Alcohol retailer Master of Malt has reported a huge uptick in online booze orders since the first week of social distancing in the UK. And with World Cocktail Day coming up on 13 May, what better way to pass the time in lockdown than with some travel-inspired cocktails invoking destinations around the world? From a sustainable Green Mary from Amsterdam and a fresh take on the negroni from Milan, to classics like the pisco sour and singapore sling, here’s some global quarantini inspiration.
The Netherlands is constantly making sustainable innovations – and the country’s drinks scene is no different. The environmental movement is making headway with a host of experimental bars to create zero-waste, closed-loop cocktails in Amsterdam, while an hour away Ketel One runs its sustainable vodka distillery on clean energy from its own windmill. Here’s Ketel One’s hangover-busting Green Mary recipe, where using up wilted greens is encouraged.
35ml (1oz) Ketel One Vodka
100ml (3.5oz) equal parts of celery and cucumber, freshly juiced
20ml (0.5oz) freshly squeezed lime
Pinch of rock salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and dried chili flakes
Half of a vanilla pod
Add all ingredients to the glass, stir well, add ice, garnish with a salted cucumber slice and a vanilla pod.
There are many unverified stories about this classic South American cocktail. Ernest Hemingway supposedly held the record for drinking the most pisco sours in one sitting in Lima’s Gran Hotel Bolivar; John Wayne apparently had to carry Ava Gardner out of a bar after one pisco sour too many. Whatever its origin story (that’s disputed too), the pisco sour was popularised in the 1920s in Lima. Try making this cocktail – which has its own national holiday in Peru – with this recipe from BarSol.
50ml (1.75oz) BarSol Quebranta Pisco
25ml (0.75oz) Lime juice
25ml (0.75oz) Sugar syrup
15ml (o.5oz) Egg white
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker, first dry shake them, then add ice and wet shake. Finally, fine-strain into a coupette glass and garnish with a few drops of Angostura bitters.
Empirical Spirits has its roots in Copenhagen’s culinary scene. Using cooking techniques co-founder and chef Lars Williams honed while working at Noma, the distillery creates unique – and more complex – flavours than you’d usually find in a spirit. The Plum, I Suppose is made from the inner plum kernel, which is sweet and marzipan-like. If you’re feeling lazy, Empirical Spirits has teamed up with Parisian cocktail bar Little Red Door to make a pre-mixed cocktail using The Plum, I Suppose spirit. Otherwise, here’s one to make at home.
60ml (2oz) The Plum, I Suppose
90ml (30z) Citrus soda
Pinch of dulse seaweed or salt
Pour The Plum, I Suppose and soda over ice, stir in a pinch of dulse or salt and garnish with a lemon wedge.
While the margarita is seen as the Mexican drink worldwide, the paloma is arguably more popular within Mexico. Dubbed the “working man’s drink”, paloma means “dove” in Spanish. It’s tequila-based, and has that same citrusy appeal as a margarita, with an optional salted rim, but the grapefruit soda makes it a longer, more thirst-quenching drink. Here’s a recipe from El Rayo Tequila.
60ml (2oz) El Rayo tequila
30ml (1oz) grapefruit juice
15ml (0.5oz) lime juice
7.5ml (0.25oz) agave syrup
Mix the tequila, grapefruit and lime juice, and agave syrup in a cocktail shaker, pour into a glass with ice and top with grapefruit soda.
The annual Grenada Chocolate Festival celebrates chocolate growers on the island with a multitude of cacao-themed events, from tastings to rum pairings and chocolate yoga. It usually happens in May, but this year it’s postponed until further notice. Thankfully festival host True Blue Bay has invented a chocolate quarantini. The nutmeg and ginger grated on top adds flavours from the ‘spice isle’, while local bartenders use vodka from the island’s distillery Blue Light, which has temporarily turned some of its production to hand-sanitiser.
175ml (6oz) chocolate liqueur
100ml (3.5oz) vodka
75ml (2.5oz) single cream
Optional glass decoration
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Half-teaspoon ground cardamom
If decorating the glass, mix the cocoa powder and ground cardamom on a plate then pour some chocolate liqueur into a saucer. Gently dip the rim of the glass into the liqueur followed by the cocoa and spice mix to coat and set aside. Add chocolate liqueur, vodka and single cream to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 20 seconds. Pour into martini glasses, top with grated ginger and nutmeg.
The Caesar is Canada’s most well-known and best loved cocktail, with Canadians drinking 350 million of them a year. The Calgary-born creation is similar to a bloody mary, but it was taken in a new direction by Italian barman Walter Chell in the 1960s, inspired by spaghetti vongole (spaghetti with clams). Modern bartenders have become increasingly creative with the garnishes – adding everything from peeled shrimp to candied bacon and mini grilled cheese sandwiches – but here’s Walter’s classic recipe.
1oz (30ml) vodka
4oz (114ml) Clamato juice
2 dashes hot sauce
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes salt and pepper
Celery and lime wedge to garnish
Rim glass with lime juice and celery salt. Fill the glass with ice, add vodka, Clamato, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, stir gently. Top with salt and cracked black pepper. Garnish with celery and a lime wedge.
Negronis are everywhere – as are twists on the classic Florentine aperitivo drink (try Master of Malt’s Jaffa Cake Negroni or the inspired non-alcoholic Seedlip NOgroni). The Cent’anni is a refreshing, gingery take on the drink, created in Milan’s Principe Bar, at the Hotel Principe di Savoia, to celebrate the negroni turning 100.
20ml (0.66oz) Del Professore Red Vermouth
20ml (0.66oz) Campari
10ml (0.33oz) Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
20ml (0.66oz)Fever Tree ginger beer
1tsp Amaro Ramazzotti Il Premio
Slice dried orange
Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour into an old fashioned glass. Add ice and a slice of dried orange.
Singapore’s national cocktail, the singapore sling was created just over 100 years ago at one of the city state’s iconic hotels, Raffles. Thanks to its fruit juice-like appearance, this potent, gin-laced cocktail allowed ladies of the 1910s to surreptitiously drink alcohol when it wasn’t socially acceptable. No trip to Singapore is complete without sinking one at Raffles’s Long Bar – but for now, here’s the original recipe to try at home.
30ml (1oz) Sipsmith gin
15ml (0.5oz) Heering cherry brandy
7.5ml (0.25oz) Cointreau
7.5ml (0.25oz) Dom Benedictine
10ml (0.33oz) Grenadine
15ml (0.5oz) lime juice
120ml (4oz) pineapple juice
Dash Angostura bitters
Slice of pineapple
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain into a poco grande glass and serve garnished with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.
Few cities celebrate the cocktail as well as New Orleans where, in normal times at least, it’s entirely acceptable to carry a boozy mix in a to-go cup. So here’s one to stow in your KeepCup for your daily walk: the Sazerac, the city’s official cocktail. It’s a potent mix of rye whisky, with bitters and anise liqueur (substituted for the original absinthe after it was banned), and a cube of sugar to take the edge off. Try this recipe from The Sazerac House, the Big Easy’s museum devoted to the drink.
1.5oz (43ml) Sazerac Rye Whiskey
1 sugar cube
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
0.25oz (7ml) Herbsaint
Lemon twist to garnish
Pack an old fashioned glass with ice. In a second old fashioned glass, place a sugar cube and add three dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters. Crush the sugar cube. Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey to the glass with the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar. Add ice and stir. Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint. Discard the remaining Herbsaint. Strain the whiskey-bitters-sugar mixture from the second glass into the coated glass and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
Home to more than half of Scotland’s whisky distilleries, Speyside is tucked between the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms National Park, and is probably one of the country’s most famous whisky regions. While its distilleries are closed to visitors right now, here’s a Speyside Cobbler recipe from Benriach. (Also look out for Lockdown Whisky Festival’s virtual events, streaming in-depth lockdown whisky chat into homes from distilleries all over Scotland.)
50ml (1.75oz) Benriach 10 Classic
15ml (0.5oz) orange liqueur
10ml (0.33oz) lime juice
5 mint leaves
Orange wedge and more mint to garnish
Add all ingredients to a glass with ice, stir well and garnish with an orange wedge and more mint leaves.