Zesty, fresh, fun. South American knows how to create a summery cocktail, and the party to go with it. We’ve chosen five of our favourites from the region that will liven up any summer party.
Brazil’s national drink is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but it’ll have your guests coming back for more. A simple combination of Cachaça (a spirit similar to rum, made from sugar cane), lime and sugar create a refreshing cocktail perfect for a summer afternoon.
Half a lime, cut into wedges
2 tsp brown sugar
60 ml Cachaça
Muddle the sugar and lime together in a short glass and fill to the top with ice (works best with crushed ice), pour in the Cachaça and garnish with a lime wedge. Simple!
Top tip: You can create all sorts of variations of this Brazilian favourite. Try using chilli and ginger for a bit of heat, or mango and passionfruit for a tropical twist.
We’re headed to Peru for our next recipe. This traditional cocktail uses similar flavours to a caipirinha with the addition of egg white (don’t let that put you off though). It tastes almost sherbet-like, with the egg white adding a real smoothness.
Recipe: BBC Good Food
50ml lime juice
50ml sugar syrup
1 egg white
A large handful of ice
few drops of Angostura bitters
Lime to garnish
Pour the Pisco, lime juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker with the egg white and add a large handful of ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into 2 glasses. Add a few drops of Angostura bitters to the top of each cocktail, garnish with a lime slice and serve.
Clerico (white sangria)
Hailing from Uruguay and Paraguay is this refreshing crowd-pleaser. I think we’ve all sat with a glass (or jug) of sangria on a sunny afternoon on holiday and if you’re a fan, then Clerico won’t disappoint. Made with wine white (and a splash of brandy if you like) instead of red and a more tropical twist on the fruit, it looks, and more importantly tastes great.
Recipe: Martha Stewart (serves approx. 10)
Two bottles of white wine
60ml brandy (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
300g sliced peaches
200g sliced strawberries
200g halved seedless grapes
Thinly sliced banana
To make, combine wine with brandy, lemon juice, and sugar in a 3-quart pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then add peaches, strawberries, and grapes. Let chill at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Mix in banana just before serving. Pour into glasses filled with ice, and use a spoon to scoop the wine-soaked fruit into each one.
Top Tip: You can use whatever fruit is in season, citrus fruit takes away a bit of the sweetness if you prefer. Some recipes also top with soda for some added fizz.
A recipe you might be more familiar with is this popular cocktail, originally created in Cuba. Perfectly refreshing with lime, mint and rum - it’s difficult to go wrong with a mojito.
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 heaping teaspoons superfine sugar
1 cup crushed ice
12 fresh mint leaves, plus 5 small sprigs for garnish
60ml white rum
Top with club soda
In a tall glass, stir together lime juice and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add crushed ice. Rub mint leaves over rim of glass, then tear leaves in half and add to glass. Gently stir for 15 seconds, then add rum, remaining crushed ice, and club soda. Gently stir for 5 seconds, then garnish with mint sprigs.
Created in Mexico, the margarita has long been a favourite with it’s North American neighbours and beyond. We’re back with the simple combination of lime, sugar and spirits, with a little added salt, for an easy drinking, delicious summer (or anytime) treat.
Did you know? Margarita means daisy in Spanish - a beautiful name for a beautiful drink.
60ml silver tequila
30ml lime juice
Chill a cocktail glass, and then rub its rim with lime juice and dip it in coarse salt. Add tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and ice together in a cocktail shaker. Shake and then strain into the glass over ice. Simple.
Top tip: Make a pitcher for big crowds or create a frozen version in a blender with lots of ice (it’s not quite the real deal but it’s great for those super hot days). Oh, and use good tequila to fend off the inevitable hangover.
So, there you have it, our run down of our favourite South American cocktails is complete. What are your favourites? Let us know on Twitter.