Saturday, March 26, 2022

Around the World in 5 Summer Cocktails

 Read on for a bit of history on the world’s finest summer cocktails, as well as the best places to enjoy them.

Pimm’s in the UK


Pimm's is synonymous with summer in England

A cocktail that’s synonymous with summer in England, Pimm’s is the quintessential drink of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships (with an average of 320,000 glasses served at the tournament each year). It’s also the tipple of choice at the Chelsea Flower Show, the Henley Royal Regatta, and pretty much every English picnic or garden party from June till September. The classic recipe contains one part Pimm’s (a spicy, fruity liqueur), three parts lemonade, ice and a jug filled to the brim with fresh fruit, cucumber and mint. Check into the Dog & Fox, a traditionally-English gastro pub with contemporary touches that’s just a 15 minutes’ walk from the All England Club in Wimbledon.

Sangria in Spain

Enjoy a massive, ice-cold pitcher of sangria on a Barcelona beach in summer

Enjoy a massive, ice-cold pitcher of sangria on a Barcelona beach in summer

Though it’s mostly tourists rather than locals that sip on sangria, it’s still probably the most famous drink to have come out of Spain. And nothing beats a massive, ice-cold pitcher on a Barcelona beach in summer. Recipes vary but are based on a combination of sweet and dry red wine with orange juice, sugar, wedges of citrus fruit and triple sec (or other liqueurs) added for an extra kick. Just don’t settle for a tinto de verano instead; this cheaper Spanish drink is simply red wine, ice and sweetened soda water and – though deceptive – isn’t the real deal. The rooftop of Barcelona’s highly-rated Hotel Casa Camper makes a fine setting for a sunset sangria.

Mint julep in the USA

Mint juleps are traditionally served in silver cups that frost up when filled with a mound of crushed ice

Mint juleps are traditionally served in silver cups that frost up when filled with a mound of crushed ice

This refreshing, minty cocktail is the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, and a favorite of the Southern states. A bourbon-based beverage, it’s surprisingly simple, containing only sugar, mint and a lot of crushed ice. Traditionally served in a silver cup that frosts up once you fill it with a mound of crushed ice, it’s all about the presentation. But thankfully, it tastes just as good as it looks. Stay at the 21c Museum Hotel Louisville, where you can wander around the on-site art gallery while sipping on your mint julep.

Caipirinha in Brazil

The best place to enjoy a caipirinha is Copacabana Beach

The best place to enjoy a caipirinha is Copacabana Beach

Hard to pronounce (it should be kai-pee-reen-ya) but delicious to drink, the caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail. It’s a simple mix of cachaça (a Brazilian rum-like spirit), lime and sugar but be warned – it can be pretty potent. You’ll find many different variations in Brazil, including coconut, mango and watermelon, but there’s only one way to enjoy it; ice-cold and on Rio’s Copacabana Beach. Try mixing your own caipirinhas in your Penthouse NS Copacabana apartment before heading down to the beach (200 meters away).

Piña colada in Puerto Rico

A coconutty, creamy concoction that encapsulates its tropical birthplace, Puerto Rico

A coconutty, creamy concoction that encapsulates its tropical birthplace, Puerto Rico

This coconutty, creamy concoction encapsulates the tropical flavors of its birthplace, Puerto Rico, perfectly. The name translates to ‘strained pineapple’, though to classify as a piña colada, it’s also got to have rum and coconut cream. There are several bars in the Puerto Rican capital, San Juan, that claim to have invented this national drink but you’ll find fantastic variations all over the country; from swanky hotels and restaurants to beach shacks and roadside stands. Check into Casa Isabel B&B for piña coladas on the terrace, or walk 9 minutes for cocktails on the beach.

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