Even if you have a signature cocktail you preferred as a young adult, sometimes you get a hankering for something completely different. Your local watering hole may be short on suggestions but if you happen to be in one of these international bars, be adventurous, think outside that gin-and-tonic glass, and prepare your palate for a wild ride.
Doug Laming’s Margarita
It’s not so much the ingredients in this drink that make it special; it’s the method of preparation. The Cointreau Caviar Spherification Kit at the Rabbit Hole Bar, one of two kits in the entire country of Australia, is the key to Laming’s recipe. The cocktail is full of booze “pearls” that burst in drinkers’ mouths. Bartenders use sodium alginate, calcium lactate and the tools in the magic kit to transform the Cointreau in the drink into tiny balls. The spellbinding concoction costs $11 at the Rabbit Hole Bar in Sydney.
Dukes HRH Baby Cocktail
Not that the youngest member of the royal family needs more notoriety but this cocktail recipe was stimulated by the birth of Prince George of Cambridge. Especially refreshing on a hot summer day, the drink is a mixture of passion fruit, Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut NV and Cointreau, quite a heady, extravagant mixture that the fair lad won’t be able to enjoy for over 20 years. The homage to the young prince is available for$25 at Dukes, St. James’ Place in London.
Camel Milk Cocktail
Camel milk mixologist Mohammad Daoud originally created a variety of camel milk cocktails for Muslims celebrating Ramadan. The non-alcoholic drink is perfectly suited for fasting during the holiday season as camel milk has three times as much Vitamin C as cow’s milk, plus an abundance of protein, B vitamins, iron and unsaturated fatty acids. It’s also a popular beverage to accompany the pre-sunrise meal eaten during Suhoor. You can choose from cherry, strawberry and nut flavored camel milk at The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Expect to pay around $6.50 for the treat.
Coquetier translates to eggcup in English and is the ideal name for this cocktail, traditionally served in an eggshell. The concept of an alcoholic beverage served in this manner originated with Antoine Amédée Peychaud, an 18th century apothecary who served attendees brandy toddies at New Orleans Masonic meetings. The bartender at the Pret a Diner recreated the sweet drink 200 years later with rum, chocolate and cinnamon and serves it in delicate eggshells. Pret a Diner is in Berlin, Germany and charges around $9.50 for the drinks.
Gunpowder Plot Cocktail
The name of this drink tells it all; the flavors as well as the presentation are explosive. Bartender Grant Collins, inspired by Guy Fawkes, the cocktail’s gin is infused gunpowder tea and then shaken with spiced gunpowder syrup, bitters, fernet branca (an herbal digestive) and egg white. However, it’s the preparation method that makes the drink so memorable. After it’s shaken, the egg white forms a thick, frothy head on the drink. The glass is then covered with a cloche or bell jar. Oak smoke is blown into the enclosure, which imparts the foam with a smoky, wood essence that makes the drink so unique in both taste and appearance. Garnishes of twigs complete the presentation. For $20 you can experience the Gunpowder Plot Cocktail at Zeta Bar in Sydney, Australia.
While the ingredients of this cocktail aren’t unusual – Blue Curacao, Absolut Vodka and Red Bull energy drink – the presentation and kick are outstanding. Using the molecular process that turns liquids into drinkable “pearls,” three test tubes are filled with pearls of each separate ingredient and combined by the drinker as they like. The Curacao provides a smooth sweetness, the vodka offers a soothing effect, and the Red Bull’s caffeine packs a buzz. You can get a Bullshooter for about $9 at OnlyOne bar in Dresden, Germany, the premier molecular cocktail bar in the city.
Earl Grey Caviar Martini
Another molecular cocktail, this outstanding martini is bursting with Earl Gray tea “caviar” accented by the flavors of muddled fresh cucumber, freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice, unfiltered apple juice, elderflower syrup, Cointreau, and Absolut Citron Vodka. A light foam is created by whipping Earl Grey tea with lecithin and sugar and carefully poured on top of the drink right before serving. Prices vary but you can always order the drink at Hong Kong’s Quinary cocktail bar.
Not for the faint of heart or queasy stomach, this bizarre drink dates back to 1973 when a tradition was born that had drinkers consume a beer or flute of Champagne with a real, mummified human toe dropped into the liquid to become “Sour Toers.” There is no explanation for the grotesque practice and any drink with any ingredients can be a Sourtoe cocktail as long as it contains a preserved toe. The only stipulation: “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow – but the lips have gotta touch the toe.” Only about 60,000 people have allegedly tried the Sourtoe cocktail. You can become a member of the group at the Sourtoe Cocktail Club at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon for under $6. What a deal.
The Rum Blazer
As the name implies, this cocktail’s main appeal is its fiery presentation. Hailed as the father of mixology, Jerry “The Professor” Thomas honed the art of lighting whiskey and throwing the blazing liquid between two silver tankards. His mastery inspired the Rum Blazer, which is made from spiced rum, Grand Marnier and cinnamon dust and set afire at the customer’s table. For $17 you can enjoy a Rum Blazer at Shaka Zulu in London.
The Crapper Cocktail
Definitely the most sophomoric cocktail on the list, this drink is perfect for the “only in Las Vegas” mantra. Served in a miniature toilet bowl, you’ll get a sugar high along with an alcohol buzz from this chocolaty Pina Colada topped off with a Snickers bar garnish. Bonus: you get to keep the glass in return for your self respect. This amusing drink costs around $25 at Rock and Rita’s at the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Diamonds Are Forever
On the opposite end of the classy and refined spectrum is the Diamonds Are Forever cocktail. Made from top shelf ingredients including L’Heraud Grand Champagne Cognac, Luxor 24k Gold Flake Champagne and The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas bitters, the drink is served in a Swarovski Crystalline cocktail glass with a diamond embedded stem. For around $1500, you can enjoy the drink and keep the glass at the Skyview Bar, Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Wakey, Wakey, Mary, Eggs and Bacey
Exotic tonics to cure hangovers have existed since the first fermented fruit was consumed and this is another blend rumored to make you good as new and cheerful as a daisy. It’s essentially a simple Bloody Mary infused with hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco, Irish stout, quail eggs, bacon and a grilled cheese sandwich. Combine all the ingredients in blender and garnish with an array of pickled vegetables. Available for $10 at Chapel Tavern in Reno, Nevada on their “Hair of the Dog” cocktail menu.