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May 13th is World Cocktail Day!

SelfishMe Travel blog post - World Cocktail Day - May 13th

Cocktails are my favorite way to get a nice buzz without falling down flat on my face.

When I became of drinking age, I was already very familiar with “the spirits” as my Grandmother would say and how not to get drunk. My mother always had (and still has) a bar heavy with alcoholic beverages for friends and family alike plus my stepfather once owned a bar and, when I turned 17, he taught me how to drink responsibly.

Anyway, by the time I turned 21, I had passed the Fuzzy Navel and Tequila Sunrise stages and went straight on to Long Island Iced Teas.

In my mid-to-late 20s, it became a real thing to indulge in cocktails with naughty names: Sex on the Beach, Redheaded Slut, and Quick Fuck. That was a fun time for many many things… However, as I started to travel internationally, I became interested in trying each country’s “national drink” (if they had one) to gain knowledge of the cultural identity and flavor of the place.

Surprisingly, only a few countries had cocktails as their national drink instead of a straight spirit in a bottle. Below is a list of countries that I’ve visited and enjoyed the national drink while there.

Canada: A Caesar (also known as a Bloody Caesar) is a vodka-based cocktail that originated in Calgary.

Served on the rocks in a Highball Glass (Tumbler)
Commonly used ingredients

    • 6 oz. Clamato Juice
    • 1–1½ oz. vodka
    • 2 dashes hot sauce
    • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
    • Celery salt
    • Freshly ground pepper
    • Lime wedge
    • 1 crisp celery stalk

Preparation: Rim glass with celery salt, and a lime wedge, garnish with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime

SelfishMe travel blog post - Canada Caesar cokdtail

Bermuda: A Rum Swizzle is a rum-based cocktail often called “Bermuda’s national drink”

Served on the rocks in a Cocktail Glass
Commonly used ingredients

    • 4oz. black rum
    • 4oz. gold rum
    • Juice of 2 lemons
    • 5oz. pineapple juice
    • 5oz orange juice
    • 2oz. Bermuda falernum
    • 6 dashes Angostura Bitters

Preparation: Mix in pitcher with crushed ice, shake vigorously until a frothing head appears. Strain into cocktail glasses. Garnish with a slice of orange and a cherry. Serves 6.

SelfishMe Travel blog post - Bermuda Rum Swizzle cocktail

Singapore: The Singapore Sling is a gin-based sling cocktail from Singapore. This long drink was developed sometime before 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon, a Hainanese bartender working at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel, Singapore.

Served straight up in a Highball Glass
Commonly used ingredients

2.5 cl gin
4.5 cl cherry liqueur (cherry brandy)
1.5 cl fresh lemon juice
20 cl soda water

Preparation: Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into highball glass or tumbler. Garnish with lemon slice and cocktail cherry.

SelfishMe travel blog post - Singapore Sling cocktail


Here are a few more national drink cocktails that I’ve enjoyed but have not yet visited the respective countries.

Brazil: Caipirinha is a well known cocktail made of Cachaça (also known as caninha).

Served On the rocks in an Old Fashioned glass
IBA specified ingredients

    • 5 cl cachaça
    • Half a lime cut into 4 wedges
    • 2 teaspoons sugar

Preparation: Place lime and sugar into old fashioned glass and muddle (mash the two ingredients together using a muddler or a wooden spoon). Fill the glass with ice and add the Cachaça.

SelfishMe travel blog post - Brazil Caipirinha cocktail

Chile and Peru: Pisco Sour is an alcoholic cocktail of Peruvian origin that is typical of the cuisines from Chile and Peru. The drink’s name comes from pisco, which is its base liquor, and the cocktail term sour, in reference to sour citrus juice and sweetener components. The Peruvian pisco sour uses Peruvian pisco as the base liquor and adds freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, ice, egg white, and Angostura bitters. The Chilean version is similar, but uses Chilean pisco and pica lime, and excludes the bitters and egg white.

Served Straight up in an Old Fashioned Glass
IBA specified ingredients

    • 60ml Pisco
    • 30ml lime juice
    • 20ml simple syrup
    • 1 egg white
    • Several drops of aromatic bitters at the end

Preparation: Vigorously shake contents in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes, then strain into a glass and garnish with bitters.

SelfishMe travel blog post - Peru Pisco Sour cocktail

Cuba: Mojito is a traditional Cuban highball.

Served on the rocks in a Collins Glass
IBA specified ingredients

    • 4 cl white rum
    • 3 cl fresh lime juice
    • 6 sprigs of mint (Yerba buena in the original recipe)
    • 2 teaspoons sugar (or 2 cl of sugar syrup)
    • soda water

Preparation: Muddle mint leaves with sugar and lime juice. Add a splash of soda water and fill the glass with cracked ice. Pour the rum and top with soda water. Garnish with sprig of mint leaves  and lime slice. Serve with straw.

SelfishMe travel blog post - Cuba Mojito cocktail

I hope my trip down memory lane gives you some ideas to enjoy World Cocktail Day. I certainly will indulge tomorrow.

Please share your thoughts and plans with me?






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Dani Lew

DaniLew is a podcaster and a retired nomad who loves to slow travel around the world and share her travel stories and personal photography.The Slow Traveling Soul Sister podcast is all about me and my travels around the world for the last 40 years as a solo black woman, My motto: travel nourishes the soul and broadens the mind, but solo travel frees our imagination and builds our Confidence. #slowtravelingsoulsister #GoSeeDoBe

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