Last updated: March 2022
Descending March 24th, National Cocktail Day may be nationwide in spirit (pun intended) but without a doubt reaches global in scope. In honor of, we connected with top bartenders, mixology masters and otherwise cocktail creators around the world – both living and legendary – to give you a transportive taste of their signature libations. From Cuba to Canada, Spain to South Africa, the Big Apple to Barbados, here are 20 global-inspired cocktails taking you around the world – no passport needed.
The Knickerbocker Martini
Can anything put you in a New York state of mind quite as effectively as a classic martini? We think not, and neither does The Knickerbocker Hotel. Rumor has it the famed cocktail was created at the storied Times Square setting by legendary bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia, when he served hotel regular John D. Rockefeller the then “unfamiliar concoction” in 1906. Rockefeller loved the drink and of course, the rest is history.
Today, the undisputed king of cocktails has been reinvented by Head Bartender Karma Jamyang at Charlie Palmer at The Knickerbocker, which must exclusively be stirred – not shaken!
The Knickerbocker Martini:
- 2 ounces Tanqueray 10 Gin
- 3/4 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth
- 1/2 ounce Cocchi Torino Vermouth
- Dash of Hella Bitters Truth Orange Bitters
- Dash of Hella Bitters Truth Citrus Bitters
- Lemon twist
Combine Tanqueray 10, dry and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass. Add two dashes of orange and citrus bitters, add ice and stir. Garnish with lemon.
Evoking long, lazy days in the desert heat is this tequila and bitters-based libation from bartender Jared Petty at the W Scottsdale in Arizona. The craft cocktail pays homage to the state’s Valley of the Sun, transporting you to your own desert getaway whether staying at the vibrant downtown Scottsdale hotel, or in the comfort of your own home.
- 1.5 ounce Tequila Blanco
- 3/4 ounce guava puree
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
- 2 dashes Plum Bitters
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- Garnished with Lime Peel & Luxardo Cherry
Combine all ingredients into a shaker, shake and strain into a double old-fashioned glass over fresh ice. Top it with sparkling water soda and garnish with lime peel & luxardo cherry.
The Sconnie Cruiser
If anyone can transport you to the open road of America’s heartland, it’s the Harley-Davidson Museum in the iconic motorcycle’s hometown of Milwaukee. Here, General Manager Cari Mansfield of MOTOR, the museum’s resident bar & eatery, has rolled out a tailored take on the Wisconsin classic “Brandy Old Fashioned.” Made with MOTOR’s own in-house, barrel-aged brandy, one sip of this drink is guaranteed to put you in cruise control.
The Sconnie Cruiser:
- 1 Cherry
- 1 Orange Slice
- 1.5 ounce barrel-aged Copper & Kings Brandy
- Dash of bitters
- Fill with choice of Sprite or sour soda
In a rocks glass, muddle 1 cherry and 1 orange slice. Add ice. Pour brandy, add bitters and fill with sprite or sour soda.
Old Money Old Fashioned
No cocktail is as synonymous with Chicago as the famed Old Fashioned. At West Loop speakeasy Grapes & Grains, Founders Josh and Matthew McCahill give a nod to the nostalgic nightcap with their signature version summoning the storied history of Old Chicago. While the full recipe remains top secret, this sneak peek will get you started on creating your own old school Old Fashioned – one that we’re sure even Al Capone would approve.
Old Money Old Fashioned:
- 2 ounces Old Forester 100
- 1/4 ounce Toasted Walnut Demerara
- Angostura Bitters
- Orange Bitters
I’ll Be Your Huckleberry
Coveted by both bears and humans alike, Montana’s beloved huckleberry enjoys an abundant yet fleeting season. Time your visit to The Ranch at Rock Creek just right – a luxury, all-inclusive guest ranch located on an authentic, 19th-century homestead – and you can enjoy their signature cocktail starring the fabled fruit. Created by bartender Jaitlyn Pettit, you can even give the ranch-born recipe a try yourself and savor a taste of Big Sky country at home.
I’ll Be Your Huckleberry:
- Thinly sliced ginger
- 1/2 lime (quartered)
- Rhubarb bitters
- Splash of simple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon of huckleberry jam
- 3-5 fresh mint leaves
- 1.25 ounce Montgomery Distillery Quicksilver Vodka
- 1 ounce 44 North Huckleberry Vodka
- 1/8 ounce St Germaine Elderflower Liquor
- Splash of soda water
- Zest of lime
Muddle ginger, limes, a dash of rhubarb bitters, a splash of simple syrup, huckleberry jam, mint leaves, and soda water. Then pour into a pint glass half-full of ice and add vodkas and St. Germaine. Shake and strain into a coupe glass and top with soda water and add zest of lime.
Named after the shimmering emerald green glacial lakes that surround Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada, the “Emerald Glow” is not only transportive, it’s award-winning. Mixologist Jason Patience of Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge received an Alberta Beverage Award by Culinaire Magazine for creating the cocktail, pairing hints of cucumber with herbal sweetness for a perfectly crisp texture and refreshing taste.
- 1.5 ounces Vodka
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce Cucumber Vermouth
- 1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
- 1/4 ounce Chartreuse Verte
- Cucumber fan garnish
Shake and double strain. Pour into a rocks glass; garnish.
At Bar Artefact at Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec, bartender Félix-André Savard has created this aromatic homage to the historic city’s romantic yet refined heritage, abundant flora and colorful, breathtaking landscapes. A balanced blend of fruit-forward notes underscore the Quebec-conjuring cocktail, including a bitter-sweet orange liqueur from local distiller NOROI.
- 1.05 ounces Vodka
- 1/2 ounce NOROI Orange Liqueur
- 1/2 ounce Lime Juice
- 1/2 ounce Lotus Juice
- 1 ounce White Cranberry Juice
- Dash of Lavender Syrup
- 1/2 Egg White
Chill juices prior to preparation. Combine all ingredients (including egg white) in a shaker without ice. Shake until there is a layer of foam at the top of the shaker (product of the egg white). Serve in a tulip flute which is designed to collect the floral aromas with its wider bowl shape making it ideal for the fruit forward cocktail.
Under the Volcano
In Mexico City’s hip Juárez neighborhood, Bar Manager Gina Barbachano of acclaimed speakeasy Hanky Panky is taking patrons on a clandestine journey “Under the Volcano.” The stirred cocktail combines smoky mezcal, volcanic pine leaf and further herbal notes as a nod to central Mexico’s Iztlaccíhuatl region – specifically it’s legendary, dormant volcano.
Under the Volcano:
- 1/2 ounce Matusalem 23 Gran Reserva Rum
- 1/2 ounce Epazote-infused Mezcal
- 1 ounce Antica Formula
- 1 ounce Bitter Fusetti
- 2 dashes essence of Volcanic Pine Leaf
- Palanqueta garnish
Combine ingredients, stir, garnish.
Smoky Pineapple Margarita
This smoky, spicy and citrusy ode to magical Oaxaca, Mexico comes from Andy Shannon: Cocktail Consultant, Candra Co-Founder and Former Bars Manager at the West Hollywood EDITION and London EDITION. A transportive twist on the classic margarita, the drink takes imbibers “to the land of agave in the most beautiful setting, surrounded by smells of charred pineapple and a feeling of heat in the air…you won’t know if it’s from the hot sauce or imagining sunshine warming your face,” says Shannon.
Smoky Pineapple Margarita:
- 1 part Mezcal
- 1/2 part Triple Sec
- 2 parts Pressed Pineapple Juice
- 1/2 part Lime Juice
- 1-3 dashes Green Hot Sauce
- 1 pinch sea salt
Add all ingredients to your cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice; shake hard. Double strain using both a Hawthorn and Fine Strainer to remove any debris, plus break large air bubbles that will form when shaking to give a thicker, richer foam on top. Serve up and garnish with a thin slice of lime.
The Ministry of Love
From award-winning Mixologist James Estes comes this smoky take on the Negroni giving a nod to both Mexico and Italy alike. The London-born bartender currently leads the cocktail program at Nerano and BG Lounge in Beverly Hills, California, where he describes “The Ministry of Love” as an “agave variant of the classic negroni, inspired by sitting on a plane from Guadalajara to London and thinking of a recipe that would be a great way to introduce agave to those yet unfamiliar with it.”
The Ministry of Love:
- Cocchi Americano
- Crème de Cassis
- Coffee bean garnish
At The Principal Madrid Hotel, Mixologist Manel Vehí offers travelers a taste of the Spanish capital via his original craft cocktail, the “Violet Sour.” The creation pays homage to La Violeta (The Violet), Madrid’s most famous candy sold since 1915 in the namesake sweets shop. Part of the living history of Madrid, legend has it that King Alfonso XIII used to buy the violet-shaped and flavored candies for his wife, Queen Victoria Eugenia…and also for his lover, Carmen Ruiz de Moragas.
- 1.7 ounce Vodka, macerated with 2 bar spoons of violet sugar.
- 1.35 ounce Lime Juice
- 1 ounce Sugar Syrup
- 10 Mint Leaves
- 1/2 ounce Egg White
- Freeze-dried Raspberry
Dry-shake all ingredients together. Rim a Martini glass with violet sugar. Strain into the glass and add freeze-dried raspberry.
Mouthwatering watermelons are ubiquitous in South Africa during summer, enjoyed by children and adults alike. At The Saxon Hotel & Villas in Johannesburg, Assistant Food & Beverage Manager Ashwin Ryan gives own childhood memories an adult upgrade with the Watermellini: a refreshing summer cocktail centered around South Africa’s star melon, paired with gin or tequila.
- 3 1/3 ounce Watermelon Juice
- 0.85 ounce Lime Juice
- 1.7 ounce Gin (or Tequila)
- 0.85 ounce Triple Sec
- Cubed Watermelon
- Top up with Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) or Champagne
- Hibiscus garnish
Add watermelon cubes, juice, lime, gin and triple sec to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Then shake well and strain into a chilled margarita glass. Top off with MCC or champagne. Garnish with fresh watermelon and hibiscus flower (or any other colorful flower from your garden.)
Thai Coconut Cooler
Tropical days await in the Thai islands, and this easy breezy cocktail is bringing them straight to you. The “Thai Coconut Cooler” comes from Stuart Yurczyk, Founder of Mixly Cocktail Co: a line of handcrafted, ready-to-pour cocktail mixers blending natural ingredients, fresh-squeezed juices and a touch of honey. Here, the Coconut Ginger Lime mixer pairs perfectly with vodka of your choice for a zingy, subtly sweet and transportive taste of Thailand.
Thai Coconut Cooler
- 1.5 ounce Vodka
- 4 ounce Mixly Coconut Ginger Lime Mixer
- Club soda
- Lime wheel garnish
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add vodka and Mixly Coconut Ginger Lime Mixer. Top with soda. Garnish with lime wheel.
Across the Pacific on the Japanese island of Okinawa, luxury resort Halekulani Okinawa offers guests luxury accommodations, unique cultural experiences, acclaimed dining and SPECTRA: an innovative cocktail bar offering guests masterfully-crafted drinks alongside spectacular ocean views. Here, Head Bartender Kaoru Takii has shaken up a taste of the Japanese Pacific with his original concoction, the “Angel Lip.”
- 1 ounce Pistachio Vodka
- 1/2 ounce Vodka
- 1 ounce Raspberry Puree
- 2/3 ounce Coconut Water
- 2/3 ounce Heavy Cream
- 1/2 ounce Vanilla Bean Syrup
- Dill, Raspberry Powder and Grated White Chocolate garnish
Combine all ingredients in a shaker, add a small amount of crushed ice and turn with a hand blender. Pour into a coupe glass and garnish with dill, raspberry powder and grated white chocolate.
Located on the famed Pacific shores of Waikiki you’ll find Halekulani Resort, an award-winning luxury escape just as focused on cuisine and cocktails as it is the jaw-dropping oceanfront views. Even better, the latter two are effortlessly blended in the “Blue Hawaii”: an ocean-inspired cocktail offering a tropical taste of the Pacific from Head Bartender Henry Kawaiaea.
- 2 ounces Pineapple Juice
- 1 ounce Blue Curacao
- 1.25 ounces Sweetened Fresh Lime Juice
- 1.25 ounces Light Rum
- 1 Wedge Fresh Pineapple
Mix all ingredients in a blender with crushed ice and pour in a tall tropical glass. For the true Halekulani touch, garnish with a Vanda Orchid.
Drawing from his Cuban-American heritage and appreciation of Italy’s famed Americano cocktail, the cross-atlantic “Cubano Americano” concoction comes from Miami-based Master Mixologist and Chat Chow TV Founder Gio Gutierrez – who’s also been tapped to lead the cocktail program at the upcoming immersive dining experience Hidden Worlds Miami. In the “Cubano Americano,” Gutierrez combines the refreshing flavors of a classic Cuban Mojito with the slight bitterness of an Italian Americano to create a low-sugar, low-ABV sparkling drink that even legendary boozy enthusiasts – Hemingway, perhaps? – would appreciate.
- 1 ounce Havana Club Añejo Blanco Rum
- 3/4 ounce Martini & Rossi Biano Vermouth
- 3/4 ounce Lime Juice
- 1/2 ounce Mint Syrup
- Top with 3 ounces Sparkling Water
On the dual-island nation of Saint Kitts & Nevis, guests of the Four Reasons Resort Nevis can sidle up to the property’s Crowned Monkey Rum Bar to sip the finest rums in the world – including the luxury resort’s own, bespoke Crowned Monkey Rum. Here, Master Mixologist Kendie Williams incorporates the rare rum into her signature “Kendie’s Kick” cocktail, infused with fresh tropical fruit purees harvested directly from her own backyard. Passionate about local Nevisian ingredients, smooth liquor blends and of course, rum, Williams has even earned the accolade of one of the “Most Interesting People in Rum” by the Caribbean Journal.
- 2 ounces Crowned Monkey Rum (or any spiced rum)
- 1 ounce Brinley Vanilla Rum (or any vanilla rum)
- 1 ounce Tamarind Purée
- 1.5 ounce Passion Fruit Purée
- 1/2 ounce Lime Juice
- 1 Dash of Angostura Bitters
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake well and strain into glass.
The Bajan Trident
In Caribbean cruise capital Barbados, Rihanna isn’t the island’s only claim to fame. Barbadian native and award-winning cocktail artist Philip ‘Casanova’ Antoine is turning heads – and palates – with his original tropical libations including “The Bajan Trident.” The Taste of the Caribbean Bartender of the Year anchors the cocktail with rum accented by tropical and herbal notes, resulting in a celebration of the island’s vibrant culture and rich history. One sip and you’ll be whisked away to the idyllic island – if not immediately plotting your own visit.
The Bajan Trident:
- 1 ounce Coconut Syrup
- 1 ounce Lime Juice
- 3 ounces Passion Fruit Juice
- 1.5 ounce Doorly’s Macaw White Rum
- 6 Fresh Basil Leaves
- Edible Flower
To begin, combine coconut syrup, lime juice, passion fruit juice and fresh basil leaves in a mixing tin with ice. Shake vigorously until the glass is chilled and the flavors are married together. Double strain over ice into serving glassware. Top with Doorly’s Macaw White Rum. Garnish with a basil leaf and edible flower.
The Banana Bread Old Fashioned
As if it’s own private, off-shore island weren’t enough, adults-only retreat Sandals Royal Bahamian further delivers in what we consider a critical amenity: the cocktails. At Mr. B’s Bar, Mixologist Rajiv Johnson is giving guests a taste of the breezy Bahamas with the island-inspired Banana Bread Old Fashioned. Featuring a rum base with banana liqueur, this tropical twist on the classic cocktail can best be described as savory-sweet comfort in a glass. “The Banana Bread Old Fashioned pays tribute to one of the Caribbean’s most coveted ingredients, the banana, infusing a hint of sweetness into this popular smoky beverage. The banana chip is a fun – and delicious – garnish. Guests always ask for more!” Johnson says.
The Banana Bread Old Fashioned:
- Appleton Signature Rum
- Banana Liqueur
- Black Walnut Bitters
(The Original) Piña Colada
If you like Piña Coladas, than you’ll love this one. The original Piña Colada in fact, as concocted in 1954 by legendary bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero as a welcome drink for guests arriving to Puerto Rico’s Caribe Hilton resort. According to the pineapple-famed property:
“The first Piña Coladas were non-alcoholic and made in a shaker because blenders didn’t yet exist. It wasn’t until years later that Monchito added local rum to his concoction and pioneered the region’s tropical cocktail movement with what’s known as the world’s most popular vacation libation. After serving the Piña Colada for 35 years, in 1978, Monchito’s signature beverage was declared the official drink of Puerto Rico. In 2004, Caribe Hilton was even presented with an official government proclamation in support of the cocktail’s 50th anniversary.”
Straight from the resort that made Piña Coladas synonymous with not just Puerto Rico but essentially any tropical getaway, we give you the original recipe to transport you to your own island escape. Just don’t forget to cue Rupert Holmes.
The Original Piña Colada from Caribe Hilton:
- 2 ounces Don Q Gold Rum
- 1 ounce Coconut Cream
- 1 ounce Heavy Cream
- 6 ounces Pineapple Juice
- 1/2 cup Crushed Ice
Mix rum, cream of coconut, heavy cream and pineapple juice in a blender. Add ice and mix for 15 seconds. Serve in a 12 ounce glass and garnish with fresh pineapple and a cherry.