Your handy guide to the best tipples around…
You know you’ve really arrived on holiday when you’re watching the sunset, glass of something chilled in hand. So, to inspire you for your next trip, we’ve put together the Thomson Tipple Guide. Yep, we’re taking you on a grand tour showcasing the globe’s best alcoholic beverages…
Europe’s tongue-tingling liquors and world-class wines
Italy lords it over the rest of Europe when it comes to liquors. And nothing gets your tongue tingling like limoncello, made with those enormous Amalfi lemons. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t contain any lemon juice – it gets its flavour from the rind instead, so it’s not sour. Top brands include Villa Massa, which still uses the same recipe it did in the 1890s.
Of course, France is a titan in the wine world. For reds, Bourdeux is the biggie – actor and Francophile, Johnny Depp, is a huge fan of the rich, oaky Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots produced here. For whites, though, it’s got to be Champagne. And in case you’re wondering, Brut means dry, Extra Brut is extra-dry, and Brut Naturel is as dry as a Frenchman’s one-liner.
Rum cocktails in the Caribbean
Next stop is ‘dream holiday’ territory – the Caribbean. With its world-class rum and tropical fruit, it’s no surprise Cuba is all about cocktails, most famously the mojito, This mix of rum, lime, mint, sugar and club soda is as Cuban as Castro’s cigars. No trip to Havana is complete without a pitstop at La Bodeguita del Medio, Ernest Hemingway’s old haunt, which does a mean mojito.
Mind you, when it comes to rum, Jamaica rules the roost. This small island produces more varieties of rum than anywhere else in the world, and has the capacity to produce 50 million litres a year. Top of the class are ones that have been aged a few years, like Apple 21, and Edwin Charley Black Label. For something cheap and cheerful, try Appleton Special. Interestingly enough, locals apparently aren’t big fans of Bacardi…
Over in Mexico, it’s all about tequila, of course. Mind you, don’t be too quick to knock them back with salt and lemon – some rival whisky in their tastiness. Jose Cuervo Platino, for example, is citrusy, and Herradura Blanco is fruity.
Daiquiris and cosmopolitans in America
America gives the Caribbean a run for its money when it comes to cocktails. And down in Florida, it’s all about their biggest crop – limes. Ernest Hemingway (yep, him again) lived in the Florida Keys for a bit and was a big fan of the daiquiris they serve there. None of your frothy strawberry and banana concoctions for him, mind – a true daiquiri is just freshly squeezed key limes, dark rum and a sugar cube.
That said, New York is the place to drink a cocktail in the US. Go down the traditional route with an aptly-named ‘old fashioned’, made famous by Mad Men’s Don Draper. It dates back to the 1890s, and is a simple mix of whisky, water, sugar and bitters. Or sip a cosmopolitan – vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and a squeeze of lime – like the girls from SATC.
‘Magic potions’ in Africa
If you’re lucky enough to go on safari in one of Kenya’s animal-packed parks, it’s well worth taking a breather with a dawa cocktail. This concoction of vodka, fresh lime juice and honey hails from Brazil, but Africans have made it their own. It literally
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Author: Vicki Robinson
Published: June 11, 2012
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