We love cocktails, a lot. And although the reemergence of cocktail culture means there are hundreds of great cocktail bars across the world whipping up new cocktails every night of the week, we still love the classics. But when a cocktail attains classic status, it’s often hard to remember how and where it originated in the first place. Which is why we made this map. We dove through history books — and made a few trips to our favorite bars in the name of research — to uncover the origins of more than 30 famous cocktails. Now head to the birthplaces of these great cocktails and enjoy them even more.
Famous Cocktails Whose Origins Are In Dispute:
While we were able to dig up the history on more than 30 cocktails, the origins of some of the world’s most iconic drinks have been lost to time. Here’s a quick rundown on why four of those cocktails were impossible to map:
- Cosmopolitan – Where this Sex and the City-connected cocktail was born is an East Coast-West Coast argument that predates Biggie and 2Pac.
- Margarita – We recently dove into the history of the margarita and concluded that this classic tequila cocktail’s origin will forever remain a mystery.
- Martini – The original creator of the martini — in its many various variations — has been lost to the bars of the 19th century.
- Old Fashioned – Similar to the martini, the origin of this classic cocktail (restored to prominence by Mad Men-name checking) is hiding in a 19th century fog.
Visit The Bars That Created The World’s Most Famous Cocktails (That Still Exist)
- Bellini – Harry’s Bar – Venice, Italy
- Black Russian – Hotel Metropole – Brussels, Belgium
- Bloody Mary – Harry’s New York Bar – Paris, France
- French 75 – Harry’s New York Bar – Paris, France
- Grasshopper – Tujague’s – New Orleans, USA
- Irish Coffee – Brendan O’Regan’s restaurant at the Foynes Airport Terminal – Foynes, Ireland
- Mai Tai – Trader Vic’s – San Francisco, USA
- Mimosa – Hôtel Ritz Paris – Paris, France
- Negroni – Caffè Casoni – Florence, Italy
- Piña Colada – Beachcomber Bar at Caribe Hilton or Barrachina Restaurant – San Juan, PR
- Sidecar – Hôtel Ritz Paris – Paris, France
A final note – You might be wondering why we haven’t covered the Singapore Sling. The Sling — one of Hunter S. Thompson’s favorite drinks — was created in the early 20th century by Ngiam Tong Boon, a bartender at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. As other Southeast Asian cocktails are largely unfamiliar to Western readers, in the interest of visual clarity, we didn’t map the Sling.