Whether you’re the type to enjoy a cocktail at sunset or a relaxing drink on the beach, some of your best travel experiences can stem from sampling the new, exciting, and possibly unique tastes found around the globe.
Sit in a traditional cafe in Spain, embrace the sweet life in Italy during an aperitivo, cheers to the mountains in Patagonia, or relax under the Caribbean sun in Cuba.
Our list of the most popular drinks showcases the different flavor profiles of cultures they derive from, giving you a fresh perspective on the heritage or surroundings that have inspired a country’s distinct beverages, and these nine are some of our favorites.
Whether wandering Barcelona’s busy streets or passing through Andalusia, you will find sensational varieties of sangria.
This Spanish wine, mixed with fruits like apples, oranges, lemons, and berries, was named after “sangre”, the Spanish word for blood. The wine absorbs the fruits’ natural sweetness and may contain added sugars.
Sangria can also be made using white or sparkling wines, but reds remain the most popular. The sweet, fruity flavors balance with bold reds and Sangria is typically enjoyed warm on frosty evenings or cold on summer nights. No matter the time of year you visit Spain, you can find the perfect ambiance in which to enjoy a glass.
Visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, or the rural villages in Japan’s countryside, you can enjoy unique brews of Sake and discern the nuances in the recipes of each Tōji, or master brewer.
In Japan, traditional rice-wine spirit is made from fermented rice and named Sake. The popular drink can be served hot or cold, acting as a digestive stimulant after a large meal or refreshing shooter before mains.
Sake is Japan’s national drink and is served on formal occasions such as national holidays and ceremonies. It’s poured from a traditional bottle called a tokkuri or as a go-to bar beverage served in glass bottles or Sake sets. During your Japan trip, you can enjoy a simple taste at a local restaurant or venture deep into the production process with a sake-tasting experience.
The Negroni family’s iconic beverage has become an Italian staple, with locals ordering it from Florence to Rome, Venice to Bologna, and Naples to Bari.
The popular gin-based drink was born in Florence in 1919. The original recipe stems from the classic Americano, a cocktail of Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda. However, the patron, the famous Count Camillo Negroni, wanted a stiffer taste, inspiring bartenders to add gin to the mix.
The lack of syrup or sugar keeps the flavor genuine and strong, providing a simple balance that’s perfect as an aperitif. As a cocktail, you can follow the drink with a delicious meal that celebrates local and seasonal flavors.
You can delight in the traditional aged flavors of Cachaça, made in barrels of indigenous Brazilian wood, in the chic cafés of Rio de Janeiro or when dining with a local family in the favelas.
The signature cocktail of Brazil stands out because of its ability to allow a small number of ingredients to shine. Curated using only lime, sugar, and a raw sugar cane liqueur known as cachaça, the Caipirinha has a refreshingly tangy flavor, accentuated by its ease of production.
After its creation, locals believed the Caipirinha was a poor man’s drink due to the crude taste and high alcohol content of the main ingredient. However, they have since warmed to a more delicate balance of ingredients and flavors, which adds to Brazil’s ambiance.
Argentina embodies passion and beauty, enhanced by a connection to the herbaceous flavors of Fernet, with its strong black licorice flavor, accentuated by bitter aromatics.
The spirit, considered a digestif, originated in Italy, but grew popular in Argentina after the Great European migration to South America. The Córdoba Province in Argentina and its capital, Buenos Aires, became the heart of Fernet, with over 792,000 gallons consumed a year.
The drink was created to aid with digestion after a meal, its mix of ingredients including myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, and saffron, with a base of distilled grapes. However, when visiting Argentina you can enjoy it like a local by drinking Fernet with coffee or Coca-Cola.
While Germany is often associated with beer, it has a rich tradition for making popular spirits, among them Jägermeister. The herbaceous flavors were cultivated in the city of Wolfenbüttel using 56 different herbs and spices.
The mixture of ingredients like anise, saffron, ginger, juniper berries, sugar, and caramel imbued the spirit with its distinctive flavor, further accented by the image of the Christian cross hovering between the antlers of an elegant stag. Few travel experiences compare to enjoying a Jägermeister when visiting Berlin’s exuberant bars or clubs.
Gin, which has swept the globe in popularity, has connected eager travelers to the bustling cities and rolling countryside of England to tuck into an authentically prepared Pimm’s Cup cocktail.
The gin-based drink is made with Pimm’s Original No. 1 Cup and was originally invented as a medicinal tonic in the 1840s, being marketed as a way to improve one’s health.
While no longer considered a digestive aid, Pimm’s remains a popular cocktail in summer, when it’s mixed with lemon-lime soda and garnished with fresh fruits, and winter, when mixed with more comforting herbs and spices. As a spirit enjoyed year-round, you can discover its many charms during a trip to England at any time of the year.
Although commonly found in restaurants all over the globe, traditional Mojitos were mixed in Cuban bars using a simple recipe of white rum, sugar or sugar cane juice, lime juice, soda water, and mint.
The rum-based drink remains popular amongst travelers visiting tropical destinations, the fragrant and fresh cocktail symbolizing the relaxed ambiance of your destination and the promise of exciting social occasions.
The light, tantalizing mixture is a refreshing beverage for travelers escaping the hot Cuban sunshine or when out in the stylish seaside cafés of Havana.
Peru is a majestic destination filled with the promise of mystical ruins, colorful Andean villages, and awe-inspiring nature, further enriched by its national cocktail, the Pisco Sour.
The history of the drink dates back to the early 20th century, when an American moved to Lima and opened a bar that catered to travelers and business people associated with the mining trade. The easy mixture of simple syrup, lime juice, bitters, and egg whites has become a staple of Peru, steeped in the local spirit pisco, a type of brandy.
The excellent balance of flavors provide a mouthwatering tang and delightful sourness, with a creamy texture from the egg whites. During a tour of Peru, you can find the cocktail in the vibrant neighborhoods of Lima and beyond, so you can enjoy it in Cuzco, Puno, or on the gorgeous northern beaches.
Planning to travel to the sparkling beaches of Havana or retreat to the rolling hills of Spain’s Andalusian countryside?
If you are looking for more flavorful inspiration, you could find the right style for your tastes by visiting our food and wine travel guide or explore our collection of featured food and wine tours and vacations.