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Booze Banter: our top global cocktails

To mark World Cocktail Day, SB’s editors have shared their favourite serves from around the world.

The SB editorial team has picked their top drinks from across the world

For the first time in three years, the global bar scene is once again accessible to anyone ready and willing to travel, and as far as we’re concerned, that is cause for both celebration and reflection.

We’ve cast our minds back to our travels across Europe and over the oceans for our latest edition of Booze Banter, and compiled a list of the cocktails that have left a lasting impression.

Scroll on to discover team SB’s favourite global serves, and for further cocktail inspiration, check out the latest edition of our Cocktail Stories.

Lil Wine – Le Syndicat, Paris

Lil Wine by Le Syndicat
Le Syndicat is a fierce champion of French spirits

I have a real soft spot for Paris; it’s a city I’ve visited many times, but for the first time last month (April), I finally took a deep dive into the French capital’s food-and-drink scene.

Hidden in the 10th arrondissement is Le Syndicat, a fierce champion of French spirits. Every bottle behind the bar comes from France, from the Cognac, Armagnac and Calvados to the vodka, gin and whiskies. Take Tourne Tête, for example.

For those who like their cocktails short and strong, this is a delicious boozy treat. Le Syndicat has perfectly balanced vodka with Bénedictine, vegetable glycerine (to give a luxuriously silky texture), hop tincture and green anise – a wonderfully complex French Martini.

My favourite cocktail I had the pleasure of trying, however, had to be Lil Wine. The cocktail gets switched up from season to season, and for spring, the key ingredient was strawberry. As we move into summer, the cocktail is now infused with a fig leaf; when autumn comes around, it will be toasted barley, before earthy truffles add some depth for the darker winter months.


500ml Rancio sec (oxidised wine from the South of France, works with fino)

250ml Pineau des Charentes

250ml Dolin Dry

150ml Water

Method: Add one fig leaf to the blend. Let it infuse for 24 hours. Strain into a bottle.

Melita Kiely, editor

Tirimisu – Hey Palu, Edinburgh

Italian dessert meets Happy Hour. Credit: Charles Collins Photography

This modern Italian bar in the shadows of Edinburgh Castle brings vintage Italian charm to the Scottish capital, and is the home of a rich, indulgent Tiramisu cocktail that left its mark (mostly in the form of a cocoa moustache).

Delivered with a ladyfinger garnish and a more-than-generous dusting of cocoa powder, the dessert-style cocktail is a rich blend of Buffalo Trace bourbon, Marsala, Averna Amaro Siciliano, espresso and mascarpone.

Offering a creamy mouthfeel, this cocktail embodies all the best bits of the Italian pudding, with a grown-up boozy finish. Pure Italian class with a sexy Scottish accent.

Georgie Pursey, digital editor


The Rum Swizzle – The Swizzle Inn, Bermuda

The national cocktail of Bermuda: The Rum Swizzle

The Rum Swizzle cocktail is as iconic on the island of Bermuda as the pink sand beaches. Dating back to the 1900s, the blend of Gosling’s Black Seal and Gold Seal rums, orange, pineapple and lemon juices, fruit liqueurs, falernum and other ingredients make this the country’s national drink, and while served in bars across the island, it’s The Swizzle Inn where the cocktail is most famous and where I have enjoyed it the most.

While you can order a glass of Rum Swizzle, those who take the cocktail seriously will order it in an ice cold pitcher with its coat of frost on the outside created by the fiercely spun ‘swizzle sticks’ used to mix the ingredients. The sweet, sunset-hued liquid is dangerously drinkable and the perfect accompaniment to a long evening spent in good company.

Georgie Pursey, digital editor

La Mansion Mirador Bar, Havana, Cuba

Cuban cocktails with a Cuban view

50ml 7 year Havana Club

10ml Sugar syrup

20ml Honey syrup

20ml Lime juice

20g Fresh chopped pineapple

10g Peach jam

8 Spearmint leaves

Method: Put all ingredients into the blender and add ice Decorate with a sprig of mint and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.

A fresh cocktail, with a texture not too dissimilar from a blended smoothie. The serve delivers grassy, minty notes (in the best way possible) on the palate, and it’s incredibly refreshing… I could spend an evening sipping on this green number.

Plus, the Bar Mirador, which is atop Cuban restaurant La Guarida, is a must-visit for drinks while in Havana. You’ll be knocked back by the views of streets, buildings, and old-style cars as far as the eye can see, all the while enjoying a 360° sunset around you.

Alice Brooker, staff writer

The Connaught Martini – Connaught Bar, London

The iconic Martini from “the World’s Best Bar”

London institution The Connaught has imbibers flocking to the five-star hotel to try its revered Martinis. With a choice of vodka or gin, the Martini is unique in the way the bar team serves it via the legendary drinks trolley and by personalising it to the drinkers’ preference.

Those partial to a gin Martini can try the serve with the bar’s own gin, created to celebrate the venue’s 10th anniversary in 2018. Drinkers can choose from fresh Amalfi lemons or an olive for the garnish, as well as a selection of bitters from a flavour card (vanilla, grapefruit, cardamom, liquorice, lavender, ginger, or coriander).

I went for a gin-based Martini with cardamom bitters and an olive garnish, a deliciously spicy combo. With its perfectly cold temperature, The Connaught’s Martini will have me back to try it in all different combinations.

Nicola Carruthers, deputy editor

Garibaldi – Dante, NYC

Two ingredients that make a big impact

For my second pick, if you’re in New York City, stop by famed aperitivo den Dante to try its signature Garibaldi. The all-day venue, based in Greenwich Village, offers a bunch of menus with Italian-style drinks, including a section dedicated to Negronis.

The Garibaldi is a two-ingredient cocktail that combines Campari and orange juice. Dante creates the drink by frothing up the fresh orange juice before mixing it, which can be done through dry shaking, putting it in a blender or using a milk frother.

The sweet and refreshing serve is the perfect pre-dinner drink or one to sip on hot summer afternoons as a pick-me-up.


Nicola Carruthers, deputy editor

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