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Where Your Favorite Cocktails Come From

Where Your Favorite Cocktails Come From

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Traveling the world to enjoy cocktails where they each began

While almost all cocktails have attained a ubiquitousness that shrouds their origins in mysteries, as do the myriad derivatives being passed off as said cocktail — chocolate Martini, uh huh — the truth remains that all cocktails great and small had their origin somewhere. With summer in full swing, now is the time to plan a road trip tracking down the origins of five iconic drinks!

Yes, it may be odd to plan a road trip, especially one that requires flying and circuitous travel to restricted lands, in order to drink a drink that one could, well, drink anywhere, but that is not the point. You don't travel to baseball stadiums around the country because the games are better, though as a Mets fan I might in fact be the exception to that rule. No, you travel for the experiences travel affords you. For example a Sazerac in the heat of a New Orleans summer is something other than just another Sazerac. It is that Sazerac wrapped up in the ambiance of its birth, and it just might be the finest Sazerac one will ever experience even if it turns out that it's not actually the best Sazerac around!

Click here to find the origins of your favorite cocktails.

Greogory Dal Piaz, Snooth

The Tastiest, Most Refreshing Cocktails to Enjoy This Summer

I think we can all agree that we deserve a strong cocktail after what we’ve had to endure over the past year and some change. Thankfully, summer is nearly upon us, which means it’s time to bask in the sunshine with your favorite people and your favorite drinks. And although Moscow Mules and Mojitos are great—it’s time to level up your cocktail game. Here are some deliciously creative cocktails that are perfect for summertime sipping.

Rhubarb Martini

Martinis are a classic cocktail, there’s no doubt about that. But—they can feel a bit too “heavy” to drink when it’s hot outside. Add a crisp and refreshing twist to your chilled martini by incorporating homemade rhubarb syrup into the recipe—here’s how to make it:

  • 1.5 lbs pink rhubarb
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 32 oz water
  • Chilled vodka of your choice (1.5 oz per drink)
  • Ice


Cut up the rhubarb into 1-2 inch sections and place in a large saucepan with water and sugar. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until it becomes soft and pulpy. Strain the mixture through a colander or strainer, throw out the pulp, and refrigerate the rhubarb syrup (how easy was that?!).

To make the cocktail, fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 3 oz of the syrup along with the chilled vodka. Strain into your favorite martini-sipping glass and enjoy!

Cucumber Collins

Cucumber pretty much belongs in everything we eat and drink in the summer. It’s tasty, it’s fresh, and it’s super versatile. This cucumber collins recipe is ideal for the warmer months because it’s light, it’s not too sweet, and it pairs perfectly with chicken or fish on the grill. Check out the recipe below.

  • 1-1.5 oz London Dry gin
  • ¾ oz elderflower liqueur
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • 3.5 oz sparkling water
  • 4 cucumber slices
  • Ice


Add the gin, liqueur, lemon juice, and two cucumber slices to a tall glass and give it a stir. Add the desired amount of ice, then pour over the sparkling water. Gently stir once more, then garnish your drink with the additional cucumber slices. Easy-peasy.

Honeysuckle Vodka Lemonade

A little tangy, a little sweet, and a lot of delicious. This Southern cocktail is sure to be a hit at your next summer BBQ or gathering—and it’s insanely easy to make. The simple recipe below only calls for four ingredients.

  • 2 oz honeysuckle vodka (brands include Cathead, King St., and Martine)
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Soda water


Pour all ingredients (except soda water) into a cocktail shaker and shake. Pour into a tumbler with ice and top it off with soda water. Voila!

Apple and Ginger Cocktail

The great thing about this mouth-watering cocktail is that it can be served cold or hot—so, feel free to carry this recipe into the cold winter months. Because seriously, it’s that good.

You’ll need (serves 10):

  • 3.5 cups (28 oz) apple juice
  • 3.5 cups (28 oz) ginger beer
  • 4 oz ginger wine (optional)
  • 3 limes (juiced)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Mint sprigs
  • Lime wedges and ice for garnish


In a large bowl, mix together the juice, ginger beer, lime juice, and optional ginger wine. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the spices. When you’re ready to drink, pour over ice, add a pinch of spice along with a mint sprig, and garnish with a lime wedge. It tastes a little too good to be true.

Pineapple Cooler

If you can’t be whisked off to a tropical island somewhere, why not bring the island vibes to your backyard? There’s something about rum and pineapple that instantly transports you to the Caribbean, and this cocktail seriously hits the spot.

  • ⅓ cup (2.5 oz) rum
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups chilled pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
  • 1.5 cups ice
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • Sprig of mint and wedge of lime for garnish


Combine all the ingredients (except garnish) into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. If you prefer a thicker frozen cocktail, add more ice. For a sweeter cocktail, add simple syrup or pineapple juice (if you used canned). Garnish with mint and lime and you’re good to go.

Celebrating National Mocktail Week with recipes from the Simple Goodness Sisters

The Simple Goodness Sisters, Belinda and Venise, joined us today to share mocktail recipes using their line of garden-to-glass drink syrups to elevate any boring beverage to a sophisticated, next level drinking experience. Here’s more from them.

Alongside Dry January, this week serves as a reminder that we can skip the alcohol and still feel special, celebrated, satisfied. As many have been drinking their way through the quarantine this can be a reset to better habits in the new year.

What is Garden to Glass You Ask?

Rethink how you build your favorite cocktail by starting with where your ingredients are sourced. By harvesting goodness straight from the garden and keeping preservatives and chemicals out of all of the recipes, the Simple Goodness Sisters bring a Happier Hour to you. Simple Goodness Sisters introduces a line of specialty non-alcoholic cocktail syrups made to easily elevate your mocktails and cocktails right from home. Its Garden to Glass drink syrups use the best ingredients possible to make the tastiest and easiest drinks at home. Flavors include Huckleberry Spruce, Rhubarb Vanilla Bean, Berry Sage, Lemon Herb, Marionberry Mint, and Blueberry Lavender.

With their cocktail kits, make a Lemon Drop just BYOB. Or how about a holiday spritz? Level up your cocktail game with floral salt rimmers too. With these fabulous syrups, become a home botanical mixologist, and impress your family and friends by crafting fun delicious concoctions they’ll want to try themselves (hint: great gift idea!) Get creative with your syrup: drizzle over vanilla ice cream, pound cake, or even DIY popsicles!

About Simple Goodness Sisters:

The Simple Goodness Sisters are two sisters who left the corporate world to pursue their dreams of entrepreneurship. After receiving repeated requests for their secret cocktail recipes, the sisters decided to bottle their talents in a line of specialty cocktail syrups. The syrups feature herbs grown on the farm and flavor profiles that are distinctly Pacific Northwest. They use their farm roots to source hyper local ingredients from their farm friends and neighbors. As their businesses grow they hope to inspire others to grow and mix garden to glass cocktails in their own gardens and kitchens. Follow them on Instagram @simplegoodnesssisters.

Now open, the sisters are excited to announce The Simple Goodness Soda Shop.

The Soda Shop will be the booziest coffee shop you’ve ever been to, or the most family-friendly bar. The menu will feature ice cream, sundaes, shakes, Panini sandwiches with seasonal salads, homemade pickles, homemade pesto, spreads, and jams, hearty snacks, waffle sticks, and OF COURSE, #gardentoglass cocktails.

A “buck” contains liquor, ginger beer, and citrus. This one starts with a chopped muddled strawberry. Shake with an ounce of lemon juice and a half-ounce of simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add two ounces of bourbon, a couple of dashes of bitters, and ice. Shake again and strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a strawberry.

Muddle two slices of cucumber in a shaker. Press a few chunks of watermelon to make about 1 ½ ounces of juice. Strain the juice into the shaker. Add 1 ½ ounces gin, ¾ ounce lime juice, ½ ounce simple syrup, and a pinch of kosher salt. Fill with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass with ice. Top with 1 ½ ounce of soda water and garnish with another cucumber slice.

This Map Shows Where Your Favorite Foods Actually Come From

You would think that Thai chilies originated in Thailand, but you’d be wrong. Researchers at The Royal Society mapped out the origins of some of the world’s most important crops, and many of their findings are pretty surprising. Do you really know where your food comes from?

For a better look at the image below, check out this interactive map at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture. Just hover over the country you’re interested in and take a look at which crops it’s home to.

I was the most surprised to see that tomatoes, chilies, and potatoes, which I so commonly associate with Italy, Thailand, and Ireland, respectively, are originally from South America. I was also surprised to learn that asparagus, which grows wild near my home in Michigan, and beets, which are farmed and processed into sugar on the other side of the state, are not originally from the U.S. — they’re from Eurasia.

And to think that wheat — which is, obviously, an important ingredient for so many things these days — isn’t even native to North America is absolutely wild. Can you imagine what food in your country would be like without globalization? Don’t get me wrong, I like strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, grapes, sunflowers, and pumpkins, but I sure am thankful to have access to so many wonderful ingredients from around the world!

Take your cooking up a notch with these chef-curated tips and meal ideas.

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5. Categorize your recipes

Now that you’ve chosen a method for storing your recipes, the next step is to brainstorm a structure for how you’ll be organizing your recipe collection. To do this, come up with a list of categories you can use to organize your recipes. Here are a few ideas for how you can categorize your recipes:

  • Meal type: breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, appetizers, sides, snacks, drinks
  • Diet: low carb, keto, vegetarian, Whole 30, paleo
  • Cuisine: Italian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Greek
  • Main ingredient: chicken, beef, pasta, fish
  • Cooking method: InstantPot, air fryer, slow cooker, casseroles, sheet pan, grill
  • Season or holidays: Thanksgiving, summer bbq, fall soups, cozy winter recipes
  • Time to prepare or difficulty: 30 minute meals, 10 ingredients or less, one pot meals

Mix and match these categories and choose the ones that fit your needs. What works for someone else, might not work for you. You can always refine these categories as you go!

Where your favorite holiday spices really come from

“The holidays” is not technically a scent, but we all know exactly what the phrase “smells like the holidays” means. Catching a whiff of five key spices — allspice, anise, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg — evokes a warming feeling of comfort during the coldest months in the Northern Hemisphere.

A major reason these spices are nearly universally accepted as holiday staples is that many of them appear in the food and drinks we consume this time of year (and candles, but first and foremost food). The spices are key to the mulled wine and eggnog we drink, and the pumpkin and apple pies we eat from Thanksgiving through the new year. The smell conjures memories of holidays past even more than the sight of a roasted turkey or the itchy feel of an ugly Christmas sweater. Studies have found that smells are processed in the same part of the brain as emotion and memory, whereas sight, sound, and touch are not.

Humans encountered these spices long before they had an inkling about (relatively) modern holidays like Christmas. Cinnamon use in today’s India and Sri Lanka dates back some 7,000 years, writes David Trinklein, who works in the division of plant sciences at the University of Missouri. Lucrative trade of cinnamon, and later other spices, occurred between Asia, North Africa, and Europe via the Middle East from the time of the Ancient Egyptians. The Romans made Alexandria, Egypt, the center of trade with India, and Indian spices helped make Alexandria a major commercial center for the Roman Empire.

Merchants in Venice controlled the spice trade in the 10th century, creating vast fortunes. By the 1500s, European empires were looking to skip the middleman and get into the spice trade. Spices, in large part the ones we now associate with the holidays, were a major reason for expeditions by Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, and others.

The Age of Exploration turned into the age of colonization in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The Netherlands colonized the Spice Islands, now known as Indonesia, through the Dutch East India Company, the United Kingdom colonized parts of modern India with the British East India Company, and the French colonized parts of Southeast Asia and traded through the French East India Company.

The colonies devastated local communities as Europeans fought amongst themselves and used forced labor and violence to meet the demand for spices in their home countries. Over the next couple hundred years, prices went down and what we now consider holiday spices became crucial to traditional Western recipes — including for formally bland recipes for winter foods made with whatever lasted from the final harvest of the year.

These spices are just as valued, though not necessarily as lucrative, in the modern global economy, and countries that were once European spice-producing colonies are now some of the biggest spice exporters. According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, China, India, Thailand, and Indonesia are among the top exporters of these spices, though a large share of exports is still run through former colonial powers like the Netherlands and Spain (though, it should be noted, this isn’t exclusive to holiday spices). The largest spice importer in the world is now the United States, which buys up 11 percent of the $2.4 billion spice trade.

While this general history of the spice trade gives the bigger picture of this collection of holiday spices, each of the five major holiday spices is special in and of itself.

Piña Colada

WHERE: Barrachina Restaurant (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Long before the Rupert Holmes tune about piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, the cocktails were being mixed throughout San Juan, Puerto Rico. The frozen drink is made of rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice, garnished with a pineapple wedge or a maraschino cherry. It’s no wonder it’s the official cocktail of the islands.

Two locations claim the drink as their own. The first is the Barrachina Restaurant, which has a plaque outside marking it as the home of the piña colada. Spanish bartender Don Ramon Portas Mingot was said to have created the drink there in 1963. But in 1954, the Caribe Hilton Hotel said that bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero came up with the concoction. Whichever version you believe, we recommend trying one at each place to compare.

Recommended Fodor&rsquos Video

Barbecue sauce

Without barbecue sauce, there would be no passionate regional barbecue debates. Cuts of pig or cow would just be wood-fired meats without the zesty, ever-adaptable, wide-spanning range of barbecue sauces.

According to the anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, barbecue comes from Arawak Native Americans in Florida. It was called babacots, which the Spanish interpreted as barbacoa and the English as barbecue. Hurston writes that slaves were the ones who added a sour-spicy sauce to slow-cooked meats, and it spread from state to state, adapting to what was regionally available and creating the large category of barbecue sauce we know today.

The Southern Foodways Alliance links barbecue sauce to the food traditions of slaves of African descent and the British. The British used butter and/or vinegar to keep their slow-cooked meat from drying out. Peppers and spices came from slaves from the Caribbean. Today, barbecue sauce is a regional ingredient that’s inspired plenty of debates in the South. You’ll get something different depending on whether you get your barbecue from Alabama, North Carolina, Missouri, Texas, or Tennessee. Unlike every other condiment that the US uses and abuses, barbecue sauce is truly an American one.

Watch the video: 5 ΣΟΚΑΡΙΣΤΙΚΑ facts για τα αγαπημένα σας σνακ. (July 2022).


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