Let these international cocktails help you travel around the world! Get creative and enjoy a taste of different countries and regions to inspire your wanderlust.


Regardless of where we find ourselves in the world, most of us are in some phase of a quarantine. And we’re all desperate to have as normal a summer as possible, pining away for any kind of travel plans.

So while we’re patiently (or impatiently) waiting for our respective countries to open, let some of these international cocktails whisk you away to another continent in the meantime!

Virgin, sugar-free, and low-calorie options are listed where possible.

International Cocktails to Travel the World

A Taste of Kenya: Dawa

The Dawa is the perfect summer cocktail. Kenya’s answer to a Brazilian Caipirinha, it’s a widely popular drink known throughout the country.

It’s incredibly easy to make and is typically enjoyed during a safari sundown. “Dawa” literally means “medicine” in Swahili, so the drink is said to cure whatever ails you. In quarantine, that could certainly be boredom or wanderlust.

So, mix a Dawa and create your very own African sunset for an evening.

Credit to Rachel Strohm

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Vodka (2 oz.)
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • Garnish of 1 honey-coated stir-stick
  • Crushed ice

How To Make It

  1. Muddle brown sugar and lime in a lowball glass
  2. Add crushed ice and Vodka
  3. Twist a stir-stick in honey and muddle cocktail further with stick

Options

  • Substitute Vodka with tonic water and apple juice for a mocktail

A Twist From Japan: Sour Cherry Yuzu Bellini

The Sour Cherry Yuzu Bellini, while fairly straightforward overall, is a little more involved than our prior summer cocktail. But it’s so worth the effort.

This bellini was originally created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, a Michelin-starred chef known for his French-Asian fusion.

Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, tastes like a combination of tangerine and lime. Where I live in the U.S, yuzu juice is readily available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and even on Amazon.

The refreshing drink can be made and chilled up to two days in advance for the perfect brunch pairing.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen sour cherries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 tbsps of fresh yuzu juice
  • 1 bottle of brut Champagne
  • Ice

How To Make It

  1. Puree cherries and strain into a saucepan until you have approximately ½ cup of juice
  2. Stir in sugar and bring to a simmer
  3. Refrigerate mixture 10–15 minutes or until chilled
  4. Combine the cherry juice with the yuzu juice
  5. Add in brut Champagne and serve over ice

Options

  • Replace yuzu juice with 2 tbsps of fresh orange juice and 2 tbsps of lime juice
  • Use a sparkling brut for a non-alcoholic option

Read next: Solo travel to Japan


A Classic From Peru: Pisco Sour

Oh, yes. When it comes to international cocktails, a must-try is the Pisco Sour.

Pisco is a type of Peruvian or Chilean brandy and, when mixed with lime juice and an egg white, it’s positively delicious.

Smooth and tangy, it’s the perfect drink for any time of day. So perfect, in fact, that the first Saturday of February is Peru’s National Pisco Sour Day.

When mixing, be sure to shake a nice froth to your drink, creating at least a half-inch foam on top. And don’t be scared of the egg white—that’s what smooths and softens the sourness.

Pisco Sour cocktail from Peru
Credit to Thomas S.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Pisco (2 oz.)
  • ⅛ cup lime juice (1 oz.)
  • Splash of simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • Garnish of Angostura bitters
  • Ice

How To Make It

  1. Combine ingredients into a shaker with ice; shake vigorously
  2. Strain into a chilled rocks glass with ice
  3. Garnish with bitters

Options

  • Replace simple syrup with artificial sweeteners
  • Try pasteurized liquid egg whites, but know the flavor and texture might be different
  • Substitute Angostura bitters with cinnamon

Read next: A Health Scare in Peru


Italy Beckons: Aperol Spritz

Ah, yes. The Aperol Spritz. I’d be doing a great disservice to readers if I didn’t throw this Italian classic on the ol’ summer cocktail list.

While popular in Italy for decades, it’s become really popular on an international front recently.

Aperol is a bright orange aperitif made by Campari. It’s got a tangerine flavor with a little bitterness and, when mixed with prosecco and soda water, becomes heavenly.

If Aperol’s bitter kick isn’t for you, substitute with limoncello for an equally refreshing spritzer.

Ingredients

  • ⅜ cup of prosecco (3 oz.)
  • ¼ cup of Aperol (2 oz.)
  • ⅛ cup of soda water (1 oz.)
  • Garnish of orange
  • Ice

How To Make It

  1. Mix ingredients in a white wine glass and stir

Options

  • Swap out Aperol and orange for Limoncello and lemon for a Limoncello Spritz

Born in the USA: Pink Lemonade

I bartended for a couple years of my youth and one of the most underrated, All-American summer cocktails I used to make was the Pink Lemonade.

Not only does it taste alcohol-free (fair warning!), it’s also just a really pretty drink. And it’s something a little different for brunch time or Independence Day.

The Chambord version of this drink is delicious, if you want to save yourself buying two different juices.

Pink flowers in a vase next to a pitcher of pink lemonade and a glass full of pink lemonade
Credit to Jill111

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup Vodka (6 oz.)
  • ⅓ cup lime juice (2.5 oz.)
  • ⅓ cup cranberry juice (2.5 oz.)
  • 1 liter Sprite or 7-Up
  • Garnish of your choice
  • Ice

How To Make It

  1. Mix all ingredients in a pitcher with ice
  2. Garnish with cranberries, a lemon wedge, or a lime wedge

Options

  • For a low-carb option, use sugar-free or diet Sprite/7-Up
  • Use pre-made pink lemonade
  • Replace lime and cranberry juice with Chambord
  • Hold the Vodka for a virgin option

Wake Up to an African Sunrise

The African Sunrise is an interesting drink indeed. I’ve seen a couple versions of it, but they’re essentially the same thing—some kind of Vodka with some kind of caffeinated drink and a splash of sweet.

The grapefruit Vodka version will give you a great fruity flavor, while the splash of coffee takes the edge off the citrus.

You can also add coffee fairly liberally to the grapefruit Vodka without losing that great flavor. Instead of a standard mimosa or bellini for brunch, why not give the African Sunrise a shot?

African Sunrise cocktail Credit to Martinus Alvian
Credit to Martinus Alvian

Ingredients

  • ⅜ cup of Kenyan or Ethiopian coffee (3 oz.)
  • ¼ cup of grapefruit Vodka (2 oz.)
  • ⅛ cup sparkling water (1 oz.)
  • Splash of simple syrup
  • Ice

How To Make It

  1. Brew coffee
  2. Mix Vodka, sparkling water, and syrup; pour hot coffee over them
  3. Add ice

Options

  • Another version of this drink replaces coffee with Rooibos tea; grapefruit Vodka for plain Vodka; sparkling water with lemon juice; and simple syrup with honey. Add fresh raspberries and garnish with mint.

Refreshing Korean Summer: Soju Watermelon Cocktail

Ooh, yum—a watermelon-flavored cocktail! Soju is sometimes referred to as “Korean Vodka.”

It’s a colorless, distilled spirit usually made from rice. (It can also be made from potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca.)

Mixed with watermelon, it’s a true summer delight.

I can find Soju at my local Korean store, but if not there, it’s available online.

The process for making a Soju Watermelon Cocktail is similar to that of the Sour Cherry Yuzu Bellini in that it requires you to strain your fruit, but it’s otherwise a fairly simple drink to make.

Replace watermelon with any number of fruits for a super refreshing beverage.

Soju Watermelon international cocktails list - Credit to Tookapic
Credit to Tookapic

Ingredients

  • 4 cups watermelon (32 oz.)
  • 1 bottle of Soju (1.5 cups or 360 ml)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Garnish of basil or mint
  • Ice

How To Make It

  1. Chop watermelon, removing the rind, and puree until frothy
  2. Strain watermelon into a pitcher
  3. Mix Soju and maple syrup and refrigerate until cold
  4. Serve over ice and garnish with basil or mint

Options

  • Substitute maple syrup with honey
  • Swap out watermelon with pineapple or honey dew melon
  • If you’re unable to locate Soju, Vodka or Sake may be used
  • Forgo alcohol altogether for a virgin option

Read next: Curls in Denial – Culture Shock and Kinky Hair in Seoul


Dreaming of Cuba: Passion Fruit Mojito

Yes, mojitos are all the rage right now. But have you tasted any of the hundred flavor profiles they come in?

My personal favorite is passion fruit.

While you can absolutely make a mojito with fresh fruit, I find the syrup options are easier to work with, and they last a little while.

That being said, select any number of fruit syrup flavors and replace the passion fruit for endless options. Muddle, mix, and enjoy all summer long.

mojito cocktail - Photo by Varshesh Joshi
Credit to Varshesh Joshi

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • ½ cup white rum (4 oz.)
  • ⅔ cup passion fruit syrup (5 oz.)
  • 4 cups soda water (32 oz.)
  • Garnish of additional mint leaves or fresh fruit
  • Ice

How To Make It

  1. Muddle sugar, mint, and one sliced lime in a pitcher
  2. Add 4 cups of ice and stir in rum, syrup, and soda water
  3. Garnish with mint leaves, sliced lime, and/or other fresh fruit

Options

  • Substitute passion fruit syrup with pineapple, raspberry, or peach flavors
  • Replace syrup with fresh passion fruit or passion fruit puree
  • Forgo rum for a non-alcoholic version

Read next: Solo travel to Cuba


Summertime Classic From England: Pimm’s

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Pimm’s on the summer cocktail list, am I right? It’s an English classic, good for many occasions. Think—Mint Julep, but for Wimbledon.

Like Aperol, Pimm’s is a prepared drink mix. There are a few different kinds of Pimm’s, but the most common—Pimm’s No. 1 Cup—is gin-based.

Mix it with a carbonated lemon-lime soda and some fruit and call it a day.

Pimms bottle and full glass - Credit to Whitney
Credit to Whitney

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Pimm’s Cup No. 1 (2 oz.)
  • ⅜ cup Sprite, 7-Up, or ginger ale (3 oz.)
  • Garnish of mint, orange, strawberries, cucumber
  • Ice

How To Make It

  1. Add ingredients to a highball glass over ice and stir
  2. Garnish with mint and any number of fruit slices

Options

  • Replace Sprite, 7-Up, or ginger ale with Champagne for a Pimm’s Royal
  • Try Blackberry and Elderflower Pimm’s for a Vodka-based refreshment

Iconic USA: Mint Julep

Speaking of Mint Juleps, we have to include this American classic as well.

Minty, refreshing, and piled with ice, this summer cocktail is made to get you through a hot day. An entire day of Kentucky heat in September, as a matter of fact.

Get some bourbon, and add a lot of mint and ice, and you’ve got yourself a tasty cocktail to beat the heat.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Bourbon (2 oz.)
  • Splash of simple syrup
  • 8 mint leaves
  • Garnish of mint sprig and bitters
  • Crushed ice

How To Make It

  1. Muddle mint and syrup in a Highball glass or Julep cup
  2. Add bourbon and crushed ice
  3. Stir until the glass or cup begins to frost
  4. Top with more crushed ice, garnish with mint sprig and bitters

Options

  • Replace simple syrup with Stevia for a sugar-free option
  • Replace simple syrup with sugar-free Sprite or 7-Up
  • Replace bourbon with ginger ale for an alcohol-free drink

What Are Your Favorite International Cocktails?

Wherever you find yourself quarantined this summer, take a break. Get whisked away to these various countries with these fun, international summer cocktail ideas.


Ready to mix up some cocktails? Join the Wanderful community classes!


Do you have any of your own summer favorites? Any variations of the drinks featured here?

Add your ideas to the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.

Jordan Campbell
Jordan Campbell is a DC-based freelance print and Web designer, and author of the travel blog Global Debauchery. With all fifty states and over fifty countries under her belt, follow her off-the-beaten-path, flashpacking misadventures on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

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2 Comments

  1. I love to make cocktail always but this looks great thanks for tips

  2. […] Read next: 10 International Cocktails That Will Whisk You Away This Summer […]

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