Drinking Around The World : 20 of the Best Travel Inspired Cocktail Recipes to Make at Home

One of the most fun parts of traveling is always trying the specialty cocktails from around the world. So I wanted to compile a list of the best of the best, that you can make at home! These are some of the most famous, most delicious cocktails from around the world, as well as some of my personal favorites.



Since Trader Vic was THE original Mai Tai, I have to give you that recipe, but I’m also giving you the Four Seasons Maui’s twist on the island classic that I like to make as well – and my fiance and I will be making this Saturday as a way to celebrate our would-be wedding day (my fiance and my postponed wedding was supposed to take place in Maui this April). 

Trader Vic’s Original Mai Tai recipe

3/4 ounce fresh lime juice (must be fresh!)
1/2 ounce orange curaçao
1/4 ounce orgeat
1/4 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces aged blended rum (Trader Vic believes in splitting the rum base between two different rums to give it depth and a richer, more complex flavor)

Combine all ingredients with 12 ounces of crushed ice and some cubes in a shaker. Shake until chilled and pour — ice and all — into a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with a lime shell and mint sprig. 

The Mai Tai was originally garnished with half of a squeezed lime shell upside down and a fresh mint sprig, designed to look like a small island and palm tree floating in your drink. It’s ALWAYS supposed to use CRUSHED ice, never ice cubes. If you’re served a mai tai with cubes, it’s a fake!!

My amendments: I‘m using 1/4 ounce healthier simple syrup made from raw coconut sugar (recipe below)
and 2 ounces aged gold rum (I’m using this brand) since I don’t tend to drink that much rum I’m not doing the traditional 2 rums because I don’t have two different fancy rums on hand and I already spent all my stimulus money on good wine. (kidding…. kind of)

Trader Vic’s also has never used umbrellas in their Mai Tais (but I love umbrellas, sooooo sorry, Vic! we’re amending that one)

Four Seasons Maui Mai Tai Recipe

Recipes provided thanks to the Four Seasons Maui – where we are getting married!! Their mai tai is the absolute best we’ve tasted on the island and is going to be one of our signature drinks on the wedding day! What I find interesting (and great) about this recipe is there is no simple syrup used! Love that all the flavor and sweetness comes from the liqueur and the lime juice/almond syrup combo. 

1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz Orgeat French Almond Syrup
1 oz White Rum
1 oz Dark Rum

Combine all ingredients and mix/shake ingredients.
Pour over ice in glass.
Garnish with lime.

Four Seasons Talisman Recipe

If you’re after a more tropical, fresh take on the Mai Tai – the FS Talisman is it! This fresh interpretation of the mai tai was inspired by the diverse and colorful flavors on Maui. The Talisman combines traditional “tiki” ingredients in a refreshing and expertly balanced “modern tropical” cocktail.
1.5oz Jamaican Rum
1oz Coconut Cordial
.5oz Orgeat
1oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
.5oz Fresh Mango Juice
.5oz Fresh Lime Juice

Combine all ingredients in your favorite tiki mug with pebble ice and swizzle. Garnish with a mint bouquet and a floral bloom.

How to make a healthier simple syrup:

I love to use coconut sugar as opposed to refined sugar in all of my baked goods because it’s all natural, unrefined and is a sustainable sweetener. Unlike refined sugar, coconut sugar contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, vitamin C and amino acids and scores low on the glycemic index, making it a preferable sweetener for anyone looking to lower their sugar intake. 

2 cups coconut sugar (I like this brand)

1 cup water

Instructions to make 1 cup of healthier simple syrup:

Heat 1 cup water over medium heat and bring it to a boil

Add the 2 cups of coconut sugar to the boiling water

Stir the syrup about 4-5 minutes 

Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool

Use or store in storage container and refrigerate. This syrup keeps for up to 6 months in the refrigerator!

Destination: Mexico

Cocktail: The Perfect Spicy Margarita

Is there any drink in the world as synonymous with its country as Mexico and Margaritas?

The Best Spicy Margarita Recipe:

Ingredients for 4 margaritas

¾ cup good tequila ( I love Casamigos, and my all-time favorite tequila is Clase Azul

¼ to ½ jalapeño pepper, plus extra slices for garnish

¼ cup Cointreau

½ cup fresh lime juice, plus lime slices for garnish

¼ cup simple syrup or fresh squeezed orange juice

a few splashes of sparkling water if you want

handful of ice

Simple Syrup (this makes extra)

1 cup water

1 cup sugar (or coconut sugar for a healthier alternative — see my recipe at the top of this post)


Pour the tequila into a mason jar or pitcher. Add the sliced jalapeño, with seeds, adding more if you want spicier margaritas. Set aside at room temp for 30 minutes (or longer, the longer you let the jalapeños infuse, the spicier it will be). Muddle the other half of the jalapeño. 

Make the simple syrup. In a small saucepan, combine equal parts of sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. 

Make the margaritas by mixing together the jalapeño-infused tequila, muddled jalapeño, cointreau, lime juice and a little simple syrup (ideally in a cocktail shaker – I have this cute gold one from West Elm) . Taste it to check. If you want it spicier, add a little more jalapeño and let it it sit a little longer. Pour into chili salt dipped glasses and add lime slices and jalapeños for garnish. 

Should you use Triple Sec or Cointreau in a margarita?

Most margarita recipes will call for either/or Triple Sec or Cointreau, but which one is better to use? Triple sec is a liqueur made from the skins of oranges and ranges in alcohol content from 15% to 30%, depending on the brand. Cointreau is an orange liqueur made from sweet and bitter orange skins, and is much stronger, at 40%. So it really depends on how boozy you like your margaritas (as you guys could probably guess, I use Cointreau)

How do you make homemade chili salt for the rim?

Take 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 tablespoon kosher salt. I like to add a pinch of cayenne in mine too. 

Mix the chili powder and kosher salt on a small plate. Wet the rim of a glass with the lime wedge; dip the rim in the chile powder and twist to coat. 

Destination: Paris

Cocktail: French 75

This one is one of my all-time favorite cocktails. In Paris, it’s just known as simply ‘the 75’, or le Soixante-Quinze. This cocktail calls for four heavenly ingredients; gin, champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. The drink was created during the First World War and was said to be named the 75 because it’s so strong it feels like being shot with a French 75mm gun. 

• 1 oz London Dry gin
• 1 oz fresh lemon juice
• 0.5 oz simple syrup
• Sparkling wine
• Float of Ricard pastis

Place the gin, lemon and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Fine strain into a chilled coupe and top with sparkling wine, then drizzle a float of pastis on top. Serves 1.

Photo by Delish.com

Destination: Venice

Cocktail: Bellini

When Harry’s bar in Venice created the Bellini, I’m sure they could never have guessed they’d create a drink that’s essentially synonymous with the city, and Italy as a whole. Having a Bellini in Venice is a right of passage for anybody – and something that’s on most traveler’s bucket lists.

The Bellini is one of my absolute favorite cocktails in the world, and is made ​​with sparkling white wine (Italian prosecco) and pureed white peaches (succo di pesca).

The Bellini was popular among the international elite of the mid-20th century, and was said to be a favorite of Ernest Hemingway’s, who frequented Harry’s bar. 

If you can’t make it to Venice for the original Bellini, here is the recipe:

  • 2/3 cup white peach puree (yellow peaches work if white are not available)
  • 1 bottle chilled Prosecco

Directions: Add a heaping tablespoon of the puree mixture to the bottom of a champagne flute or coupe (for all of my favorite wine and champagne glasses, check out this post here).  Slowly pour in the Prosecco.

Tip: Always use prosecco, as champagne’s flavor is not as good of a match for the sweet peach puree.

Destination: Cuba

Cocktail: Mojito

The original Mojito was said to have been a Cuban medicinal moonshine alcohol mixed with mint, lime, and sugar cane syrup that Cubans believed to ward off illness.

photo via AIER.org

When pirates invaded Cuba, the drink was introduced to pirates, who used rum in place of the Cuban moonshine. The drink is called the mojito after “Mojo” – an African word for ‘magic’, which is what the pirates felt after a few Mojitos…

This is a fresh berry mojito recipe I love:

Fresh Mint Leaves (6-7)
Fresh berries (8-10)
Crushed ice
1.5 oz Rum
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Club Soda to fill the glass

Muddle the berries, mint in the bottom of a glass.
Fill the glass with crushed ice, then add the lime juice and fill the glass with club soda and stir.
Garnish with blueberries and a mint sprig. 

Photo from Mr. Farmer’s Daughter

Destination: Hong Kong

Cocktail: Earl Grey Bees Knees

My friend Victoria Chow from studying abroad on Semester at Sea is from Hong Kong and is the founder of The Woods, a famed pop-up bar in Hong Kong and canned cocktail brand (KWOON). The Woods does luxury cocktail workshops in Hong Kong for groups ranging from date nights, entertaining clients, small gatherings, parties and celebrations, and Victoria even recently brought her spirits tasting class online on Zoom!

She’s been featured everywhere for transforming Hong Kong’s vibrant drinking scene (Like Forbes 30 under 30, NBD) — and, as GenerationT so eloquently put it, “Victoria has made high-end cocktails the new recreational drug in Hong Kong.”

Her creative cocktails always have a ‘wow’ factor, so, when it came to finding a drink to fit the bustling city in Asia that I love so much, I knew I had to turn to the expert. Victoria chose an Earl Grey Bees Knees for Hong Kong because of three reasons:

1. It’s so easy to make! You just need gin and pantry items.

2. High tea is a big deal in Hong Kong. High tea is a tradition from their colonial past that is still very much a part of their culture. So when it comes a modern cocktail that still pays homage to Hong Kong’s culture – using Earl Grey seemed appropriate. 

3. Bee’s Knees is a prohibition-era cocktail – and with the bars all closed now for 2+ weeks under government orders, she says HongKongers have been calling this the prohibition of our times…

The Woods Earl Grey Bees Knees Recipe:

60ml Earl Grey Tea infused Gin*

30ml Honey syrup**

20ml Fresh squeezed lemon juice 


Add ingredients into shaker, add ice, shake! 

Pour through a strainer into a chilled coupe glass

Garnish with lemon peel

Recipe Notes:

*If you only want to commit to a couple of portions of this infusion, put 1 earl grey tea bag to 120ml of gin and leave it in for no longer than 5 minutes, otherwise the tannins will get too strong
** Mix honey into boiling water in a 2:1 (honey to water) ratio to make syrup

Destination: Amalfi Coast

Cocktail: Aperol Spritz

photo by Travel & Leisure

The most delicious Aperol Spritz recipe ever


3 oz chilled Prosecco

2 oz Aperol

1 oz Club Soda or Blood Orange Soda (more on this below)


Sliced orange, for garnish


Fill a glass with ice. Add prosecco, aperol and soda. Stir gently to combine and garnish with a slice of orange.

Destination: British Virgin Islands

Cocktail: The Painkiller

The original painkiller was created at Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands – which is hands down my favorite bar in the world, and where Kenny spent his bachelor party in the BVI! 

The Original Painkiller recipe:

4 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Coco Lopez
2 1/2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum


Combine the first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Pour over crushed ice and sprinkle with (fresh grated if possible) nutmeg.

Destination: Miami

Cocktail: Miami Vice

Since we’re talking bachelor and bachelorette parties, let’s talk about my epic Miami bachelorette. We hired a bartender for one of the days to make us cocktails while we hung out poolside, which was SO much fun. Our favorite drink he made was, of course, the Miami Vice. 

It is essentially half pina colada, half strawberry daiquri, and if you order one on a cruise or at an all-inclusive resort, you’re likely going to get a sugary, fake syrupy concoction – but not on my watch!! Here’s my favorite fresh-ingredient Miami Vice recipe out there.


2 oz white rum
2 oz dark rum
1 cup strawberries, de-stemmed
1 cup crushed ice
2 oz pineapple juice
1.5 oz lime juice


Add one ounce of light rum, one ounce of dark rum, the two ounces of coconut cream, the pineapple juice, and ½ a cup of crushed ice to a blender. Blend until the ingredients are smooth.

Pour the drink into a Hurricane glass and stick it in your freezer to keep cold.

Wash the blender thoroughly and dry it with a cloth.

In the blender add the other ounce of white rum and dark rum, a cup of strawberries, the lime juice and a ½ a cup of crushed ice. Blend until the ingredients are smooth.

Take the Piña Colada from your freezer and top it with the Strawberry Daiquiri just made in the blender.

Garnish the drink with a strawberry and a cocktail umbrella.

Destination: Brazil 

Cocktail: Caipirinha

The national cocktail of Brazil is the mouth-wateringly refreshing caipirinha. In Brazil, you’ll find this delectable cocktail everywhere, and with every fruit you can imagine. It’s generally made of lime or lemon juice, sugar, crushed ice and a Brazilian spirit called Cachaça. Cachaça is often confused with rum because both spirits are derived from sugar cane, but, they’re actually pretty different. Rum is generally made from molasses, a dark-brown syrupy by-product of the process of refining sugar. Cachaça, on the other hand, is made from the fresh-pressed juice of the sugarcane, and contains nothing else. Cachaça undergoes a more pure refining process and is aged in indigenous Brazilian woods, unlike rum, which is usually aged in oak barrels.

If you don’t have Cachaça on hand, and you like a different spirit like vodka or sake – you can make a caipivodka, or a caipisake. It may not be as widespread and traditional as the Caipirinha, but you’ll find adaptations like this in Brazil as well. 

Photo from Jamie Oliver

Ingredients for a Brazilian Passionfruit Caipirinha:

2 oz. cachaça

1/2 lime

2 tsp. sugar

1 ripe passionfruit or any muddled fruit you’d like 

Muddle the lime and the sugar in a cocktail shaker for a couple of minutes, or until the sugar has almost dissolved.Add the cachaça, then halve and spoon in most of the passion fruit pulp.Fill the shaker with crushed ice and shake it vigorously for 1 minute.Pour the cocktail into two glasses (I love these ones for Caipirnihas!) and top up with more ice, if need be.Garnish with lime wedges and the rest of the passion fruit pulp.

photo via global storybook

Destination: Peru

Cocktail: Pisco Sour

Pisco sours are SOOO GOOD, yall. The mix of a Pisco’s sharp tang with its sweet citrus twist, and its one-of-a-kind textures from its top layer of cloudlike egg white foam and icy cold cocktail make this a cocktail so good it’s worth planning a trip to Peru for.

Or, at least “traveling” to Peru in your living room for a night and whipping up a batch of Pisco Sours. 

Photo by Against All Grain

The history of the Pisco Sour dates way back when the Spanish conquistadores came to take over Peru, and brought grapes to make wine. The leftover grapes were then distilled to make what was to become Peru’s pride and joy, the dangerously-strong Pisco (it’s completely illegal for producers to dilute the liquor with water, so it consistently has an alcohol content of 38—48%).

The Best Pisco Sour Recipe

2-2.5 oz Pisco

1 oz Simple syrup

1 oz Lime juice

1 large egg white


You need to mix two parts Pisco, with one part each of simple syrup, lime juice, and egg whites. Add ice, then either blend or shake energetically in a cocktail shaker until there’s a nice, thick layer of foam at the top (many purists insist shaken is the proper way to go).

Pour into a glass (typically a coupe – I LOVE these ones), drip a dash of Angostura bitters on top, and enjoy! 

Destination: New York City

Cocktail: Manhattan

Photo by Gourmadela

The Manhattan is one of the most classic, American cocktails ever created. It conjures up images of 1960’s mad men in New York City sipping on sweet vermouth and smoking cigars in plush deep red steakhouse booths. 

And while Manhattans might seem fancy, they are actually one of the easiest cocktails to make. You’ll only need three ingredients (plus a cherry garnish).


  • 2 oz rye whiskey (I like Bulleit) Some people use bourbon in place of Rye. Rye has more spice to it, while bourbon is a little more mellow and sweet. Most bartenders opt for rye, but you can do either! 
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Maraschino cherry and/or lemon peel, for garnish


  1. Pour ingredients into a mixing glass half filled with ice. Stir well.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a cherry, lemon peel, or both. If you like your manhattans on the sweeter side, pour a little of the Maraschino cherry juice into your glass as well. 

Different variations on the Manhattan: The ‘Rob Roy’ –made with Scotch whiskey. A ‘Dry Manhattan’ –made with dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth, and garnished with a lemon twist. A ‘Perfect Manhattan’ –made with equal parts dry and sweet vermouth, garnished with a lemon twist. A ‘Metropolitan’ –made with brandy, with a 3-to-1 ratio of brandy to vermouth. A ‘Cuban Manhattan’ –a Perfect Manhattan, but with dark rum instead of whiskey. Or a ‘Tijuana Manhattan’ –made with Anejo Tequila.

Destination: Spain

Cocktail: Sangria

 Ah, ice cold refreshing sangria on a hot Spain summer day. Is there anything like this fruity, yummy cocktail mixed up of wine, fruit, and sometimes spirits? I love it because 1) I love wine, 2) I love fruit, and 3) it reminds me of one of my favorite countries to travel to ever – Spain

Authentic Spanish sangria is super easy to make, only takes a few minutes to prep, is easy to customize with your favorite wine and fruit (or whatever you have on hand) and is great for entertaining(when we’re allowed to have parties again!) making it a perfect thing to whip up in your chic beverage dispenser at your next party. 

BTW – for all of the best sangria spots in Barcelona, check out my Ultimate Barcelona Guide here. 

Photo by 2 Cookin Mamas

Authentic Spanish Sangria recipe


1 Bottle Spanish red wine: Please use a decent Spanish red for your sangria.  (Rioja wine is the most popular choice for sangria in Spain, which is typically granache and/or tempranillo grapes)  But no need to splurge on a super expensive bottle for your sangria.  Sangria is the perfect way to use up any inexpensive or leftover wine that you might have on hand. 

1/4 cup Brandy: This is the spirit most commonly added to Spanish sangria recipes.  But if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to sub in cognac, rum, or a little more cointreau instead. 

Fresh fruit, chopped: I like to use oranges, granny smith apples, and lemons, but feel free to sub in any fresh, juicy fruits you have on hand. Peaches are yummy too!

1/4 cup Cointreau (orange liquor) or 1/2 cup orange juice (just depends how boozy you want it!)

A Sweetener: 1/4 cup sugar, if you want it (I prefer mine without! But a little maple syrup (1-2 Tbsp) also tastes great in Sangria as a natural sweetener)

A fresh cinnamon stick: (always!!!)


Add apples, oranges, any other fruits (and a little sugar if you want it!) to a large pitcher and muddle with a muddler or wooden spoon for about a minute.

Add orange juice or cointreau and liquor and muddle again to combine for 30 seconds.

Add red wine and stir to incorporate, then taste and adjust flavor as needed. I added a bit more brandy, orange juice and brown sugar. Stir to combine.

Add ice and stir once more to chill. Serve as is, or with a bit more ice. Garnish with orange slices. 

Store leftover Sangria covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.

Photo by Isabel Eats

Destination: San Francisco

Cocktail: Irish Coffee

The beloved irish coffee was actually not invented in Ireland but at Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco. It’s still the best Irish Coffee I’ve ever had – and it’s SO simple! 

The Buena Vista Cafe’s Original Irish Coffee Recipe

Ingredients for 1 incredible Irish Coffee:

6 oz brewed coffee

1.5 oz Irish whiskey

2 sugar cubes

Whipped heavy cream


  • Fill a glass with very hot water to pre-heat, then empty the glass
  • Pour hot coffee into hot glass until it is about three-quarters full
  • Drop in two cocktail sugar cubes
  • Stir until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved
  • Add in whiskey
  • Top with whipped cream (Nothing is added to Buena Vista’s cream. It’s simply lightly whipped heavy cream, unsweetened)

Photo by Katie Sweeney

Destination: Colombia

Cocktail: Michelada

Okay, so the michelada is not technically from Colombia (it’s from Mexico!) but the absolute best Michelada I’ve ever had was in Guatape, and I order them all over Medellin, so for me, a vacation in Colombia goes hand-in-hand with zesty Micheladas.

If you want to re-live a trip to Colombia, or just dream of visiting the vibrant South American destination, there’s no better cocktail than a Michelada to do it with. 

Mango Michelada Recipe:

1 (12-ounce) chilled Mexican beer (not trying to be ironic here but Corona is definitely best)

½ lime juiced, or more to taste

3/4 cup mango juice or mango nectar (I prefer the nectar!)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon chili powder

Hot sauce (optional)

Jalapeno for garnish (optional)


  1. Combine salt and chili powder in a shallow dish. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a tall glass and then press the rim into the salt-chili mix to coat the rim of the glass. 
  2. Fill glass 2/3 full with ice and then add the lime juice and mango nectar. Add in a few drops of hot sauce if you want and then stir to combine. Top with beer and put the rest of your beer to the side (you will have extra beer, but you can add to your michelada glass as you drink).


Destination: Oaxaca, Mexico


When I showed Kenny this list he was like “Two Mexico’s?” But let’s be honest, yall, MEXICANS KNOW HOW TO DRINK. I can’t help it… Oaxaca’s food and cocktail scene is INSANE – like, seriously, if you’re a foodie and it’s not on your bucket list – it needs to be. I was obsessed with this vibrant little Mexican town. 

Smoky Mango Mezcal Margaritas

In between glasses of rose on Oaxacan rooftops, I was exploring any and all mezcal cocktails I could find. And these smoky mango mezcal margaritas (or mezcaleritas if you will) were my absolute favorite. The smokeyness of the mezcal matched with the sweetness of the fresh mango make these some of the best cocktails in the world, and I highly recommend whipping up a batch at home. 


  • 1 1/2 ounces mezcal
  • 2 ounces triple sec or Cointreau (See notes below)
  • 3 ounces mango juice or nectar (Trader Joe’s has a great one)
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 juicy limes)
  • Chili salt rim 

(in Oaxaca, they garnish with worm salt – it’s a delicacy!). If worms aren’t your thing, go ahead and use the chili salt rim from the spicy margarita you learned above – I like it on this too!)

How to make a mango mezcal margarita:

  1. Run a wedge of lime around the rim of a frosty glass. Dip the edges into the kosher salt/chili combo. Fill the glass with ice and set aside.
  2. Add the mezcal, triple sec, mango juice, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake for about 30 seconds to combine. Strain into your prepared glass. Finish, as desired, with a splash of club soda (flavored as desired!). Cheers! 

Should you use Triple Sec or Cointreau in a margarita or mezcalerita?

Most margarita recipes will call for either/or Triple Sec or Cointreau, but which one is better to use? Triple sec is a liqueur made from the skins of oranges and ranges in alcohol content from 15% to 30%, depending on the brand. Cointreau is an orange liqueur made from sweet and bitter orange skins, and is much stronger, at 40%. So it really depends on how boozy you like your margaritas (as you guys could probably guess, I use Cointreau)



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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.