BATANGA La Capilla, Tequila, Mexico
Forty miles outside Guadalajara, at the base of an extinct volcano, sits the town of Tequila. If you plan to stay for the long haul, set down your glass of straight booze and head to La Capilla to belly up with 80-something-year-old Don Javier. His signature batanga is as legendary as his smile. The generous pour of blanco tequila, lime juice and Coke stirred together with an old knife and served in a salt-rimmed glass will keep you on track.
SAZERAC French 75 Bar, New Orleans
Just steps off the beautiful stink that is Bourbon Street rests the historic French 75 Bar. Its crack team, led by bon vivant Chris Hannah, will quickly make you forget the ubiquitous frozen cocktail machines that litter the strip. The official cocktail of the city of New Orleans, this combo of rye whiskey, absinthe, bitters and sugar is a whiskey drinker’s dream. Just don’t ask them to drop the lemon peel in (it’s all about the oils).
SACHACOOL Astrid y Gastón, Lima
Gastronomy may be the big draw in Latin America’s culinary capital, but I’m here to tell you to come thirsty as well. With access to some of the most exotic ingredients from the Amazon, mixologist Aaron Diaz will wow you with his signature sachacool cocktail. A combination of native pisco, Tahiti lime, peppercorns and sacha culantro (similar in taste to cilantro) will take you on a Peruvian flavor trek.
‘TI PUNCH Habitation Clément, Martinique
“Chacun prépare sa propre mort” or “Each prepares his own death.” Intrigued? Time to dust off the French-English dictionary and head to the paradise that is Martinique. After strolling the gardens of Habitation Clément, cool off with the island’s most famous cocktail. Traditionally, guests are given an entire bottle of rhum agricole (local rum made from fresh cane), sugar and slices of lime to mix their own ’ti punch and take fate into their own hands.
PRAIRIE OYSTER 69 Colebrooke Row, London
Tucked away in London’s Angel neighborhood, 69 Colebrooke Row has for years served some of the most forward-thinking libations across the pond. This one-slurp cocktail combines a tomato juice “yolk,” horseradish vodka and an oyster leaf. The result is a deconstructed then reconstructed bloody mary. An infusion here, a little spherification there and voilà, a spicy, savory explosion that will have your taste buds doing backflips.
HAND-CARVED ICE DIAMOND Bar High Five, Tokyo
I’d sooner drink a spirit neat than pour it over lousy ice. This isn’t a problem at world-acclaimed Bar High Five. Watch in awe as owner and master bartender Hidetsugu Ueno wields a razor-sharp knife to carve the perfect diamond, all while being the most gracious of hosts. The Ichiro or Yamazaki whiskey you choose will be honored to rest on this masterpiece.