There’s no better way to enjoy our hard-earned leisure time than with a finely-crafted cocktail, so when it comes to a whole week or two of freedom we can really look forward to some tasty tipples. But holidays usually come with a change of location and fun-filled activities, so why would we limit ourselves to the usual drinks when there is a whole world of tastes to be enjoyed? All around the globe spirits, liquors and flavourings are different and the discerning drinkers are always keen to widen their horizons and refine their palate. Holidays are also about fun, so let us see what choicy cocktails are available for our delectation.
The Daiquiri is a refreshing Caribbean cocktail of rum and lime that can be made all the more tropical with the strong and sweet flavours of pineapple. For this variation, 30ml pineapple rum, 30ml white rum, 30ml fresh pineapple juice, 15ml lime juice, 10ml pineapple liqueur, 10ml sugar syrup and a dash of tiki bitters, should all be shaken with ice and strained into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a wedge of pineapple for a daiquiri with a tangy twist.
There’s something about the traditional Spanish punch that is great for holiday relaxation, and the perfect end to a day on the beach. It can be made in many ways, but a good starting point is a bottle of fruity and full-bodied wine, such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Pour this into a jug and add 60ml brandy, 2 tbsp sugar, an orange and a lemon, both cut into wedges, 500ml soda and two glasses of ice. Additional fruits, such as peaches, pears or melons can also be used, and anything else to find that taste of summer.
In Mexico or anywhere else, a regular Margarita serves as a fine cocktail for the warmer weather, but this variation brings to the classic tequila cocktail something that those balmy summer afternoons call for – crushed ice. You will need to salt the rim of a Margarita glass and fill with ice that has been crushed in a blender to leave a smooth effect. Take 45ml tequila blanco, 22.5ml orange liqueur (such as triple sec), 22.5ml fresh lime juice and 15ml agave syrup, or another sugar syrup, and shake with ice then strain into the glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Passion Fruit Caipirinha
If your holidays take you to Brazil then you will discover that the nation’s favourite drink is the Caipirinha, made from lime and cachaça, a Brazillian spirit distilled from sugarcane juice. For a fruitier version, cut half a lime into wedges and muddle in a rocks glass with 2 teaspoons caster sugar. Spoon the flesh of a passion fruit into the glass and then muddle together with the lime and sugar until the juices are released and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the mix into a highball glass and add 60ml chilled cachaça and stir, add ice then stir again, before garnishing with a lime wedge.
Hailing from a pre-prohibition gentlemen’s club of the same name, the Clover Club is a fruity and tart gin cocktail that offers a touch of class to the holiday-maker. For this classic American cocktail, add 60ml dry London gin, such as Bombay Sapphire, one egg white, 15ml lemon juice and 15ml raspberry syrup to a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a martini glass, then garnish with three raspberries on a cocktail stick.
There’s no doubt that the Mojito is an unforgettable taste of the summer, with a refreshing combination of rum, citrus and mint, but when the sharp, temperate taste of elderflower is added, the result is considerably more complex. For this, 12 fresh mint leaves are lightly muddled in a Collins glass, after which 60ml white rum, 30ml elderflower liqueur and 30ml fresh lime juice are added and the glass is half-filled with crushed ice. Stir with a bar spoon so that the mint leaves can rise, then fill the glass with crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of mint.
As with many legendary cocktails, the exact origins of the Mai Tai are a bit blurry. However, the name is taken from the Tahitian word for ‘good’ and is linked with Polynesian culture, as well as with the Tiki culture of bars and restaurants that became popular in California in the mid-twentieth century. The Mai Tai is made with 60ml aged rum, such as Appleton’s 12-year old rum, 15ml orange liqueur, 22.5ml fresh lime juice, 7.5ml Orgeat almond syrup and 7.5ml sugar syrup. All of the ingredients are shaken with ice and strained into an old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice, then garnished with a wedge of lime and a sprig of mint. The result is a cocktail that is sweet, fruity and full of flavours – perfect for that holiday feeling.
Holidays are about exploration, and while the outside world has much to take in, the taste of a particular cocktail can be an unforgettable journey like no other. From rum to wine, tequila, cachaça and gin, there is so much on offer and we are all affected in different ways, but this shouldn’t stop us in our search for the perfect cocktail as we follow our instincts and learn from others. And most importantly: enjoy the ride!
Cocktail making and mixology is becoming an important skill and area of interest. If you are interested in improving your ability as a bartender, have a look at one of the courses at European Bartender School.