10 Don’t-Miss Cocktails in Ports Around the World

by Melissa Klurman

10 Don’t-Miss Cocktails in Ports Around the World

by Melissa Klurman

Every port of call has its own flavor, which you can best experience through the food — and the drinks. From tropical fruit concoctions right on the beach to signature cocktails in storied spots, here’s what to order at ports around the globe, plus the best spots to belly up to the bar.

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Tropical drinks / iStock.com / VickyRu
Aperol Spritz
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Aperol Spritz

Port: Venice

Glance at any of the ubiquitous cicchetti bacari (cocktail bars with snacks) in Venice and you’ll spy locals with goblets full of an effervescent sunset-orange cocktail. It’s the light and lovely Spritz, which is made with prosecco and Aperol (a tart and sweet digestif) and topped with a slice of orange — the ideal accompaniment to savory snacks and sunsets.

Where to Sip: Any of the bacari on the quays flanking the Rialto Bridge.

Port: Venice

Glance at any of the ubiquitous cicchetti bacari (cocktail bars with snacks) in Venice and you’ll spy locals with goblets full of an effervescent sunset-orange cocktail. It’s the light and lovely Spritz, which is made with prosecco and Aperol (a tart and sweet digestif) and topped with a slice of orange — the ideal accompaniment to savory snacks and sunsets.

Where to Sip: Any of the bacari on the quays flanking the Rialto Bridge.

Kir Royal
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Kir Royale

Port: Paris (Le Havre)

More sophisticated than the Spritz, a Kir Royale is a mixture of Champagne and crème de cassis, a blackberry cordial. Sipped from Champagne flutes, it’s the utmost in French cocktail chic. (For a non-bubbly version, simply ask for a Kir, which combines cassis with white wine.)

Where to Sip: An outdoor café during summer on the Île Saint-Louis with views of Notre Dame.

Port: Paris (Le Havre)

More sophisticated than the Spritz, a Kir Royale is a mixture of Champagne and crème de cassis, a blackberry cordial. Sipped from Champagne flutes, it’s the utmost in French cocktail chic. (For a non-bubbly version, simply ask for a Kir, which combines cassis with white wine.)

Where to Sip: An outdoor café during summer on the Île Saint-Louis with views of Notre Dame.

Pimm's Cup
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Pimm's Cup

Port: London (Southampton)

This refreshing mix of Pimms No. 1 (a gin and fruit aperitif) and lemon-lime soda is garnished with fresh strawberries, citrus fruit, and cucumbers. A summertime favorite, it's also the official drink of Wimbledon. (Nearly a quarter of a million glasses were served during last year’s tournament.)

Where to Sip: Visit Serpentine Bar and Kitchen or the neighboring Lido Bar and Cafe, both of which front scenic Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.

Port: London (Southampton)

This refreshing mix of Pimms No. 1 (a gin and fruit aperitif) and lemon-lime soda is garnished with fresh strawberries, citrus fruit, and cucumbers. A summertime favorite, it's also the official drink of Wimbledon. (Nearly a quarter of a million glasses were served during last year’s tournament.)

Where to Sip: Visit Serpentine Bar and Kitchen or the neighboring Lido Bar and Cafe, both of which front scenic Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.

Don Pedro
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Don Pedro

Port: Durban

The perfect antidote to a steamy Indian Ocean summer day, this frozen concoction is a milkshake for grown-ups containing vanilla ice cream, creamy Amarula (a South African liquor made from Marula fruit), and a shot of whiskey to cut the sweetness.

Where to Sip: Circus Circus Café on the beach promenade is ideal for people-watching while nursing your Don Pedro (90 Snell Parade).

Port: Durban

The perfect antidote to a steamy Indian Ocean summer day, this frozen concoction is a milkshake for grown-ups containing vanilla ice cream, creamy Amarula (a South African liquor made from Marula fruit), and a shot of whiskey to cut the sweetness.

Where to Sip: Circus Circus Café on the beach promenade is ideal for people-watching while nursing your Don Pedro (90 Snell Parade).

Sazerac
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Sazerac

Port: New Orleans

Invented in the Big Easy in the 1850s, NOLA’s signature drink is a potent concoction of absinthe (or Herbsaint), rye whiskey, and local Peychaud Bitters, which is then sweetened with a sugar cube and topped with a twist of lemon. Pace yourself!

Where to Sip: Pull up a stool at the eponymous Sazerac Bar, located in the Central Business District (123 Baronne).

Port: New Orleans

Invented in the Big Easy in the 1850s, NOLA’s signature drink is a potent concoction of absinthe (or Herbsaint), rye whiskey, and local Peychaud Bitters, which is then sweetened with a sugar cube and topped with a twist of lemon. Pace yourself!

Where to Sip: Pull up a stool at the eponymous Sazerac Bar, located in the Central Business District (123 Baronne).

Pisco Sour
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Pisco Sour

Port: Lima

The national drink of Peru contains Pisco (brandy produced from Muscat grapes), simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and an egg white, all shaken until frothy, and then topped with Angostura bitters. The sweet and sour combination pairs perfectly with Peruvian ceviche.

Where to Sip: Country Club Hotel is an elegant spot to savor your sour on a shaded veranda (Calle los Eucaliptos, 590).

Port: Lima

The national drink of Peru contains Pisco (brandy produced from Muscat grapes), simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and an egg white, all shaken until frothy, and then topped with Angostura bitters. The sweet and sour combination pairs perfectly with Peruvian ceviche.

Where to Sip: Country Club Hotel is an elegant spot to savor your sour on a shaded veranda (Calle los Eucaliptos, 590).

Caipirinha
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Caipirinha

Port: Rio de Janeiro

The ubiquitous national drink of Brazil is imbibed so regularly that many locals even consider it a cure for the common cold. We can’t attest to that, but the refreshing mix of Cachaça (a vodka-like spirit produced from sugarcane) and muddled limes with sugar is simple cocktail perfection.

Where to Sip: Put yourself in the experienced hands of the cocktail “professors” at Academia de Cachaça (Rua Conde Bernadotte, 26).

Port: Rio de Janeiro

The ubiquitous national drink of Brazil is imbibed so regularly that many locals even consider it a cure for the common cold. We can’t attest to that, but the refreshing mix of Cachaça (a vodka-like spirit produced from sugarcane) and muddled limes with sugar is simple cocktail perfection.

Where to Sip: Put yourself in the experienced hands of the cocktail “professors” at Academia de Cachaça (Rua Conde Bernadotte, 26).

Piña colada
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Piña Colada

Port: San Juan

Although this fruity frozen cocktail is available throughout the Caribbean, Puerto Rico both invented and perfected the sweet blend of rum, fresh pineapple juice, and cream of coconut, which makes it as refreshing as a cold towel on a hot Caribbean day.

Where to Sip: Hop a cab to the bar at the Caribe Hilton, where the piña colada was created (1 San Geronimo Street).

 

Port: San Juan

Although this fruity frozen cocktail is available throughout the Caribbean, Puerto Rico both invented and perfected the sweet blend of rum, fresh pineapple juice, and cream of coconut, which makes it as refreshing as a cold towel on a hot Caribbean day.

Where to Sip: Hop a cab to the bar at the Caribe Hilton, where the piña colada was created (1 San Geronimo Street).

 

Ti' Punch
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Ti’ Punch

Port: Martinique

It's “just” a combination of rum, lime juice, and sugar, but boy does it pack a wallop. The rum is the reason: Martinique’s rhum agricole is a clearer, more potent version of rum found around the Caribbean. It’s delicious when tempered with the cane syrup and fresh juice that make this the national drink of Martinique (and Guadeloupe, too).

Where to Sip: You can’t go wrong at Le Petibonum, which borders one of the biggest beaches on the island in Le Carbet, and was voted Caribbean Beach Bar of the Year in 2015 by "Caribbean Journal."

Port: Martinique

It's “just” a combination of rum, lime juice, and sugar, but boy does it pack a wallop. The rum is the reason: Martinique’s rhum agricole is a clearer, more potent version of rum found around the Caribbean. It’s delicious when tempered with the cane syrup and fresh juice that make this the national drink of Martinique (and Guadeloupe, too).

Where to Sip: You can’t go wrong at Le Petibonum, which borders one of the biggest beaches on the island in Le Carbet, and was voted Caribbean Beach Bar of the Year in 2015 by "Caribbean Journal."

Dark and Stormy
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Dark and Stormy

Port: Bermuda

No matter the weather, this spicy ginger beer and dark rum combo makes this sweet cocktail like air-conditioning in a glass. An authentic Dark and Stormy mixes two Bermuda-based ingredients: Gosling's Black Seal Rum and Barritt’s Ginger Beer. Accept no substitutes.

Where to Sip: The Swizzle Inn in Baileys Bay is one of Bermuda’s oldest bars, and just the spot to try this classic combination (3 Blue Hole Hill).

Port: Bermuda

No matter the weather, this spicy ginger beer and dark rum combo makes this sweet cocktail like air-conditioning in a glass. An authentic Dark and Stormy mixes two Bermuda-based ingredients: Gosling's Black Seal Rum and Barritt’s Ginger Beer. Accept no substitutes.

Where to Sip: The Swizzle Inn in Baileys Bay is one of Bermuda’s oldest bars, and just the spot to try this classic combination (3 Blue Hole Hill).

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