NATIONAL CLASSIC COCKTAILS
We’ve traveled around the globe from Brazil to New York City, to bring you the most innovative and exotic national classic cocktails, served up by some of the world’s top bartenders. We explore the origins of each cocktail and look at how they can be served in your bar.
Brazil is best known for its soccer, beautiful beaches, samba dancing and–of course–Caipirinhas. Top bartender Tai Barbin shares his favorite twists on the classic Caipirinha recipe to bring a little bit of Brazil to your bar.
As with most of the classics, the history of Brazil’s most famous cocktail, the Caipirinha, is shrouded in mystery. According to the experts, it was probably first created by a civil engineer named João Pinto Gomes Lamego in the city of Paraty in 1856 in an attempt to stop people from drinking normal water, which was contaminated with cholera. In his recipe, he recommended that people drink a mixture of Cachaça, water, lime and sugar.
A traditional Caipirinha is created by combining fresh lime, sugar, ice and Cachaça; a “kind of” Rum very similar to the Rhum Agricole. Since Cachaça became its own spirit category, it now needs to be distilled from sugar cane juice and produced in Brazil.
Below is my favorite twist on the Caipirinha.
Passion Fruit and Honey Caipirinha
- 2 oz. YPIOCA Cachaça
- .5 fresh lime, cut in wedges
- 2 spoons passion fruit pulp
- 2.5 spoons of honey
- Fresh mint sprig
Muddle the lime into an Old-Fashioned glass.
Fill the glass ¾ full with crushed ice.
Add the honey, Cachaça and passion fruit pulp to the ice.
Stir well to mix all the ingredients and serve.
Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
Singapore: Singapore Sling
A force to be reckoned with on the international bar scene, nothing captures Singapore’s burgeoning cocktail culture quite like its eponymous national classic, the Singapore Sling. Din Hassan, head bartender at CÉ LA VI, reveals his favorite twist on this timeless classic.
The Singapore Sling was created by Ngiam Tong Boon, sometime between 1913 and 1915, while he was bartending at Long Bar, located in the heart of one of Singapore’s most iconic establishments, the Raffles Hotel. Today, they still have the reputation of making the best Singapore Slings in the world!
The traditional Singapore Sling recipe contains Gin, Orange Liqueur, Cherry Liqueur, Benedictine, lime juice, pineapple juice, grenadine and Angostura bitters.
I reinvented this national favorite and named it the “Retro Sling.” An experimenter by nature, I conceptualize cocktails that deliver a multi-sensory experience; engaging the senses visually and texturally, with a focus on a seamless harmony of flavors. In this serve, one of the ingredients is Tabasco sauce which gives a subtle, spicy aftertaste. I also garnish it with a chocolate-coated cookie, evoking fond memories among Singaporeans of their favorite childhood snack.
The Retro Sling
- 1.5 oz. TANQUERAY London Dry Gin
- .75 oz. Cherry Liqueur
- 1.5 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
- .75 oz. simple syrup
- 3 dashes chocolate bitters
- 2 dashes Tabasco
- 2 oz. club soda
- Chocolate cookie for garnish
Combine all the ingredients in the shaker.
Shake hard then top up with soda water in the shaker.
Strain into a coupe glass.
Garnish with a chocolate wafer and a mint sprig.
New York: The Manhattan
New York is renowned for being one of the global leaders in craft cocktail culture, and there’s no shortage of nightlife in the city that never sleeps! Blacktail’s Jess Vida shares the history behind the famous Manhattan cocktail and reveals his very own twist on the classic.
The Manhattan’s history stems back to the late 1800s in the northeastern region of the United States. However, as with any classic cocktail worth its salt, there are countless origin stories floating around. Several sources claim that it was created in Maryland, then popularized in New York as the "Manhattan." As one story has it, in 1876 a bartender at the Palo Alto Hotel in Maryland made it up on the spot for a customer who had just won a duel and was a bit shaken up.
A Manhattan in its simplest form is a dash of bitters, 1 part sweet Vermouth, 2 parts Rye Whiskey stirred with ice and strained into a cocktail glass. There are many people who have either claimed, or had a claim put in for them, that they created the Manhattan. Who actually did? To be honest, I have no idea! But here is my favorite way of making it–a slight twist on the notorious classic.
- 1 oz. JOHNNIE WALKER Black Label
- .75 oz. DON JULIO Añejo Tequila
- .5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
- .5 oz. Dry Vermouth
- .25 oz. Amaro CioCiaro
- .25 oz. Crème de Cacao
- 2 dashes Absinthe
- Garnish with orange peel and orange oils.
Build all ingredients into a mixing glass.
Stir to dilution.
Pour into a Nick and Nora glass.
Garnish with and orange oils.
(*One standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol)