Around the World in 6 Cocktails


Traveling to new countries is a time for trying new things; languages, local cuisine, siestas, and cool new forms of transportation. 

This list of new experiences would not be complete without sampling the local libations!

Here is a short, happy hours’ worth list of cocktails you can expect to find around the world. Save room for the bartender’s choice as well!

Argentina: Fernet con Cola

Besides drinking copious amounts of caffeinated tea called Yerba Mate, Argentinians put their mate gourds down at night in exchange for this simple, cheap drink.  Fernet is a type of amaro, a bitter and aromatic liquor, made with various herbs. Argentinians mix Fernet with cola over ice before heading out to party until the wee hours in clubs–but be careful, too much of this stuff the first time may leave you with a funky stomach in the morning!

Peru: Pisco Sour

The pisco sour is the beloved drink of Peru. Although there are many variations of this cocktail all around South America, in Peru it is made with pisco, lemon juice, simple syrup, bitters, egg whites, and ice. Pisco is a colorless grape brandy produced primarily in Chile and Peru. The sour part comes in when your bartender adds any combination of lemon, lime, and other citrus juices.

Spain: Sangria

Ah Spain.  Home to siestas, gorgeous men, and sangria! Sangria is popular the world over, however, in Spain and Portugal, it is the house cocktail of choice. Sangria is made from wine (white or red), chopped fruit, simple syrup, and a touch of brandy. For extra pizzaz ask your bartender to throw in a splash of gin and sprite.

Brazil: Caipirinha

Caipirinha (pronounced kie-purr-REEN-yah) is the national drink of Brazil and a staple during the carnival season. It is made with cachaça, an extremely sweet Brazilian style of rum derived from sugarcane juice and lime. This is a delicious drink, perfect for relaxing on the beach in Rio.

Greece: Ouzo

If you find yourself amongst the cascading white-washed homes against the gorgeous Mediterranean blue sea, thank your lucky stars…you have made it to Greece!  Don’t waste any time; grab yourself a concoction made with the quintessential Greek aperitif: Ouzo. Ouzo is made from a combination of pressed herbs, grapes, and berries. It has a silky texture and a licorice flavor. Many Greeks drink Ouzo as an aperitif and mixers other than water to dilute this strong liquor are looked up with disrespect. Bottom line: bring your big girl pants and drink this baby neat (aka without anything mixed in).

Ethiopia: Tej

Tej is Ethiopia’s honey wine. It’s flavored with leaves and sticks and while generally homemade, you can drink it in Tej houses across Ethiopia. It sounds a bit off-putting, however, tej turns out to be so sweetly convincing that its alcoholic effects can sneak up on you really quick!

Cheers and feel free to add to this list of amazing cocktails near and far!


About Author

Traci is a bold New Yorker who loves taking her empire state of mind global. She holds a degree in International Business, and bleeds humanitarianism. Traci spent a semester in 2007 living in Italy and bouncing around Western Europe. In the past 3 years she volunteered at a homeless shelter in California, worked construction in New Orleans, and moonlights as a bartender everywhere she goes. She recently completed an epic 7 month backpacking trip through Central and South America and spent a month road-tripping the East Coast. Check out her personal blog at Based out of: New Orleans, LA

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