How cocktail culture varies around the world

If you were drinking in a bar in cosmopolitan New York, you would of course expect a selection of drinks from around the world. Similarly, if you went to a top bartending school in Europe, you would learn how to make exotic concoctions from Asia to the Americas and everywhere in between.

Some cocktails are synonymous with certain locations. The Singapore Sling, for example, is a variation on the gin sling that was invented in the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The precise origin of the classic rum and mint Mojito is still the subject of debate but there’s no doubt that it came from Havana, while several competing histories all place the Manhattan’s origin somewhere in the famed New York borough.

Interestingly for US cocktail connoisseurs, a study looking at how drinkers in different states used Google to search for different cocktails found that denizens of Massachusetts actually put in the most searches. New York was second overall, although New Yorkers did top the search list for Manhattans, as well as the gin, vermouth and Campari-based Negroni and the ever-popular Tequila Sunrise, which will be familiar to students of any good bartending school. White Russians were the most searched cocktails in nine different states.

Away from the States there are marked variations in the cocktail cultures of different countries. In May, bartenders from more than 30 countries gathered in Sydney for the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition and the competitors also shared insights about the cocktail scenes in their own home countries.

In Dubai, for example, the market is exploding to the point of over-saturation. New Zealand tends to stick to the classics while the more established scene in France shows a lot of fusion and mixing of ideas from different places. Territories like Russia and Australia are known for their enjoyment of certain alcoholic drinks but the cocktail scenes in each are still relatively undeveloped.

If you’re looking to improve your skills and knowledge bartending courses in London and New York are important but so are developing bar and cocktail cultures all around the world.

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