The 35 Must-Try Cocktails Around the World

What to order at the bar, wherever you find yourself. Illustrations by Holly Wales

Whether you consider yourself a martini man or prefer an old-fashioned, there’s a good chance that no matter where you are traveling, you’ll be able to find a memorable place to have a drink in just about any city in the world. Sometimes the atmosphere of a place can turn a good drink into a great one—and sometimes the quality of drink transcends its environment. For the 35 cocktails below, we found both: a great drink in a great bar. Some of them are classic destinations, some are hidden-away hot spots. The only rule? Don’t order a beer. 

 

AMSTERDAM

Be Kind Unwind at Door 74

A twist on the Martinez—a sweeter, maraschino-cherry-inflected precursor to the martini—made with Tanqueray Malacca gin, Saint-Raphaël aperitif, Toschi Nocello, maraschino liqueur, and bitters. Address not listed, email for more information

 

BUENOS AIRES

Transatlantico Fizz at Florería Atlántico

Egg whites and soda give this whiskey drink, dosed with yerba maté bitters, its foamy character. Arroyo 872

 

CHICAGO

The Porthole at The Aviary

Try out the bar’s custom-made infuser, which instantly gives any spirit the flavors of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices. 955 West Fulton Market

 

COPENHAGEN

Clover Tea Club at Oak Room

Licorice tea-infused Beefeater with homemade raspberry syrup, lemon juice, and an egg white. Birkegade 10

DENVER

Sundance Kid at Williams & Graham

Coffee-infused Rittenhouse rye adds a caffeinated boost to cognac, sherry, Amaro Montenegro, and bitters. 3160 Tejon St.

 

DUBLIN

Old-Fashioned at The Green Hen
Legendary, and not only in Ireland. Cherry juice sweetens the bourbon and bitters served in a cut-glass crystal tumbler. Look around and admire the movie-star photos and mirrors, some of which have the day’s specials written on them, a clear indicator of the type of French brasserie that Green Hen aspires to be here in the heart of Dublin’s fanciest shopping district. 33 Exchequer St.

 

FLORENCE

Negroni at Caffe Rivoire

The chocolatier, which started in 1872, is always popular with tourists. Get a couple of single-origin chocolate bars to go, and stay for the classic version of the Italian cocktail: equal parts gin, vermouth rosso, and Campari, with an orange peel. Via Vacchereccia 4

 

HAMBURG

Gin-Basil Smash at Le Lion Bar de Paris

Le Lion isn’t simply one of the best bars in Germany—it’s one of the best in the world. The drink that put it on the map? The Gin-Basil Smash, a cocktail as simple as it is ingenious, combining gin, lemon, simple syrup, and basil in a botanically infused tipple that’s nearly too easy to drink. Rathausstrasse 3

 

HAMILTON, BERMUDA

Rum Swizzle at Swizzle Inn

Use the paper umbrella to stir this icy party starter of rum, orange juice, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and Falernum at the island institution where it was invented. 3 Blue Hole Hill

HAVANA

Mojito at La Bodeguita del Medio

If you want to drink like a famous writer in Havana, head to La Bodeguita del Medio, a low-key hangout for Pablo Neruda and Gabriel García Márquez in decades past. Whether or not it’s truly the birthplace of the mojito remains a matter of debate, but the minty Cuban highball has been made here since 1942, and few do it better. Empedrado No. 207

 

HONOLULU

Mai Tai at the Royal Hawaiian’s Mai Tai Bar

What else would you order at the historic Waikiki Beach hotel but the bar’s namesake drink? Go with the classic version composed of pineapple juice, orange juice, orange curacao, orgeat, and rum, and listen to the waves crash on the beach. 2259 Kalakaua Ave.

 

HONG KONG

Gin Martini at Butler Bar

A precise touch of Japanese perilla liqueur adds a bittersweet, herbal note to the after-work basic. 5-6/F, Mody House, 30 Mody Rd.

 

ISTANBUL

Toucan Brogue at The Bar With No Name

Expats (and locals) gather here for this particular blend of tequila, single-malt Scotch, lime juice, pineapple juice, with a splash of Campari. Gönül Sokak No. 7B, Beyoğlu

 

JOHANNESBURG

Dawa Cocktail at Sir James van der Merwe
An iconic cocktail in Kenya, the Dawa, which means “medicine” in Swahili, is a refreshing mixture of vodka, fresh lime juice, and honey. A favorite of game hunters, today you can find it at the antique-stuffed, warehouse-like space of Sir James, served with a dawa stick to squash the limes. 6 Desmond St.

LIMA

Chilcano at Mayta

Mayta is among Lima’s most imaginative restaurants, reinventing Peruvian cuisine one colorful dish at a time. It’s also a destination for the chilcano, a classic, thirst-quenching Peruvian ginger-ale-and-pisco highball, inspired by Italian immigrants who mixed grappa and ginger ale. 28 De Julio 1290

 

LISBON

Jumping Jessica at Cinco Lounge

Tequila and green Chartreuse buoyed with ginger and grilled bell pepper. R. Ruben A. Leitão 17A 

 

LECH, AUSTRIA

Mandarin Gimlet at Hotel Rote Wand

After a day on the slopes, stop at this longtime favorite hotel in the Alps for some après-ski refreshment: citrus-flavored vodka, passion fruit syrup, lime cordial, and lime juice, for a sweeter take on the classic drink. Zug 5

 

LOS ANGELES

Big Sur at The Walker Inn

An eau de vie infused with springtime buds of a Douglas fir lends a legit central-California-coast flavor to this drink made with vermouth, Laphroaig, and absinthe. 3612 West 6th Street

 

MELBOURNE

Blue Collar Cocktail at the Everleigh

Consider it a more potent take on the Manhattan: Along with the usual rye, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters used to make the drink, this Aussie version includes the digestif Amero CioCiaro and maraschino liqueur. 150-156 Gertrude St.

MEXICO CITY

Michelada at Salon Tenampa

Things can get a little wild at this cantina, which stays open till 4 a.m. on the weekends. Sip a michelada, made with beer, lemon juice, and salt, while mariachi bands serenade you. Plaza Garibaldi No. 12

 

MINNEAPOLIS

Scoville at Marvel Bar

Tucked away beneath Minneapolis’s acclaimed restaurant, Bachelor Farmer, this sleek, underground bar is a Midwestern mixological haven. Habaneros, ginger, and kombucha spice up a bold gin-and-rum-based drink. 50 North 2nd Ave.

 

NEW ORLEANS

St. Rose Sour at Cure

At New Orleans’s superlative cocktail bar, bartenders riff on classics brilliantly. This drink takes a basic egg-white sour and soups it up with pisco, sherry, grapefruit juice, and Galliano, making for a foamy, delectable springtime sip. 4905 Freret St.

 

NEW YORK

Shark Eye at Mother of Pearl

Curacao and bourbon, brimming with passion fruit, lemon, and maraschino, all served through the jaws of a shark spotted with crimson-colored bitters. 95 Ave. A

 

PARIS

Bloody Mary at Harry’s New York Bar

Pouring since 1911, this Parisian landmark claims to be the birthplace of that restorative brunch classic, the Bloody Mary. Join former patrons such as Ernest Hemingway and George Gershwin in pulling up a bar stool, and order the signature vodka-based drink made with tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper. 5 Rue Daunou

RIO DE JANEIRO

Caipirinha at Bar dos Descasados

Here, Brazil’s national cocktail—cachaça, muddled lime, sugar—comes in a glass big enough for two. Rua Almirante Alexandrino 660

 

ROME

Improved Aviation at Jerry Thomas Project

Named after Jerry Thomas, the 19th century American bartender who helped inspire today’s cocktail renaissance, this Rome speakeasy is at the forefront of Italian mixology. Sink into one of the brown leather couches and order a classic like the Improved Aviation, a light, floral gin-based drink brightened with rose bitters. Vicolo Cellini 30

 

SAN FRANCISCO

12 Angry Men at Third Rail

An extra-large ice cube softens a stiff mix of rye, Chartreuse, and Gran Classico. 628 20th St.

 

SEATTLE

Coraje at Canon

Similar to a Spanish rum-and-coffee carajillo, but with Bonal instead of sweet vermouth, plus Kahlua Midnight. 928 12th Ave.

 

SHANGHAI

English Mule at Speak Low

Like the Moscow Mule but with Earl Grey-tea-infused gin. 579 Fuxing Middle Rd.

SINGAPORE

Singapore Sling at Bar & Billiard Room at Raffles 

In 1915, bartender Ngiam Tong Boon created the Singapore Sling—a juicy, pink, gin-based cocktail made with pineapple juice and cherry heering—at the Long Bar of the opulent Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The Long Bar is currently closed for renovations, reopening in 2018, but you can order it at the Bar & Billiard Room in the meantime. 1 Beach Rd.

 

STOCKHOLM

The Wagon Wheel at Corner Club

Pimm’s—punched-up with bourbon, lime juice, ginger syrup, and soda water. Lilla Nygatan 16

 

TEL AVIV

The Don Juan at Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar

A crowd-pleasing mix of rum, maraschino liqueur, lime juice, agave syrup, Champagne, and spicy ginger.

 

TOKYO

Japanese Garden at Bar High Five

Green tea liqueur, Japanese whisky, and Midori with a round ice cube. Efflore Ginza5 Bldg. BF

 

VIENNA

Bobe Special at Roberto American Bar

A potent base of gin is diffused with a tart combination of Peachtree liqueur and lime juice. Bauernmarkt 11-13

 

VENICE

Peach Bellini at Harry’s Bar 

Home of the Bellini, a mix of peach puree and sparkling prosecco. Calle Vallaresso 1323