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Travel Inspired Cocktail Recipes

Delicious cocktail recipes originate from all over the world. At Mad River Distillers, we love to make riffs on all kinds of cocktails, but some of our favorites include those inspired by our travels and far away places. Here, we wanted to share just a handful of travel inspired cocktail recipes that you can try from home. Some ingredients require a little preparation, but the resulting flavor will be well worth the effort.

This cocktail was inspired by our bartender Gragen Cook’s trip to Vietnam, and his discovery of Tamarind while there. Tamarind is a fruit, but also a spice in many ways. It’s sweet, tart and savory. In Vietnam, you’ll find it in desserts, soda drinks, and savory seafood dishes. Here, Gragen incorporates the flavors of Tamarind into a cocktail recipe featuring our Revolution Rye.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-1.5 oz. of Revolution Rye
-1/2 oz. of Liquid Alchemist Tamarind Syrup
-1/2 oz. of Honey Simple Syrup
-1/4 oz. of lemon
-1/4 oz. of lime
-1 full dropper of Bennett Exorcism Bitters
-Fever-Tree premium Indian Tonic Water

To make this from home, combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice, then top with Fever-Tree premium Indian Tonic Water. Garnish with fresh herbs (such as mint, lemon balm, and thai basil), as well as a lemon and lime wheel.

Did you know that the Pina Colada was invented in Puerto Rico? Inspired by a visit to Puerto Rico, Gragen developed this recipe as a riff on the popular drink. Featuring our Vanilla Rum, this cocktail is both zippy and delicious.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
1.5 oz. of Vanilla Rum
-2 oz. of unsweetened coconut puree cream
-1 oz. of simple syrup-1/2 oz. of fresh lime juice
-1/2 oz. of fresh pineapple juice
-4 drops of Fee Brothers Orange Blossom Water

Combine ingredients in a shaker and dry shake. Next, shake with ice and strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Grate fresh lime zest over the top, and enjoy!

While the Expat cocktail originates from Gramercy Tavern in New York, Gragen’s visit to Puerto Rico is what actually inspired this cocktail recipe. Puerto Rico is known for their rum drinks. With its beautiful and vibrant mango color, this deliciously tropical cocktail features our Maple Cask Rum and a homemade lime oleo-saccharum.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-4 lime skins
-8 oz. of raw cane sugar
-8 oz. of hot water
-2 oz. of Maple Cask Rum
-½ oz. of Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
-¼ oz of. Lime juice
-¼ oz. of lime oleo-saccharum
-3 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Lime Oleo-Saccharum Instructions:
Remove zest from 4 lime skins (just the zest, and none of the white pith). In a bowl, combine the zest with 8 oz. of raw cane sugar. Muddle the sugar and lime zest together for several minutes to release oils from the zest, then place it in a closed container overnight. After infusing overnight, add 8 oz. of hot water and dissolve the sugar. Strain the liquid to remove all lime zests. 

Cocktail Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel, and enjoy!

Stout Sour cocktail on the Burlington Tasting Room bar

Ireland is well known for their incredible stout beers, in particular Guinness. Our spin on a whiskey sour is made using a stout simple syrup, made with Guiness, along with our Revolution Rye. It’s the perfect cocktail to try if you love the flavor of a stout, but want to drink something a little less filling.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-2-16 oz. cans of Guinness
-2-2.5 cups of sugar
-2 oz. of Revolution Rye
-1 oz. of fresh lemon juice
-2 oz. of stout simple syrup

Stout Simple Syrup Instructions:
Bring 2-16 oz. cans of stout to just below a rolling simmer in a saucepan. Heat for 2-3 hours, whisking every 1/2 hour. Remove the froth that forms at the top. Once you have reduced the stout to about half (16 oz.), add 2-2.5 cups of sugar and stir until it is fully dissolved. Set the simple syrup aside to cool before using, and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Cocktail Instructions:
Combine all ingredients above in a shaker with ice. Shake well, then strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.

The El Presidente is a cocktail that originates from Cuba, combining rum with Curacao, vermouth and grenadine. In our version of this simple cocktail, we use our versatile silver Rum 44 along with El Guapo’s Cajun Grenadine.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-1.5 oz. of Rum 44
-¾ oz. of Dry Vermouth
-¼  oz. of Dry Curacao
-1 barspoon of El Guapo Cajun Grenadine

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir for about 30 seconds. Strain, and serve up in a couple glass. Garnish with a Luxardo cherry.

While you may not be able to travel the world via land or sea, you can easily experience the wonders of the world by taste. We hope you’ll try each of these travel-inspired cocktail recipes above, and if you do, be sure to share your photos with us on social! We’d also love to hear about your own travel-inspired cocktail recipes. If you need any cocktail supplies, be sure to stop by our Burlington Tasting Room to peruse our cocktail supplies and to pick up a bottle of rum, rye or whiskey. Cheers!

Written and published by Brianne Lucas on May 23, 2023.

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