Perhaps you won’t get to travel this summer due to other engagements or responsibilities, and while that’s a bummer, there is a solution: cocktails! You were going to have them anyway, right? However, instead of the same old, same old, I recommend that you bring the following worldly flavors into your life, for at least a taste of vacation.
To be clear, the alcohol aren’t the only imports in a glass; vodka, tequila, rum, and a number of wines, come from outside of the country as well. Yet, many of the spirits we consume have been a part of American culture for so long, and likely don’t spark the same exoticism as lesser known (or lesser used, domestically) booze.
Tequila lover? Try Mezcal
As the name may suggest, this alcoholic beverage comes from our neighbor to the south, Mexico. Similar to tequila, the spirit is made from the agave (different varieties compared to tequila’s use of blue only) and is subsequently referred to as the cousin of the popular liquor. Though similar, the difference can be tasted in it Mezcal’s smoky, spicy presentation. Previously, the drink has been thought of as lower in quality, featuring a worm in the bottle, which is typically sold to tourists and not truly displaying the best the spirit has to offer. These days, however, the drink has grown in popularity, with makers and distillers becoming more particular about the agave of choice, and taking great care to establish leather-flavored, dry spirit as a worthy choice.
Rum fan? Check out Cachaca
A little further south, from the great country of Brazil, you’ll find this great, centuries old beverage. Cachaca came to life in 16th century Brazil, during the time of colonization and production of various crops, such as sugarcane. Unlike rum, however, cachaca is made directly from the juice of the crop, not the crystallized, syrupy by-product, which comes as a result of boiling down to what we call molasses. As a result, the flavor is fresher and tasting of fruit. It’s very tropical, representative of the vibrancy of the country from which it hails.
Prefer Brandy? Pisco is your friend.
Also from South America, pisco is a type of brandy made from grape wine. Pisco is most popular in places like Peru and Chile, where millions of liters are consumed annually. It has been growing in popularity with Americans since 2010, as the quality of the spirit’s production has been strictly regulated by the Peruvian government. Following, a number of Americans gained access to the drink through creative cocktails and an increased focus on mixologists interested in trying new things. If you’re wondering, pisco is lightly flavored with a sweet aftertaste and notes of grape.
Check these out. Let me know how you liked them.