There’s something quite magical about a well executed cocktail. It can transport you to a new place all together with different flavors of terroir seeping through the various spirits.

Its origin story of its creation – when, where, by whom and why – helps you feel connected to a new world and people you have never met. And of course, when the liquid touches your lips and you close your eyes, it can take you on a sensory adventure to the very place you most wish to be.

Behind every cocktail is a marvelous story of people and place. Whether you wish to be back in a buzzing city filled with life racing by, or on a secluded beach with the sun shining on your face, here are a handful of cocktails that will transport you to wherever it is you long to be from the comfort of your own home. 

Women at bar in the Hotel Majestic in New York City
Manhattan looked much, much different when the cocktail named for the iconic NYC borough came to the fore © Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

Manhattan, for those longing for the buzzing streets of New York City

Wish to be back in the city where dreams are made? Do you miss the hustle and bustle of city life? Why not try one of New York’s most famous cocktails, the Manhattan. By popular opinion, this drink was created in the 1860’s by a bartender named Black at a bar on Broadway near Houston St.

This cocktail is rich with flavors balancing the sweetness of the vermouth and the spice of rye whiskey. Mix it up and instantly feel like Don Draper himself in the heart of the city at your favorite hotel bar. 

To make:
2 oz rye whiskey (favor towards something high proof such as Rittenhouse Rye)
1 oz sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica is a great option)
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass (any ole glass tumbler will do), fill to the top with ice and stir with a mixing spoon for about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass (or over fresh ice in a rocks glass, if you wish) and garnish with a cherry or orange twist (or both!). 

Negroni, for those wanting an inspiring happy hour in Italy 

Looking to reminisce those whimsical moments of sitting at an outdoor cafe on a random street in Italy sipping on aperitifs while watching life happen around you? Italy is famous for many spirits and cocktails but one of the most notorious is the Negroni. Invented in 1919 at Caffe Casoni, Count Camillo Negroni, asked for his favorite cocktail, the Americano, but requested to make it stronger by replacing the soda water for gin. 

The Negroni is simple enough to make and has a beautiful array of flavors; it is perfectly bitter from the use of Campari, which is balanced eloquently from the sweet vermouth and finishes with a delightful floral bouquet from the gin. Stir up one (or three) of these and allow the tantalizing booziness inspire you from the inside out. 

To make:
1 oz gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass (again, any ole glass tumbler will do), fill to the top with ice and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. To garnish, express and orange peel over top. 

, Ernest HEMINGWAY aux courses hippiques d' Auteuil. Au bar, un serveur en veste blanche sert à boire à l' écrivain.
Ernest Hemingway visiting Paris in 1953 © Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images

Death in the Afternoon, for those longing for a stroll down the streets of Paris

For those who prefer a Parisian stroll down the Champs Elysees, or meandering in French gardens while taking in all of the marvelous sights Paris has to offer, I give you a Death in the Afternoon: a delightful drink created by Ernest Hemingway for a celebrity recipe book in 1935.

Though not of Parisian origin, this cocktail brings two famous Paris libations into one drink: champagne and absinthe. After all, what is Paris known for if not the Eiffel Tower, champagne and the little green fairy? Feel free to drink as many of these you desire, as early as you wish – it’s what Hemingway would have wanted. 

To make:
.5 oz absinthe 
Cold champagne 

In a champagne flute, add absinthe and then slowly top with champagne. Feel free to add more absinthe, if you wish. According to Hemingway, the drink should be opalescent and cloudy. 

Daiquiri, for those craving some fun in the sun

While we’re traveling around, we might as well hit up another one of Hemingway's favorite spots: Cuba. If rays of sunshine and poolside sips are what you’re craving, may we suggest a traditional daiquiri? This classic combination of citrus, sugar and rum are sure to transport you to a feeling of contentment and ease. Turn on your favorite ocean waves app, grab a book, and escape to tropical paradise.

To make:
2 oz white rum
.75 oz simple syrup (1:1 ratio of sugar and water)
.75 oz lime juice (freshly squeezed is best here)

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for about 15-25 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. If you prefer a more citrus forward cocktail, feel free to bump up the lime juice to 1 full ounce. 

A life-size bronze statue of American writer Ernest "Papa" Hemingway, Literature Nobel Prize winner, leans on the bar at his regular spot at the Restaurant El Floridita bar, on October 27, 2003, in Havana, Cuba
A life-size bronze statue of Ernest Hemingway leans on the bar at his regular spot at the Restaurant El Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba © Sven Creutzmann/Mambo Photo / Getty Images

The Hemingway Daiquiri, for a taste of Havana

If you’re looking for more Hemingway inspiration, try out the Hemingway Daiquiri. Legend has it, he wandered into El Floridita and asked the bartender for a Daiquiri “without the sugar and double the rum," which gave this cocktail the nickname "Papa Doble" for Hemmingway’s love of doubles. This daiquiri is boozy and dry and fit for a drinking legend.

To make:
2 ounces white rum
.5 ounces maraschino liqueur 
.75 ounces lime juice
.5 ounce grapefruit juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for about 15-25 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

You may also like: Take a tea tour around the world with these six traditional brews
"I hope this is au revoir and not goodbye" - Our last trip to Paris before lockdown
Virtual Vacation: Cuba

For additional cocktail recipes, check out our Destination Drinks page  

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