One of the points of this blog is to help me find the BEST drink. The following didn’t qualify but are still standouts in my mind:
Saint Germain des Près (Experimental Cocktail Club, Paris)
The Saint Germain is a delightful combination of gin, Saint Germain liqueur, lime juice, elderflower cordial, and egg white foam with a few drops of spice and a cucumber slice on top. If this tended a little more towards the fresh neutrality of the cucumber rather than the sweetness of the elderflower, it’d probably be my favorite drink. I love elderflower and cucumber, and together they make for a refreshing drink with flavors that evoke spring or summer.
You can get this drink at any of the bars in the Experimental Cocktail Club network, including the Prescription Cocktail Club in Paris, the Experimental Cocktail Club and Joyeux Bordel in London, and the Experimental Cocktail Club in New York.
Caipirinha (anywhere, including the beach, in Rio de Janeiro)
This one’s a little bit of a cheat because I can’t attribute it to any particular place – I had a lot of caipirinhas when I went to Rio, and actually the only designated caipirinha bar that I visited (the Academia da Cachaça) was the one place where I didn’t have a normal caipirinha. Caipirinhas are made with cachaça, rum’s Brazilian cousin, and a lot of sugar and lime juice. I love them because of the powerful taste (like tequila, the strong taste of cachaça seems to make you feel the alcohol almost immediately) and the association of sipping them on the beach in Ipanema. It’s almost impossible to find good caipirinhas outside of Brazil; I’ve only found a decent one in Paris, and I also make them very well. 🙂