshing and tangy concoction known as the Australian Lemon Myrtle Sour. Made with vodka, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and the distinctive flavor of lemon myrtle, a native Australian plant, this cocktail showcases the country’s commitment to utilizing local ingredients.


Australia is also known for its love affair with beer, and craft breweries have been popping up all over the country. With a strong emphasis on quality and flavor, Australian craft breweries cater to a wide range of beer enthusiasts. From hop-forward IPAs to smooth and rich stouts, you’ll find a diverse array of options to quench your thirst.


When it comes to spirits, Australia has seen a surge in small-scale distilleries producing unique and artisanal products. Craft gins infused with native botanicals, like finger lime and wattleseed, have gained popularity in recent years, offering a taste of the Australian landscape in every sip.


In addition, Australia’s wine regions are renowned worldwide. From the famous Barossa Valley to the picturesque Margaret River, Australian wineries produce a variety of world-class wines, including Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Take a tour of the vineyards or visit a wine bar to explore the impressive selection of Australian wines.


While exploring Australia’s diverse drinking culture, be sure to visit the vibrant bars and cocktail lounges in cities like Sydney and Melbourne. These cities are known for their innovative mixology scene, where talented bartenders create unique and experimental cocktails.


So, whether you’re sipping on a refreshing Lemon Myrtle Sour, discovering the flavors of Australian craft beer, or indulging in a glass of exquisite Australian wine, Australia offers a drinking experience that combines creativity, quality, and a touch of the country’s unique flavors and ingredients.


Toasting to Australia’s vibrant drinking culture, raise your glass and cheers to an unforgettable drinking journey Down Under!



France, renowned for its exquisite cuisine and fine wines, also holds a special place in the world of cocktails and spirits. From classic cocktails to sophisticated liqueurs, France offers a wealth of flavors and traditions to indulge in.


When it comes to iconic French cocktails, the first that comes to mind is the elegant and timeless French Martini. Made with vodka, raspberry liqueur, and a splash of pineapple juice, this drink exudes sophistication and is often enjoyed as an aperitif.


France is also famous for its extensive selection of liqueurs. From the iconic orange-flavored Grand Marnier to the fragrant and herbal Chartreuse, French liqueurs are renowned for their quality and complexity. These liqueurs are often enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or used as key ingredients in classic cocktails.


Of course, one cannot discuss French libations without mentioning wine. With world-famous wine regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne, France produces some of the finest wines in the world. From full-bodied reds to crisp whites and sparkling delights, French wines offer a myriad of flavors and styles to suit every palate.


In addition to wine, France has a rich history and tradition of producing top-quality spirits. Cognac, a luxurious brandy made from grapes, is a staple in the French spirits world. Its rich and complex flavor profile, with notes of oak, dried fruits, and spices, has made it a favorite choice for sipping and a key ingredient in classic cocktails like the Sidecar.


Absinthe, a highly potent and aromatic spirit, is another significant contribution from France. Although banned for several years, it has experienced a resurgence in recent times. With its signature green color and herbal flavor, Absinthe is often enjoyed in the traditional ritual of louche, where it is poured over a sugar cube and diluted with water.


When you venture into the bars and lounges of France, you’ll also discover a vibrant cocktail scene. French mixologists are known for their creativity, using both traditional and innovative techniques to craft exquisite and visually stunning cocktails.


Whether you’re sipping on a sophisticated French Martini, savoring the complexities of a fine Cognac, or indulging in the pleasures of French wine, France offers a captivating drinking experience that showcases the country’s rich traditions and revered craftsmanship.


So, raise your glass and toast to France, the land of culinary delights and a paradise for cocktail and spirits enthusiasts!



Italy, known for its rich culinary heritage, is also a treasure trove when it comes to cocktails and spirits. From iconic Italian cocktails to traditional liqueurs, Italy offers a delightful drinking experience that perfectly complements its world-famous cuisine.


One of the most renowned Italian cocktails is the classic Negroni, which originated in Florence. Made with equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, the Negroni is a bold and bitter drink that has gained global popularity. Its distinctive crimson color and complex flavor profile make it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts.


Aperol Spritz is another Italian classic that has become a quintessential summer drink around the world. Made with Aperol, a bitter orange liqueur, Prosecco, and a splash of soda water, this refreshing cocktail is synonymous with al fresco dining and leisurely afternoons in Italy.


Italy is also famous for its digestifs, or after-dinner drinks, which are enjoyed for their comforting and digestive properties. Limoncello, a vibrant lemon liqueur from the Amalfi Coast, has a sweet and tangy flavor that is often served chilled in small glasses. Another popular digestif is Amaro, a bittersweet herbal liqueur that comes in various regional variations throughout Italy.


It’s impossible to discuss Italy without mentioning its world-class wine production. From the robust red wines of Tuscany, such as Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, to the crisp white wines of the Veneto region, like Pinot Grigio and Prosecco, Italy offers an extraordinary range of wines to suit every palate and occasion.


Italy’s contribution to the spirits world extends beyond liqueurs and wines. The country is also renowned for its production of fine spirits like Grappa, a strong and aromatic grape-based brandy, and Limoncello Cream, a luscious and creamy version of the classic Limoncello.


When visiting Italy, be sure to explore the local bars and enotecas (wine bars) to experience the rich drinking culture firsthand. Enjoy a Negroni or Aperol Spritz during aperitivo hour, indulge in the sweetness of Limoncello after a meal, or embark on a wine tasting tour to discover the complexity and diversity of Italian wines.


So, whether you’re raising a glass of Italian wine, toasting with a classic Italian cocktail, or savoring the unique flavors of Italian liqueurs, Italy offers a captivating drinking experience that perfectly encapsulates its passion for fine craftsmanship and gastronomy.


Salute! Cheers to Italy and its extraordinary world of cocktails and spirits!



Russia, a country with a rich cultural heritage, is home to a diverse and fascinating drinking culture. From classic vodka cocktails to traditional spirits, Russia has a lot to offer to the world of cocktails and spirits.


Vodka, considered Russia’s national spirit, holds a special place in Russian drinking traditions. This clear and potent distilled spirit is typically enjoyed straight, chilled, or in classic cocktails like the Moscow Mule or the iconic Vodka Martini. It’s important to note that Russians have a strong appreciation for the quality and smoothness of their vodka, often emphasizing the purity of flavors.


One popular Russian cocktail is the White Russian, made with vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream. This luxurious and indulgent drink has gained international fame and is a favorite among those seeking a rich and creamy cocktail.


Aside from vodka, Russia has a long history of producing other traditional spirits. One such example is Russian Standard, a premium vodka brand that embodies the country’s vodka-making traditions. There’s also a unique grain-based spirit called Horilka, which is typically consumed in Ukraine but is also enjoyed by Russians in certain regions.


Another beloved traditional Russian spirit is the fiery and aromatic herbal liqueur called Samogon. Produced by distilling fermented grains or fruits, Samogon carries a strong cultural significance and is often prepared in homemade distilleries.


When it comes to beer, Russia offers a wide variety of styles, ranging from light lagers and pale ales to dark and robust stouts. Craft breweries have recently gained momentum, producing innovative and flavorful brews that attract beer enthusiasts from both within Russia and abroad.


While exploring the drinking culture of Russia, be sure to visit the legendary vodka bars of Moscow and St. Petersburg. These establishments offer an authentic experience in a setting that showcases Russia’s love for vodka and its rich history.


So, whether you’re celebrating with a shot of premium Russian vodka, indulging in a velvety White Russian, or immersing yourself in the traditional spirits and beer scene, Russia invites you to embrace its warm hospitality and raise a glass to its fascinating world of cocktails and spirits.


Na zdorovie! Cheers to Russia and its rich drinking traditions!



India, known for its vibrant culture and diverse cuisine, has a unique and captivating drinking culture that reflects its rich history and traditions. From flavorful cocktails to traditional spirits, India offers a wide range of drinking experiences.


One of the most popular traditional Indian drinks is the classic Indian-inspired cocktail, the Mango Lassi Martini. Made with vodka, mango pulp, yogurt, and a touch of honey, this refreshing and creamy cocktail captures the essence of India’s love for mangoes and its traditional yogurt-based drink, Lassi.


India is also famous for its indigenous spirits. One of the most well-known is Feni, a strong and distinctive spirit made from cashew apples or coconut sap. Feni is primarily produced in the coastal regions of Goa and is often enjoyed neat or used as a base in tropical cocktails.


An equally beloved spirit in India is the iconic Kingfisher Beer, a well-known Indian lager that has become a symbol of the country’s vibrant pub culture. Kingfisher Beer is widely enjoyed at social gatherings, celebrations, and cricket matches, offering a refreshing and crisp taste to beer aficionados.


India has a long-standing tradition of using spices and herbs in its beverages. This is evident in popular drinks like Masala Chai, a spiced tea made with a blend of aromatic spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger. It is often sweetened with honey or sugar and served with milk.


In recent years, India has also witnessed the rise of craft cocktails and mixology. Trendy bars and lounges in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore offer innovative and creative cocktails that infuse local flavors and ingredients. From spicy margaritas to the vibrant and tangy Indian-inspired twists on classics, mixologists in India are pushing the boundaries of cocktail craftsmanship.


With a rich history of spice trade, Indian liqueurs incorporating traditional spices have gained popularity. From fragrant saffron-infused liqueurs to those highlighting the flavors of cardamom and cloves, these unique creations add a touch of Indian flair to any cocktail experience.


So whether you’re indulging in a refreshing Mango Lassi Martini, savoring the distinct flavors of Feni, or experiencing the vibrant cocktail scene in India’s bustling cities, the country’s diverse drinking culture offers a delightful blend of tradition and innovation.


So, raise your glass and toast to the flavors of India. Cheers!


South Africa

South Africa, known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, offers a captivating drinking culture that reflects its diverse population and vibrant traditions. From world-renowned wines to unique spirits, South Africa has a lot to offer to the world of cocktails and spirits.


When it comes to wine, South Africa is celebrated for its exceptional vineyards and wine regions. The Cape Winelands, with its picturesque landscapes, produces a wide variety of wines, including Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, and Sauvignon Blanc. Whether you’re exploring the classic wine routes of Stellenbosch or Franschhoek, or visiting boutique vineyards in Hemel-en-Aarde, wine enthusiasts will find a wealth of options to tantalize their taste buds.


In addition to wine, South Africa has a unique and flavorful spirit called Amarula. Made from the fruit of the African marula tree, Amarula is a creamy liqueur with hints of caramel and tropical fruit. It is often enjoyed on its own, over ice, or used as an ingredient in decadent cocktails.


South Africa’s craft beer scene has also been on the rise, with numerous microbreweries showcasing their creativity and passion for quality brews. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, beer lovers can explore a wide range of styles and flavors, often infused with local ingredients that add a South African twist.


When it comes to cocktails, South Africa offers its unique creations that highlight local flavors. The classic cocktail called the Springbokkie, for example, combines Amarula with Crème de Menthe, creating a deliciously sweet and minty drink that pays homage to the country’s national animal.


South Africa is also known for its traditional spirit called Mampoer, a potent fruit brandy made through the process of fermentation and distillation. It is often produced using fruits like peaches, apricots, or plums and carries a strong alcoholic punch.


Whether you’re sipping on a renowned South African wine, indulging in the creamy flavor of Amarula, exploring the exciting craft beer scene, or experiencing the unique flavors of Mampoer, South Africa’s drinking culture offers a delightful blend of tradition and innovation.


So, raise your glass and toast to the flavors of South Africa. Cheers!



Throughout this journey around the world in cocktails and spirits, we have explored the diverse and vibrant drinking cultures of various countries. From iconic cocktails to traditional spirits, each destination offers a unique and captivating experience for enthusiasts and curious drinkers alike.


Whether it’s savoring the smoothness of Russian vodka, embracing the elegance of Italian liqueurs, or indulging in the rich flavors of South African wines, we have discovered the rich tapestry of flavors, traditions, and craftsmanship that underpin the world of cocktails and spirits.


From bustling cocktail bars in major cities to quaint distilleries nestled in scenic countryside regions, each country showcased its own unique drinking traditions that reflect its culture, history, and local ingredients. We have learned about the iconic drinks that have become synonymous with certain destinations, as well as the up-and-coming craft beer and cocktail scenes that are pushing the boundaries of mixology.


As we raise our glasses in celebration, let us remember that the true essence of food travel lies not only in the exploration of flavors but also in the connection it creates between people and cultures. The joy of sharing a cocktail or spirit, whether it’s a traditional drink enjoyed for generations or an innovative creation that embodies a modern twist, brings us closer together, breaking down barriers and fostering understanding.


So, as you embark on your own adventures, whether you’re traveling to these destinations or sampling their flavors from the comfort of your home, may you be inspired to explore the diverse and captivating world of cocktails and spirits. With each sip, may you savor the flavors, embrace the stories, and appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into creating these delightful libations.


Cheers to the joy of food travel, the rich tapestry of flavors around the globe, and the memories created as we raise our glasses in a toast to the wonderful world of cocktails and spirits!