Signature cocktails around the globe
January 3, 2004 1:59 AM   Subscribe

The Global Cocktail Challenge. For absolutely no other reason than the fact that we are able to, my better half & I have decided to try & sample some of the best cocktails in the best bars in the world. The only rule is to have the signature cocktail for the location or bar we are in. So far the Singapore Sling in Raffles was probably one of the worst drinking experiences of my life. [More inside]

[I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has stayed at Raffles & used the resident's bars as opposed to the horrific Long Bar tourist trap we ended up in.]

Cities earmarked so far are:
Bangkok, Thailand; anywhere on the island of Bali, Indonesia; Perth, Sydney & possibly Melbourne, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; anywhere on the island of Raratonga, Cook Islands; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Reno, Las Vegas, Moab, UT (! - maybe we'll stick with the Moab Brewery), Santa Fe, Austin, TX, New Orleans, Tallahassee, FL and NYC. Oh, and just in case we make it to next summer's Euro 2004 finals in Portugal, are there any MeFites there who could add to the list? (A long shot I know...)

In the US the places listed above should give an idea of the general route we're taking so any suggestions for additions/diversions are always welcome.

We may construct some kind of website around this stupidity.
posted by i_cola to Food & Drink (15 answers total)
Sorry, what's the question?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:54 AM on January 3, 2004

The Bellini at Harry's Bar in Venice....

icola - you really should sell the idea as a book. I think it would fly. And you could finance the travels with your advance. (I would need a small cut, of course.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:38 AM on January 3, 2004

pisco sour in afroson, la serena, chile.

(not sure what "best" means in terms of bars - you might prefer a fancy place in bellavista, santiago)
posted by andrew cooke at 4:45 AM on January 3, 2004

Stop by Rio de Janeiro for a caipirinha. For my money, the best mixed drink on earth.
posted by Zonker at 5:07 AM on January 3, 2004

Tequila drinks (e.g. margaritas) at Tommy's in san francisco.
posted by vacapinta at 5:10 AM on January 3, 2004

New Orleans is famous for the Sazerac, touted to be America's first Cocktail and which you should try at the Sazerac Room of the Fairmont Hotel, or any upscale restaurant, but I much prefer another famous New Orleans drink, the Ramos Gin Fizz, which you can also try at the Sazerac Room. The Hurricane is famous, but nasty; I don't recommend it at all. But a visit to Pat O'Brien's, where the Hurricane originated is fun. It's one of the few tourist places that my husband I used to go to occasionally when we lived there.
posted by taz at 5:30 AM on January 3, 2004

Well, there are any number of decent places to get a Sling in Singapore, but oddly enough Raffles isn't one of them, a half-way decent tour guide of Singapore should've clued you in on that.

In the San Fransisco area, you should stop by Zam Zam in the Haight for a martini. Unfortunately, Bruno the supremely cranky bartender has passed into the Great Olive Pit In the Sky, and therefore will no longer be tossing out patrons who ask for something other than a classic martini.

I'd also head over to Emeryville to have a Mai Tai at the classic Trader Vic's. Do not, I repeat, do not waste your time at the newer Palo Alto Vic's.

In Las Vegas, visit the Bosko-designed Taboo Cove at the Venetian Hotel. I'm not aware of any signature drink, but it's a cool place to hang out.

LA has a plethora of fine old drinking establishments. To list them all here would take far too long. The Formosa is a good place to stargaze while sipping reasonably priced martinis, while the Encounter at LAX features space-age decor, an unparalled view of the airport, and excellent umbrella drinks (embedded audio).
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:35 AM on January 3, 2004

Is Cuba allowed, or are you from the states?
posted by twine42 at 6:42 AM on January 3, 2004

Sorry, andrew, but Pisco Sour's are much better (and originate from) Perú.

I´d recomend any not-too-touristy-bar in Cuzco (or Qosqo, using the new spelling).
posted by signal at 7:49 AM on January 3, 2004

i guess you're missing an "in" after "better" (didn't understand at first - thought you were correcting my spelling!)?

(some people say) they come from coquimbo (near la serena, but maybe you should try one in at la picada internacional by the harbour edge...)
posted by andrew cooke at 7:57 AM on January 3, 2004

I recommend the Irish Coffee at San Francisco's Buena Vista. They claim to have "invented" or "perfected" it there - depending on which source you look at - but take it from someone who's tried them all over the world, this is the real deal.
posted by JollyWanker at 9:38 AM on January 3, 2004

My wife recommends the "Painkiller" at the Soggy Dollar Bar in Sandcastle in the British Virgin Islands.

I think you'll need a month just to do justice to New Orleans. I recommend Kerri McCaffety's Obituary Cocktail as a guide.
posted by timeistight at 10:09 AM on January 3, 2004

The birth place is gone for frozen margarita. Try a flaming Dr. Pepper in Austin, since Waco is Dr. Pepper's birth place and Texas is the only place I've seen it, think most bartenders will know it.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:58 PM on January 3, 2004

I haven't been there, but I hear great things about the Rainbow Room in NYC, where Dale "King of Cocktails" DeGroff is the beverage manager/resident mixologist.

My pick for cocktail excellence in New York is Angel's Share, on Stuyvestant Street in the East Village.

Miguel has recommended the Bemelmans Bar at the Hotel Carlyle to me, and I keep wanting to go there.

And no Bellini at Harry's Bar in Venice?
posted by Vidiot at 2:37 PM on January 3, 2004

Add : The places in Austin, Tx for a flaming dr. pepper: Touches & Library Bar on 6th Street.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:52 PM on January 5, 2004

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