If your summer travel schedule is looking a bit lackluster, I have a delicious and budget-friendly solution for you. All it takes to get a taste of far flung destinations is a trip to the liquor store and maybe a cocktail shaker!
These 12 iconic cocktail recipes can make you feel like you’ve jetted around the world from the comfort of your home. The best part? These drinks cost significantly less than a plane ticket — and it’s much easier to get all your friends on board!
1. Pisco Sour
Pisco sours are the delicious drink of choice throughout Peru and have been for years. At the Country Club Lima Hotel’s English Bar, they serve up more than 60 pisco sours daily. But you don’t have to book a flight to get a sip, because the English Bar shared with us how to make the classic brandy cocktail.
Combine 4 oz. pure Pisco Quebranta, 1 oz. lemon juice, 1 oz. simple syrup, 1/4 oz. egg white and four ice cubes. Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Serve chilled and garnish with Angostura Bitters.
It’s simply not a fiesta without a margarita, but palomas are actually preferred south of the border. This simple paloma recipe from Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, where guests get insight from the tequila sommelier and sips of tequila from agave grown on site, makes it easy to get a taste of a local favorite.
Stir together 1 1/2 oz. tequila, 4 oz. grapefruit soda and 1 oz. fresh lemon juice. Salt the rim of a tall glass and serve on the rocks with a lime garnish.
Caipirinha, which means “little peasant girl” in Portuguese, is the undisputed national cocktail of Brazil. This refreshing drink, made with a liquor made from fermented sugarcane juice, is necessary to get through the hot days!
To make yourself a caipirinha, you can follow this easy recipe from The Wanderlust Kitchen. Start by slicing one lime into small wedges. Add the lime wedges and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar to a glass and muddle until it turns into a syrupy consistency. Then add 3 oz. Cachaça and finish off with ice.
4. Pimm’s Cup
If your royal wedding watch party was on-point, someone whipped up a classic cocktail from across the pond called the Pimm’s cup. This spice-infused, fruity cocktail was created in 1832 as a “digestive aid” and in 1971 it began being served at the iconic Wimbledon tournament.
To make your Pimm’s cup own right at home, combine 2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1 and 4 oz. lemonade or lemon-lime soda and garnish with your choice of fresh fruit.
Sangria has a deep history in Spain. When water was questionable during the Middle Ages, people turned to a fermented mix of fruit, red wine and brandy to stay hydrated. It became popular in America after the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara’s resident sangria sommelier created a modern variation worthy of its roots.
To make their signature red wine sangria, start by chopping an apple, muddling one container of blackberries, and thinly slicing one orange, one lemon and one lime.
Combine the fruit with one bottle of red wine, 16 cinnamon sticks, 2 oz. brandy and 8 oz. raspberry simple syrup. Let the mixture sit for at least six hours before serving over ice.
The national cocktail of Cuba is also rumored to be a favorite of author Ernest Hemingway. It requires only five ingredients and fresh mint is absolutely essential.
Muddle 2 tsp. sugar, juice from half a lime and two sprigs of mint. Then combine 1 1/2 oz. rum and top with 3 oz. sparkling water, a few ice cubes and a mint sprig garnish.
7. Singapore Sling
The Singapore Sling was originally created by a clever bartender at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel in Singapore to discretely serve alcohol to women, who were forbidden from imbibing in the early 1900s.
The hotel shares its original recipe so you can sip the exact same sweet drink. Mix together 1 oz. gin, 1/2 oz Cherry Heering, 1/4 oz. Dom Benedictine, 1/4 oz. Cointreau, 4 oz. Sarawak Pineapple Juice, 1/2 oz. lime juice, and 1/3 oz. grenadine.
Add a dash of Angostura Bitters and garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.
8. Piña Coladas
Piña coladas date back to the 1950s when bartender Ramon Marrero created the chilled, fruity concoction. The Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico takes credit for the piña colada, which was developed after three months of experimentation.
Combine 2 parts Don Q Gold rum, 1 part Coco López (cream of coconut), 2 parts cream, 6 parts pineapple juice and 1/2 cup crushed ice in a blender. After blending for 15 seconds, pour into a 12 oz. glass and garnish with pineapple and a cherry.
9. Rum Swizzle
If you can’t swing a trip to Bermuda, the island’s national cocktail is solid stand-in. The Swizzle Inn served the first variation, and since then bars around the island have put their own spin on this tropical treat. You can whip up a Swizzle courtesy of the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda.
The Swizzle created by chef Marcus Samuelson features 3 oz. Marcus’ signature swizzle blend, 3 oz. Cockspur Gold Rum, 1.5 oz. falernum (a sweet, syrupy liquor), 1.5 oz. banana rum, 1.5 oz. coconut rum and 3 oz. Bermuda Gold Liqueur.
Finish it off with one layer of Gosling’s Black Seal rum float on top and a lime wedge and a pineapple wedge garnish.
10. Aperol Spritz
If the canals of Venice are out of reach and Positano isn’t quite possible, you can turn to an Aperol Spritz. Italians have been sipping this sparkling beverage for a century and it is a mainstay along the Amalfi Coast.
Fill a wine glass with ice then pour 2 parts prosecco, followed by 2 parts Aperol and a dash of soda water.
11. Rose Gimlet
If photos of tulips as far as the eye can see have you longing for an adventure in the Netherlands, try whipping up a cocktail garnished with real petals: the rose gimlet.
Combine 1 oz. Nolet’s Silver Gin, 1 oz. fresh lemonade, 1/2 oz. elderflower liqueur and 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Then garnish with rose petals — which are completely edible!
12. Beer and Deer
A trip to Germany is incomplete without sampling local brews and a sip of its iconic Jägermeister. The herbal liqueur began as a celebratory drink for hunters, and it’s the perfect way to savor the flavor of Germany. It just takes two ingredients to make this fun drink. Start with 1 1/2 oz. chilled Jägermeister and add 11 oz. beer on top.
Do you have a favorite cocktail from somewhere in the world? Let us know in the comments!