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The World's Best Cocktails

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Happy World Cocktail Day here are some of the world's best cocktails to celebrate and bring that special destination closer to home.

You might have heard of a Pina Colada, Mojito and the Singapore Sling but have you heard of a Bushwacker or Green Flash? What will you be drinking on World Cocktail Day?

Singapore Sling, Raffles Hotel, Singapore ©MDHarding

The World's Best Cocktails

Bushwacker, St Thomas USVI

Ingredients: Baileys Irish cream, Cruzan Coconut Rum, Absolut Vodka, Amaretto, Cruzan Dark Rum, Kahlua and Crushed ice.

Have you visited the beautiful Caribbean Island of St Thomas? You might have tried the Bushwacker. First invented and sold in 1945 at The Ships Store & Saphire Pub on the island of St Thomas. If you haven't visited yet, I can highly recommend enjoying it alongside the breathtaking views from Paradise Point.

Total Pre Time: 3 Minutes

Serves 1


1/2 oz. Absolut Vodka

1/2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream

1/2 oz. Cruzan Coconut Rum

1/2 oz. Kahlua

1/2 oz. Amaretto

1/2 oz. Cruzan Dark Rum

3/4 cup Crushed Ice

Blend them all together in a blender including the ice, then pour into a tall glass drizzled with chocolate syrup around the edges. Garnish with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

Tahitian Vanilla Punch, The Islands of Tahiti 

Ingredients: pineapple juice, orange juice, dark rum, white rum, vanilla syrup

This punch is an island classic, a Tahitian spin on the traditional Maitai. It is made with fresh juices, dark rum, light rum, lime and authentic Tahitian vanilla. Store-bought juices will work just fine! On the other hand, the Tahitian bean just cannot be replaced. Find authentic Tahitian vanilla beans online.

Total Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Makes 12 Servings

What will you need: 

  • Large pitcher or punchbowl

  • Wooden spoon or rubber spatula for mixing

  • Bowl for Vanilla sugar


  • 4 cups fresh pineapple juice 

  • 4 cups orange juice

  • 2 cups dark rum

  • 2 cups white rum

  • 1 cup vanilla syrup 

  • 3 limes

  • ¼ cup Tahitian Gold’s Tahitian Vanilla Sugar

  • Ice cubes

  • Orange Slices on top as garnish (optional)


  1. Add all ingredients into a large pitcher or punchbowl and mix

  2. Leave to rest overnight in the fridge

  3. When ready to serve, run half a lemon on each glass rim and carefully dip into the bowl with Tahitian Gold vanilla sugar

  4. Pour over ice and serve

  5. Enjoy 

Blow Pop Martini, Tokyo

Ingredients: Frozen lemonade concentrate, bubble-gum flavoured vodka, sour fruit liquor

Inspired by Tokyo’s neon-pop Harajuku scene, Blow Pop Martini features bubble-gum flavoured vodka and sour fruit liquor. Prep ahead of time and store in your fridge until needed, these cocktails are low maintenance and full of nostalgia. Mix all ingredients over ice, strain and serve in a martini glass. These candy-inspired cocktails are garnished with a lollipop in Tokyo for added impact.

Shochu Mojito, Japan

Ingredients: Mint, shochu, sugar, lime, fizzy water

This Japanese twist on a classic mojito offers a refreshing drink to enjoy year-round. This cocktail swaps the rum usually found in a Mojito with shochu, a Japanese liquor typically made from buckwheat, sweet potatoes or barley. This is an easy cocktail to whip up once your guests arrive (2 minutes prep time) and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. To make, add the lime, mint and sugar to a tall glass and bruise with a muddler. To this, add the shochu and fizzy water and stir. Serve over ice with mint to garnish.

The Colorado Bulldog, Colorado 

Ingredients: vodka, coffee liqueur and cream or milk

Colorado Bulldog is a White Russian cocktail with a fizzy twist. It includes vodka, coffee liqueur and cream/milk, the ingredient that differentiates it is Coca-Cola. Recipes vary from including a splash at the end or a whole Coke, you can make it how you like it. The origin of the cocktail remains a mystery but the taste does not, those who have tried it can confirm that it is delicious. In a shaker, mix vodka, Kahlua and cream/milk. Pour into a rocks glass, add Coca-Cola, sit back and enjoy.

The Last Word at Zig Zag Cafe, Seattle, Washington

Ingredients: Gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, lime

The city’s unofficial cocktail is widely credited to local bartending legend Murray Stenson, who revived the vintage drink during his tenure at Zig Zag Cafe in the early 2000s. The esoteric, pale-green cocktail dates back to 1920s Detroit but gained a following as a Seattle signature when word spread in bartending circles from coast to coast. While Stenson has since moved on, armchair mixologists in search of a properly made Last Word need only look to Zig Zag, tucked behind Pike Place Market on the Pike Street Hillclimb.

Barrel-Aged Negroni, Portland, Oregon 

Ingredients: Beefeater gin, sweet vermouth, Campari, aged for two months in a whiskey barrel 

With a world-renowned culinary scene, it’s only fitting that Portland has become one of America’s most vibrant cocktail destinations. Drawing mixologists from around the world, the city’s burgeoning cocktail scene follows the same train of thought that made its food outstanding; use the highest quality ingredients complimented by an artful presentation. The classic Negroni has become a bit of a celebrity in itself in Portland and even has a festival dedicated to the cocktail in June. Award-winning bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler owns the downtown bar, Clyde Common (and Pepe Le Moko), and serves a barrel-aged Negroni mixing gin, sweet vermouth and Campari mellowed for two months in bourbon barrels. Jeffrey has been tending since 1996 and is the best-selling author of the world's first book devoted entirely to the cocktail technique, “The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique”.

Roasty Whiskey Sour, Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Ingredients: Wigle Roasty Whiskey, lemon juice, maple syrup, egg white, cocoa powder

American whiskey is said to have been born in Pittsburgh. Throughout the 1700 and 1800s, Western Pennsylvania was the epicentre of American Whiskey production. Wigle is named for one of those pioneering Pennsylvania distillers. In the 1790s, Phillip Wigle defended his right to distil in a tussle with a tax collector and unwittingly helped spark the Whiskey Rebellion, which pitted Western Pennsylvania distillers against George Washington's troops. He was sentenced to hang for treason but was ultimately pardoned by Washington. By 1808, Allegheny County was producing half a barrel of whiskey for every man, woman and child living in America. The gold standard of American whiskey was a spicy, earthy rye whiskey called Monongahela Rye. The recently expanded craft distillery, Wigle Whiskey, is located downtown in the city's Strip District now offers an expansive tasting room with a new bar menu for light bites and a cocktail menu inspired by the Mellon Pharmacy. Owner Meredith Meyer Grelli who opened to the public in 2012 can often be seen giving the daily distillery tours and is proud to have opened the first distillery since Prohibition in Pittsburgh with her family. /

Taking cues from the tradition of serving lemon with espresso, this roasty whiskey makes a great whiskey sour. The sweet citrus brings out the nutty and chocolatey flavours of the whiskey.


1.5oz Wigle Roasty Whiskey

0.75 oz lemon juice 

0.75 oz maple syrup

1 egg white

Garnish with cocoa powder

Combine the first four ingredients into a shaker tin and add ice. Shake vigorously to ensure egg white emulsifies with the rest of the ingredients and develops a healthy froth (one option is to initially shake the first four ingredients without ice and then give a subsequent shaking with ice). Strain into a glass with fresh ice and garnish with cocoa powder.

The Gold Rush at National, Yosemite’s Tuolumne County

Ingredients: bourbon, honey syrup, fresh lemon juice 

The National Hotel and Restaurant is located in Jamestown, a historical gold rush town that was home to the 49ers. The hotel itself holds much of its historical charm and the saloon still retains its original 19th-century redwood bar over which thousands of dollars in gold dust was spent. This particular cocktail is not on the menu and has to be requested specifically paying homage to the miners and the hard work they put in daily to obtain just a little pinch of the precious gold stuff. To this day when staying at the hotel, there is an option of paying in gold with original scales still in working order behind the bar. /

2 oz. bourbon, ¾ oz. honey syrup (recipe below), ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice - Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake vigorously until the drink is sufficiently chilled. Strain into a chilled double Old Fashioned glass with a single large ice cube. For the Honey Syrup - 1 cup honey, ⅓ cup water - Combine honey and water in a pot over medium heat. Stir well until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and let cool. Store refrigerated in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

Peaches and Smoke, Santa Cruz, California 

Ingredients: gin infused with watercress, vodka, dry Vermouth, peach liqueur, and saline solution 

Reached by a hillside cable car, Santa Cruzans' favourite restaurant Shadowbrook can be found serving hungry visitors since 1947. Located in the colourful neighbourhood of Capitola-by-the-Sea, the quirky eatery offers picturesque views of Soquel Creek paired with locally sourced dishes and herbs from the onsite garden. This week, the head mixologist released the recipe for their signature cocktail, Peaches and Smoke, never been shared before and influenced by the Pacific sea breeze and the way the chefs smoke the freshly delivered seafood paired with fresh produce grown in their garden. The ingredients consist of gin, vodka, dry Vermouth and peach liqueur, shaken in a mixing glass with ice and served in a tall glass with a slice of apple - see below for the full recipe.

1-½ oz gin infused with watercress

½ oz Vodka

¾ oz Dry Vermouth 

1 teaspoon of Peach Liqueur 

1 dash of Saline solution 

The Balboa - San Diego, California  

Ingredients: Henebery rye, R&D sarsaparilla bitters, fresh lemon juice, honey syrup

San Diego is widely known as a craft beer city. But the truth is, the city’s cocktail scene, and the talented bartenders who’ve helped build it, are on par with big names in LA, San Francisco, and New York. Henebery Whiskey and R&D Bitters, both local companies, combined forces to create what’s considered San Diego’s official cocktail. Made with Henebery rye, R&D sarsaparilla bitters, fresh lemon juice, and honey syrup, it’s very approachable. Balboa Park is a community park in the centre of San Diego and home to 17 museums, galleries and gardens with an incredible diversity of collections. /

The Flatliner, Telluride’s Unofficial Drink

Ingredients: vanilla vodka, Kahlua, Baileys, and chilled espresso

Flatliner is a cross between a White Russian and an espresso martini. Born as a request from a wedding party in 1995, the Flatliner has become a staple in the Rocky Mountain town of Telluride, Colorado. This is the perfect cocktail for a pick-me-up before heading to the slopes alternatively, it is a great warm-up drink before delving into an afternoon of après-ski. Head to the New Sheridan Hotel and Chop House whilst in destination, one of the most popular spots to get the drink, and enjoy sipping on the delicious cocktail with a stunning mountainous backdrop.

Desert Mule Your Way at AC3 - Greater Palm Springs, California 

Moscow Mules are a favourite choice for a refreshing and light cocktail. AC3 Restaurant + Bar at Hotel Paseo in Palm Desert serves a “Desert Mule Your Way,” which includes Absolut Elyx Vodka, Bulldog Gin, Maker’s Mark Bourbon or El Tesoro Tequila Reposado, mixed with fresh lime and Fever-Tree Ginger Beer. The “Double Copper” option serves two, in an Instagram-worthy oversized copper pineapple tumbler. This cocktail is exclusive to the restaurant, part of the Hotel Paseo in Palm Desert and pays homage to the desert life. /

The Green Flash - Florida’s Paradise Coast, Florida

Tesoro Terrace sunset - JW Marriott Marco island

The tropical classic cocktail 'The Green Flash' can be enjoyed during sunset at the JW Marriott Marco Island and also at the newly renovated bar and restaurant at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in a truly relaxing setting. You do not need to be a guest at either hotel to sample ‘The Green Flash’ created in the spirit of local legend that sees a bright green flash appear on the horizon to mark the end of the day. Ingredients include coconut rum, Midori, creme de banana and lemonade.

Billy’s Mai Tai - Newport Beach, California 

Ingredients: Bacardi Superior Rum, Bol’s Orange Curacao, Billy’s secret Mai Tai mix and Diamond Head Dark Rum 

In the heart of Newport Beach is Billy’s at the Beach! Billy’s offers beverages that will make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation. Enjoy sipping on their thirst-quenching classic Billy’s Mai Tai. The cocktail consists of a delicious combination of Bacardi Superior Rum, Bol’s Orange Curacao, Billy’s secret Mai Tai mix and a generous float of Diamond Head Dark Rum and is served over crushed ice in a special Billy’s glass.

The Redhead in Bed, 25 Degrees - Huntington Beach, California

Ingredients: Ketel One Citroen vodka, strawberries, lemon juice, sparkling wine 

The Redhead in Bed is a must-have at 25 Degrees. It is highly recommended and mixes Ketel One Citroen vodka, strawberries, lemon juice, and sparkling wine for an added kick. For those who like to drink their dessert, 25 Degrees offers four spiked shakes, mixing vanilla ice cream and your choice of Guinness, Maker’s Mark, Kraken Black Spiced Rum, or Kahlua among other sweet milkshake additions.

Duke’s Spirited Cocktails - Sonoma County, California

Duke’s is a place where visitors will find local farmers in checkered shirts and jeans at one table and San Francisco daytrippers in sundresses at the next. Heffernon’s passion for ingredients along with guidance from legendary mixologist Scott Beattie, has made Duke’s a success story since opening. Bartenders don’t only excel in unique ‘farm-to-bar’ cocktails but also in classic Manhattan and dry martini cocktails. You are guaranteed to want more when visiting this bar.

Needle and Thread - Seattle, Washington

Needle & Thread is hidden behind a bank vault door in Tavern Law, it is inspired by traditional Prohibition craft. Each cocktail is created and made by those with a passion for the history and roots of American cocktail culture. Bar menus are not provided as the rich history of America’s cocktail culture has left a list of drinks that goes far beyond what can be placed in front of us. Enjoy a cornucopia of nouveau and historic drinks, as well as brand new cocktails concocted from fresh ingredients and quality spirits.

I hope you have enjoyed reading and are inspired to make one of the world's best cocktails.

Michelle x

Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly.

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