The canon of modern classic cocktails has, by definition, a lot of heavy hitters. From the Tommy’s Margarita to the Penicillin to the Naked & Famous, these easy-to-make, timeless cocktails are household names around the world. But beyond the recipes that have crossed international borders on their journey to stardom, there is a trove of contemporary cocktails that have gone on to become national favorites in their respective countries, possessing the same approachability and craveability as their global brethren, that are just waiting for a spot in your rotation.
Take a tour of the modern classics around the world with seven of our favorites, from the United Kingdom’s Campari-spiked sour to Australia’s formidable flip.
Once an industry drink, the Dry Daiquiri started as a simple twist on the Rum Sour. Kevin Armstrong, owner of London’s Satan’s Whiskers and former bar manager for the Match Bar Group, added a touch of Campari to a Daiquiri and liked how the red bitter’s dryness “almost forced you to go back for another sip.” Dialing in the recipe further, Armstrong threw in his signature “dash of pash”—passion fruit syrup, which was common in many of his drinks from the early aughts—and the modern classic was born.
It took less than a decade for the Macunaíma, a São Paulo–born cachaça, fernet and lime cocktail, to become a smash hit. Created to celebrate Brazil’s national team at the 2014 World Cup, the citrusy drink is simple by design, and that simplicity is key to its success. It’s made with ingredients ubiquitous in the country’s backbars and home bars, and doesn’t even require serving over ice. Instead, to enjoy it, simply shake all the ingredients together and serve in a chilled lowball glass.
Thanks to the Gin Basil Smash, Hamburg’s Le Lion goes through more than 3,000 bottles of gin each year. The simple drink—just gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and basil leaves muddled directly in the shaker—is inspired by Dale DeGroff’s Whiskey Smash, a refreshingly herbal cocktail made with a sprig of mint. Though the recipe was originally dubbed “Gin Pesto,” it traveled after being published on a German bitters website under its current moniker; it’s since become a staple of summer drinking across the country and Europe as a whole.
Another German modern classic, Berlin’s Beuser & Angus Special was created in 2007 by Gonçalo de Sousa Monteiro for fellow bartenders Bastian Heuser and Angus Winchester. Inspired by the Last Word, the Chartreuse sour incorporates orange flower water—in a nod to the Ramos Gin Fizz—adding extra aromatics to the herbaceous cocktail.
The Enzoni was ahead of its time. In 2001, when Vincenzo Errico first created it at London’s Match, Campari was still “an unusual ingredient for the British palate,” he says. Nevertheless, he added a splash of the bitter liqueur to a gin sour, complementing it with muddled green grapes. The drink traveled in relative obscurity until it saw a resurgence on social media, and subsequently at bars around the world. Today, it’s an accessible entry point for those new to aperitivo drinks and the world of bitter cocktails.
A two-part highball made of overproof rum and grapefruit soda, Wray & Ting is the unofficial drink of Jamaica. The 1990s-born drink is a staple at rum shops across the country, where J. Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum (the Caribbean’s most consumed rum) is sold by the bottle alongside all of the necessary building blocks for the refreshing drink: Ting grapefruit soda, cups, ice and fresh limes. According to rum expert Shannon Mustipher, the highball can be a great introduction for those new to overproof rum. “I think the best way to understand the spirit is to drink it the way it’s traditionally consumed... and these rums are not consumed alone,” she says.
An unlikely combination of tequila, yellow Chartreuse, Jägermeister and a whole egg, the Death Flip’s list of ingredients is as daunting as its name. Created at Melbourne’s Black Pearl in 2010, the creamy cocktail quickly grew a cult following, becoming a sensation throughout Australia, but also around the world. The cocktail served as a jumping-off point to get drinkers interested in trying once-intimidating cocktails. As the Death Flip’s creator, Chris Hysted-Adams, puts it, “They couldn’t believe that car crash of ingredients tasted so good.”