Where They Come From: Five Famous Cocktails

Sipping on a cold, refreshing cocktail is one of our favourite things to do when abroad, but when we’re preoccupied with slurping up their goodness we don’t tend to think about their origin. So we’ve chosen five delicious cocktails to tell you about; the next time you’re away you can impress your friends with your remarkable cocktail knowledge!


A favourite for many, this fruity and flavoursome cocktail is made up of only four ingredients: vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and freshly squeeze or sweetened lime juice. The recipe dates back to the 1930s, it is based on a drink from the book ‘Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars’. The USA was first to embrace the cosmopolitan, gaining popularity from the 1970s onwards as it gradually became a favourite in the gay community in Princetown. Since then it has transformed into the incredibly trendy cosmo, served in most cocktail bars internationally. Sex and the City is definitely to be thanked for the widespread success of cosmos, as Sarah Jessica-Parker’s influential character was a cosmo advocate.

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Known for its Mexican origin, this cocktail is crisp, zingy, and unlike any other. Made from tequila, triple sec, lime or lemon juice, and a coating of salt around the rim of the glass, it could be said to resemble marmite  – people either love it or hate it. Margaritas can be served on the rocks (with ice), as a frozen margarita (with blended ice), or straight up (without ice). It’s the perfect recipe to bring home from a Mexico getaway, bringing back amazing memories (or perhaps not much memory at all). It’s usually served in a margarita glass, but is also served in tumblers or old fashioned cocktail glasses.

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As the national cocktail of Brazil, it is Brazil’s most common alcoholic drink. It’s made from cachaça (sugarcane hard liquor), sugar and lime, ideal for those with a sweet tooth. The lime and sugar are crushed together first, then the liquor is poured on top. It is commonly served in a large glass or jar that can be shared amongst others and split into smaller individual glasses. Often referred to as the mojitos Brazilian cousin, the caipirinha is cool and refreshing, a perfect drink to share with your friends. It was originally created to treat patients for Spanish flu, luckily for us it’s been adapted from its original recipe of lime, garlic and honey!

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Piña colada

Piña colada literally means ‘strained pineapple’; it’s a sweet blend of rum, pineapple juice and coconut cream or coconut milk, usually blended or shaken with ice. Since 1978 it has been the national drink of Puerto Rico, supposedly originating from a Puerto Rican pirate, Roberto Confresi, who gave it to his crew to boost morale. The well known song ‘Escape (The Piña Colada Song)’ by Rupert Holmes helped it gained popularity, causing it to become a famous drink worldwide. With it’s creamy and coconutty flavour, it’s hard not to love it.

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Singapore Sling

Last but definitely not least, the singapore sling. Originally called the gin sling, unsurprising it’s a gin based cocktail. There are multiple different ways to adapt the recipe, but most commonly the singapore sling is made with gin, brandy, grenadine, pineapple juice, lemon juice, cointreau, angostura bitters and bénédictine. Not the simplest drink to make, but definitely one of the most creative. It was first made in the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, and since then has been embraced and drank not only in Singapore, but many countries across the globe.

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