We’ve travelled 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: Caipirinha

Brazil is best known for its soccer, beautiful beaches, samba dancing and – of course – Caipirinhas. Top bartender, Tai Barbin, shares his favourite twists on the classic Caipirinha recipe to bring a little bit of Brazil to your bar.

Humble Beginnings

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 drinking normal water which was contaminated with cholera. In his recipe, he recommended that people drink a mixture of cachaca, 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 favourite twist on the Caipirinha;

Passionfruit and Honey Caipirinha

60ml YPIOCA CACHACA

½ Fresh lime cut in wedges

2 Spoons of passionfruit pulp

2 ½ Spoons of honey

A fresh mint sprig

19 grams of alcohol*(according to mls of the serve)

METHOD

Muddle the lime into an Old Fashioned glass.

Fill the glass ¾ full with crushed ice.

Add the honey, cachaça and passionfruit 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 favourite twist on this timeless classic.

Sling Beginnings

The Singapore Sling was created by Ngiam Tong Boon, some time 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 favourite and named it the “Retro Sling”. An experimenter by nature, I conceptualise cocktails that deliver a multi-sensory experience; engaging the senses visually and texturally, with a focus on a seamless harmony of flavours. In this serve, one of the ingredients is tabasco sauce which gives a subtle, spicy aftertaste. I also garnish it with a chocolate-coated biscuit, evoking fond memories amongst Singaporeans of their favourite childhood snack.

The Retro Sling

40 ml TANQUERAY LONDON DRY GIN

20ml Cherry liqueur

40ml Freshly squeezed lime juice

22ml Simple syrup

3 Dashes chocolate bitters

2 Dashes of tabasco sauce

60ml Soda

Chocolate biscuit for garnish

16 grams of alcohol*(according to mls of the serve)

METHOD

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.

Manhattan Mystery

The Manhattan’s history stems back to the late 1800's in the north-eastern 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 popularised 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 dual 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 favourite way of making it – a slight twist on the notorious classic.

Preacher Man

30mls JOHNNIE WALKER BLACK LABEL WHISKY

20mls Don Julio Anejo

15mls Sweet Vermouth

15mls Dry Vermouth

10mls Amaro Cio Ciaro

10mls Creme de Cacao

2 Dashes absinth

Garnish Orange Peel

24 grams of alcohol grams of alcohol*(according to mls of the serve)

METHOD

Build all ingredients into a mixing glass.

Add ice.

Stir to dilution.

Pour into a Nick and Nora glass.

Garnish with and orange oils.

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(*One standard drink contains 8g of alcohol)