Latin American food, particularly Peruvian is having its time in the limelight. The rich ingredients from the Andes and Amazon are the dream of chefs worldwide. Those ingredients also make excellent cocktails. Here’s a list of some old classics, along with some you may not have heard of before.
Pisco Sour, Peru
Let’s start with the classic. The Pisco sour is the national drink of both Chile and Peru, and the its origins are hotly contested. The recipe differs slightly between the two countries, but as most believe it was invented in the 1920s by an American bartender in Lima, we’ll stick with the Peruvian recipe. This recipe was well known and liked by Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles.
1 egg white
20ml sugar syrup
25ml lemon juice
Place all the liquids into a cocktail shaker and mix vigorously into a foam begins to appear on top. Pour into a low-ball glass and garnish with a slice on lime.
This traditional Ecuadorian cocktail is also popular in Colombia and uses a local firewater called aguardiente. It’s an unusual cocktail as it’s served hot to stay warm in the cold Andes. Typically, its served around Christmas, but there’s no reason not to try making this drink anytime during the winter season. For a little fruitiness, add some orange or lemon slices.
1 cinnamon stick
Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and heat on a low heat for around 10 minutes. Ensure that the liquid doesn’t boil and that the sugar is totally dissolved. Serve in a glass mug and garnish with a little orange slice.
This seriously refreshing cocktail mixes one of Mexico’s most popular ingredients, the chilli, with beer and tomato juice to form something like a Bloody Mary. The name originates from the phrase mi chela helada, literally translating to my cold beer. Mexicans drink michelada in the morning to cure hangovers.
100ml light beer, cold
100ml tomato juice
20ml lime juice
Pour a little water into a small dish and salt into a second dish. Turn over a high ball glass, and dip the rim first into the water and then the salt. Carefully pour the tomato juice into the glass. Add the lime juice, and a dash of soy sauce, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Top up with cold beer and ice. Stir gently and serve garnished with a slice of lime.
While this might sound revolting, give it a try – it’s surprisingly delicious. A combination of red wine and coca cola, the name jote comes from a breed of vulture that lives in the Chilean Andes and has black and red feathers. There is no need to use expensive red wine for this cocktail.
150ml red wine
150ml coca cola
Simply mix the two drinks in a high ball glass along with plenty of ice and a slice of orange.
Piña Colada, Puerto Rico
An iconic cocktail and one whose origins are also contested. Many different versions exist and plenty of bars and restaurants claim to have invented the cocktail. Most believe its origins lie at the luxury Caribe Hilton where it was invented by bartender Ramon Marrero Perez. In Puerto Rico, 10th July is National Piña Colada day. The coconut cream adds a beautiful luxurious finish to this delicious drink.
70ml light rum
50ml coconut cream
50ml pineapple juice
Handful of ice
Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a slinger glass and garnish with some pineapple chunks.
Cuba Libre, Cuba
The Cuba Libre (Free Cuba) was invented during the Spanish-American War in the early part of the 20th century. Legend says that Captain Russell walked into a bar and ordered a glass of rum with lime. Being thirsty, he separately ordered a coke with ice and mixed the two together. The drink was so good he ordered a round for his troops and toasted to free Cuba.
70ml light rum
140ml coca cola
½ lime juice
Simply mix the rum, coke and lime juice together in a tumbler along with plenty of ice. Garnish with a couple of lime wedges and serve.
We simply can’t do a list of Latin American cocktails without mentioning Brazil’s Caipirinha. Its main ingredient is cachaça, a liquor made from sugar cane. The drink was invented in the early 20th century and included garlic and honey to cure Spanish Flu. Those ingredients were later removed and the drink became a popular cocktail.
1 lime, cut into wedges
Add the limes to a high-ball glass and used a muddle to pound. Add the sugar, rum and plenty of ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.
To try any of these cocktails in Latin America, contact one of our travel experts on +(0) 207 407 1478 or email us here.