Ah, the timeless appeal of the sailaway cocktail. For many cruisers, sipping on a favourite alcoholic concoction while watching their embarkation port fade into the distance is a popular way to kick off a voyage and one which really says their holiday has begun. I’m sure many of you will have your own personal favourites, whether it’s because of tradition, taste or perhaps just because a particular drink reminds you of being on holiday more than any other. However, for anyone not yet initiated into the colourful world (some would say art form) of mixed alcoholic drinks, here’s a look at some popular choices to get you started. Feel free to comment below with your own personal favourites!
Like many cocktails, the Daiquiri has a number of incarnations, but its main ingredient has always been rum. The original Daiquiri contained lemon juice and was reported to be Ernest Hemmingway’s favourite drink. Today, Strawberry and Banana daiquiris are also popular choices, especially on Caribbean cruises, but if sailing from or to the celebrated author’s spiritual Key West home, be sure to drink to him with the traditional version.
Ah, the classic. For many this is the perfect way to kick off a cruise and chances are, your cruise ship will offer all manner of versions but the absolute purist’s version should always contain gin, dry vermouth and of course, an olive.
On a transatlantic cruise to or from New York, there really is only one cocktail which fits the bill. The purist’s version of this iconic cocktail should contain rye whiskey or bourbon as well as a healthy dose of sweet vermouth.
One of the elder statesmen of the cocktail world, so a perfect choice of you want to look like a connoisseur. Said to have been created by famous 1800s bartender Jerry Thomas, it’s believed to be the drink which inspired the Martini and is made by mixing gin, vermouth, maraschino and bitters.
Another iconic cocktail and one which has spawned any number of incarnations. It’s a great choice if you’re embarking on an American cruise, as it was born in Mexico, thus it contains, as you may have guessed, tequila as well as orange liquor, lime, lemon and syrup. A real margarita should always be made by using these ingredients from scratch.
Now a popular fixture on many a cocktail menu, the mojito is a Cuban concoction, so perfect if you’re embarking on a South American cruise. Traditional ingredients are white rum, sugar, lime juice, water and mint. A good mojito should include real mint leaves and a slice of lime, and is one of the most refreshing cocktails you can try.
This timeless Spanish favourite is a great way to kick off your Mediterranean cruise and traditionally made using rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice. If you’re calling at Puerto Rico then it’s certainly a must, as it’s been the island’s official beverage since 1978.
A bit of a hardcore choice this one! The Sazerac is traditionally made using absinthe, along with whiskey, but don’t let that frighten you, as a well-made one won’t contain too-much of the green stuff and will prove a most satisfying beverage. If you’re calling at or cruising from New Orleans, then it’s a must as it’s one of the city’s favourite cocktails.
Another good call if you’re on a North American cruise. This popular Kentucky cocktail is traditionally made using bourbon, mint leaf, sugar and water, but if you’re being really traditional, for a taste of old Kentucky, make sure it’s made with spearmint.
The popular favourite is the perfect choice when embarking on a Far East cruise and will soon be celebrating its 100th anniversary. So named because it was created by a bartender in Singapore’s Raffles Hotel, though there’s so debate over what the ‘true’ ingredients should be. The drink should always contain gin, cherry and pineapple.
By Simon Brotherton