As you lay on a beach in a far away land, the sun blazing down glorious warmth and the cool sea air gently swirling around you, you’re bound to get a craving for a holiday cocktail or two!. Luckily, there’s plenty of fresh and fruity concoctions, as well as dry & bubbly creations around the world to quench your thirst.
France – Kir Royale
This is arguably the most quintessentially French cocktail you can imagine. Using just two ingredients, crème de cassis and champagne makes its simplicity a defining factor. This is extravagance and elegance in a glass!
Although originally made with white wine instead of champagne this cocktail has seen a resurgence with more bars serving this beautifully tinted drink. Named after Felix Kir, a Catholic priest, mayor of Dijon and decorated member of the French resistance. When Nazi soldiers marched into Dijon, Burgundy, in 1940, many local officials fled. Kir remained, helping more than 4,000 prisoners of war escape from a nearby camp.
As legend has it, when Nazis confiscated Burgundy’s iconic red wines, Kir devised his namesake cocktail from what was left. He combined the available dry white wine, Aligoté, with blackcurrant liqueur in an attempt to mimic the colour of Burgundy’s classic reds. This is a classic cocktail perfect for sipping at the bar.
To make the tasteful tipple at home, all you need is:
- 9 cl Dry White Wine (for a Kir) or Champagne (for a Kir Royale)
- 1 cl Crème de Cassis
Pour Crème de Cassis into glass, top up with Champagne/white wine.
Italy – Negroni
Narrowing Italy’s delicious cocktails down to just one is a little tricky. With so many wonderful creations available, like the Bellini or Aperol Spritz, competition is at its peak! The Negroni (which has seen a surge in popularity in recent years) is a tongue-tingling concoction for those looking for something sweet that still packs a punch. An Italian classic, its sophisticated casual charm is sure to get you in the party mood. Perfect on hot, Mediterranean summer days lounging by the pool or partying at the local bar.
The story goes that 100 years ago, an Italian Count by the name of Camillo Negroni asked for something a little stronger than his typical cocktail, the Americano. His friend and bartender Fosco Scarselli obliged and by replacing the soda water of the Americano with Gin, the Negroni came to be. The rest as they say was history and has only grown in popularity, enjoyed in bars the world over.
To make this century old worldwide favourite, you’ll need:
- 3 cl Gin
- 3 cl Campari
- 3 cl Sweet Red Vermouth
Pour all ingredients directly into old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir gently. Garnish with half orange slice.
Jamaica – Planter’s Punch
Next we head to the Caribbean where every cocktail tastes like paradise. The beauty of this cocktail is that you don’t have to make it a glass at a time, this is the perfect punch bowl making it wonderful to share with friends. The origin of this cocktail has long been disputed. One claim refers to the Planter’s Hotel in St. Louis and another tells of a Jamaican planter’s wife concocting the cocktail to cool down their workers. Whatever the truth may be, this classic is distinctly Caribbean.
“Two of sour, one and a half of sweet, three of strong and four of weak” was how the cocktail was described in 1908 in the New York Times. Luckily, someone has translated this poem into a tangible recipe that is recognised by the International Bartenders Association. Wonderfully sweet this is a great punch to make for parties or (even better) to sip laying on the beautiful white sands of Jamaica.
For this wonderful taste of the Caribbean you will need;
- 4.5 cl Dark rum
- 3.5 cl Fresh orange juice
- 3.5 cl Fresh pineapple juice
- 2 cl Fresh lemon juice
- 1 cl Grenadine
- 1 cl Sugar syrup
- 3 to 4 dashes Angostura bitters
Pour all ingredients, except the bitters, into shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Pour into large glass, filled with ice. Add Angostura bitters on top. Garnish with cocktail cherry and pineapple.
Cyprus – Brandy Sour
Did you know Cyprus has its own national cocktail? Although not a common occurrence the popularity and history of this drink has given Cyprus the right to claim the Brandy Sour.
First developed at the Forest Park Hotel, in the hill-resort of Plátres, the Brandy sour was made as a way of disguising alcohol as an iced tea for the young King Farouk of Egypt, who often stayed at the hotel during his frequent visits to the island.
The emphasis here is on using Cyprus Brandy which is typically sweeter than, and milder, as Cognac or Armagnac. This is a beloved cocktail and you can still go to the Forest Park Hotel and have the real deal for yourself.
For a truly authentic taste you’ll need the following:
- 50ml Cyprus brandy
- 15ml Fresh Lemon Juice
- 15ml Sugar Syrup
- 2-4 drops of Angostura/Cypriot Cock Drops Bitters
- Soda water (or lemonade)
Add the Cyprus Brandy, Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup and Bitters into a tall glass with ice. Stir thoroughly and then top up with soda water.