A well-mixed cocktail is like a holiday in a glass. A flavourful blend of exotic ingredients, garnished with juicy fruit or vibrant blossoms, every sip will send you daydreaming about tropical getaways. Whether you prefer a classic Cosmo or a mystery concoction served in a seashell, we’ve rounded up the world’s best destinations for thirsty travellers.*
New Orleans in Louisiana, USA
The Sazerac, a potent blend of bitters, absinthe, whiskey and sugar
New Orleans is home to such wonderful creations as the Mint Julep, the Hurricane, and the Sazerac, a potent blend of Peychaud’s bitters, absinthe, whiskey and sugar. To explore the Big Easy, head to Bourbon Street and slurp a frozen daiquiri while strolling through the French Quarter. Start as you mean to go on – at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, guests are welcomed with a complimentary craft cocktail.
Seminyak in Bali, Indonesia
Potato Head Beach Club in Bali where cocktails are served in seashells
Seminyak is full of stylish lounges where you can sip drinks looking out over the sea. At Potato Head Beach Club, award-winning cocktails are served in seashells and bubbling volcano bowls. And at Ku De Ta, you can try exotic flavour fusions like black pepper and grilled pineapple. The rooftop bar at Dash Hotel Seminyak is a great place to start your cocktail celebration.
Leeds in West Yorkshire, UK
Leeds is one of the many reasons why travellers should look beyond London
There are many reasons why travellers should venture up north from London more often – and Leeds’ abundance of cool cocktail bars is just one of them. Start your night on lively Call Lane, where you’ll find prohibition-style Leeds institution The Maven, among many other popular watering holes. At home in a Victorian redbrick in the heart of the city, boutique hotel Quebecs is just a short walk home from many of the local pubs.
Montañita in Ruta del Sol, Ecuador
Fresh and generous juice cocktails at Montañita in Ruta del Sol
Since the 1960s, Montañita has attracted hippies, surfers, and adventure-seekers from around the world. It also has its own cocktail alley, where strong ice-cold drinks come in large plastic cups and reggae beats fill the air. Afterwards, lay back in a hammock at beachside Hostal Kundalini, where breakfast includes tropical fruit and fresh juices.
Lloret de Mar in Catalonia, Spain
Sunset over Lloret de Mar is best enjoyed from a ‘xiringuito’ beach bar
Cocktail lovers flock to this Costa Brava hotspot for its lively atmosphere and value for money – think elaborately garnished drinks in litre-sized cups. Prefer quality over quantity? Many traditional ‘xiringuito’ beach bars on the coast serve up cocktails, fresh juices, and light bites. Aqua Hotel Bertran is situated right in the heart of Lloret de Mar, so a brunch mimosa is never far away.
Milano Marittima in Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Embrace the classics with an Aperol Spritz in Milano Marittima
Milano Marittima is made for living la dolce vita. Should you ever get bored of sipping Aperol Spritz on the Adriatic, there are many restaurants and boutiques to explore – and most beach clubs are open late for thirsty revellers. With direct beach access and panoramic ocean views, the 4-star Bellettini Hotel is as grand as it gets.
Reno in Nevada, USA
Enjoy Reno’s unofficial signature drink, the Bloody Mary
Reno’s seen a rebirth in recent years, with craft breweries, gastropubs, and chic cocktail bars popping up all over the place. Mixologists here are adventurous – think Cajun Martinis and Cotton Candy cocktails. And let’s not forget Reno’s unofficial signature drink, the Bloody Mary. At the lavish Atlantis Hotel Resort Spa, guests can eat in one of eight on-site restaurants before exploring Midtown’s best bars.
Laganas in Ionian Islands, Greece
Look out for plenty of grenadine, colourful umbrellas, and curly straws in Laganas
Laganas is a 24-hour party town on the South coast of Zakynthos. Cocktail bars tend towards old-school recipes heavy on the grenadine, colourful umbrellas, and curly straws – all at bargain prices. Start with a sundowner on the beach and work your way down the strip, where you’ll find flashing lights, fishbowls, and foam parties. Vice Apartments are just a short walk away from town.
*These destinations were the top-rated cities for ‘cocktails’, according to Booking.com travellers.