Cocktail origins and dreams

Ever wondered where your favourite cocktails originate from? Or where the flavour combinations behind them come from? Think no more… Here are some of the UK’s favourite classics and the meanings behind the masterpieces.

1) First up, the classic Mojito. This minty fresh-classic originates from the depths of the Cuban shore, in South America. Traditionally, the original Cuban recipe actually uses spearmint or yerba buena, which is a type of mint variety popular on the Island. Tracing back the date is up for debate, however the story can be traced back to a similar drink known as “El Draque”, after Sir Francis Drake, back in 1586! The drink came about during an epidemic of dysentery and scurvy on board a ship after a raid. Known that the local South American Indians had various remedies for varying illnesses, a group went ashore on Cuba, coming back with ingredients for effective medicine. The ingredients were: ‘Aguardientre de cana’ translating as burning water, a form of rum made from sugar cane. It was mixed with local ingredients of lime, sugarcane juice and mint. Who’d have thought a mojito was powerful enough to cure such illnesses? Bear it in mine when you are next sipping on the minty beverage.

2) Next up, is the classic Margarita consisting of tequila, triple sec, and lime or lemon juice, often served with salt or sugar encasing the rim of the glass. It can be served shaken and on the rocks, blended with ice, or without ice, straight up in a glass. Again, there are so many varying stories on where it originated from. One of the earlier stories, is that it was invented by Carlos ‘Danny’ Herrera, in 1938 at his restaurant Rancho La Gloria, in Mexico. Being created for a customer and former Ziegfeld dancer (a popular Broadway show) Marjorie King, who wanted a refreshing beverage to drink, but was allergic to most spirits except tequila. Relayed by bartender, Albert Hernandez who is acknowledged for popularising the drink in 1947. Feel like a star when you next order your Margarita, shaken not stirred.

3) Another classic is the Pina Colada, the national drink for Puerto Rico since 1978. A sweet blend of rum, coconut cream or coconut milk, and pineapple juice, blended or shaken with ice. The name Pina Colada literally means ‘strained pineapple’, a reference to juices of a pineapple in the drink. The earliest known story is from the nineteenth century, with a Puerto Rican pirate, Roberto Cofresi, who to boost his sailors morale, gave them each a beverage which contained the Pina Colada ingredients. This was first known acknowledgement of the drink, however after his death in 1825, the recipe was lost. Roberto wasn’t wrong in thinking it would lift the mood amongst his crew, because after a few Pina Colada’s it’s enough to boost anyone’s morale with the fruity coconut goodness, alongside the intense infusion of rum.

With this in mind Travel Republic have listed some fantastic cocktail inspired holiday destinations! See www.travelrepublic.co.uk “Whether it’s on a beach drinking a margarita or overlooking the canals of Venice with a Bellini, we believe a good getaway can be made great with a cocktail (or two).”