The bestselling classic cocktails at the world's best bars

17 May, 2023

45. Caipirinha

The signature cocktail of Brazils national spirit, cachaça, this charmingly lo-fi drink resembles a Daiquiri on paper cane spirit, lime juice, sugar but is very much its own thing. Its all about the unfussy preparation, with limes muddled with sugar directly in the glass. Its a wonderful showcase for the spirit, and also a good base for variations, whether switching up the spirit or adding various other fruits. As for the Caipirinhas origins, there are a few stories to choose from. Some link its origin with sailors and scurvy preventatives, others with a Spanish flu remedy from the early 1900s.

44. Old Cuban

The deceptively-named Old Cuban is actually quite new by classic cocktail standards, drawing generously from far more venerable beverages for inspiration. Created in 2001 by Audrey Saunders, it rather deftly twists the Mojito, borrowing elements from the French 75, and referencing the Sour family of drinks too. The result is a combination of aged rum, mint, sugar syrup, lime juice, Angostura and champagne, served up. Saunders was working at Beacon restaurant in New York when she came up with it ahead of opening Pegu Club in 2005 and it didnt take long for it to attain modern classic status.

43. Aviation

Flying the flag for floral-scented classics, the Aviation has actually existed without its most distinctive ingredient for much of the time since it first took flight in the early 1900s. Crème de violette is certainly accounted for in the drinks first printed recipe, in Hugo Ensslins 1917 book, Recipes for Mixed Drinks, alongside gin, lemon juice and maraschino. A few years and one Prohibition later, the violet liqueur becomes absent from Harry Craddocks recipe in his 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. It remained AWOL until the early 2000s, resurfacing out of the blue to restore the Aviations point of difference and rightful appearance.

42. Sidecar

The oft-maligned Sidecar, one of cognacs only really enduring classics, has survived over the ages, even if the details of its origins havent. With its combination of brandy, triple sec and lemon juice, complete with sugar rim at its most gaudy, some consider it to be an evolution of the New Orleans classic the Brandy Crusta. Theres some debate about whether the Sidecar was born in England or France, with the case for the former attributing it to Pat McGarry of Londons Bucks Club, while others trace it to Harrys New York Bar in Paris, giving Harry MacElhone the credit.

41. Bramble

The Espresso Martini might be the best-known creation of the legendary, late Dick Bradsell, but there are other masterpieces in his oeuvre. Among these is the Bramble, created while Bradsell was working at Soho membersclub Freds in the 1980s. Setting out to make a distinctly British drink, and working with the Sour as the cocktails basic structure, he deftly combined gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup in a glass with crushed ice, finishing the drink off with some blackberry liqueur, crème de mûre – creating a timeless classic distinguished not only by its simplicity and balance, but by its eye-catching appearance too.

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