A Mexican concoction that's gone global, the margarita is popular on and off the beach. But there is more to beach drinking than sipping on margaritas. Here is a list of the top beach cocktails and the best beaches to enjoy them on:
1. Piña Colada, Puerto Rico
The pineapple, coconut, and rum slurry known as piña colada had been popular in the Caribbean for at least a hundred years before Ramon "Monchito" Marrero, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar (now called Oasis Bar) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, perfected it in the 1950s using cream of coconut. Today, San Juan’s signature cocktail is sipped all over the world, but tastes best in Puerto Rico, by the beach or pool.
2. Caipirinha, Brazil
Made with sugar, lime, and cachaça—a spirit fermented from sugarcane juice— the caipirinha is ubiquitous in Brazil’s seaside cafés. Even vendors on the beach mix them. Variations abound, the most popular is caipifrutas, which adds one or more of the region’s wide array of fruits, such as caju (cashew fruit), passionfruit, mango, or kiwi.
3. Mai-Tai, Polynesia
Upon tasting this cocktail of rum, orange curaçao, orgeat syrup (made from almonds), and lime at Polynesian-style lounge Trader Vic’s (then called Hinky Dink) in Oakland, California, in 1944, a Tahitian guest remarked, “maita'i ro'a 'ae,” meaning “out of this world.” Hence the name mai-tai, or so the story goes. The drink got a boost in Elvis’s hit movie Blue Hawaii and has since become a staple at tiki lounges everywhere.
4. Red Stripe Beer, Jamaica
So identified is Red Stripe with the Jamaican national identity that when the island formally gained independence from Great Britain in 1962, one columnist suggested the real date should have been 1928, when the beer was first brewed on the island in Kingston. After a couple of marketing glitches in the U.S. market, the lager is now the most popular of all Caribbean beers.
5. Daiquiri, Cuba
Thanks to the prevalence of rum, lime, and sugar in the Caribbean, the trio became the base for many of the region’s cocktails (as well as the British sailor’s grog). Named for a beach near Santiago, Cuba, the first daiquiri was allegedly invented by a group of American engineers working in the area whose gin supplies had run dry. The drink today is more recognizable to Americans in its fruit-flavored frozen form.
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