The World’s Great Cities by Their Great Cocktails

The best thing about travel is trying out the local customs, and how better to kick off that exploration than with a delicious libation?

Here are five great cities, channelled through the famous cocktails they gave birth to. When in Rome…

The City: London

The Cocktail: Espresso Martini

Where to Try It: The Soho Brasserie

One of the most famous stories in mixology tells of how Soho’s Greek Street was the fairly predictable birthplace of this now world-wide cocktail. A 1980s Dick Bradsell was asked by a sadly anonymous model to give her something to “wake me up then f*** me up”. Fresh espresso fulfils the first wish and vodka the second in this exquisite picker-upper. We think the best place to drink it, is the bar that invented it! The Soho Brasserie is still going strong but is, of course, too cool for a website.

The City: Los Angeles

The Cocktail: Zombie

Where to Try It: Tiki Ti

There’s no point getting precious about Zombies. Donn Beach is the inventor, and his eponymous bar is nearby, but since he changed the recipe all the time, you might as well enjoy the tiki classic somewhere a little less frenetic.

The City: New York

The Cocktail: Manhattan

Where to Try It: Employees Only

There are so many famous New York cocktails. But to offset the boozy broadside of the West Coast’s Zombie, we’ve chosen the more refined Manhattan. Find the best one in town at Employees Only, a West Village ‘20s bar that puts it top of the menu.

The City: Paris

The Cocktail: French ‘75

Where to Try It: Prescription Cocktail Club

The French famously invented hydraulics, and the first field artillery to use this technology was the French-made Matériel de 75mm Mle. The French penchant for using liquids to help cause explosions didn’t end after WWI however, with the French 75 emerging as a high-calibre cocktail in the ‘20s. That’s what you get when you choose Champagne to mix your gin with! The Prescription Cocktail Club will find your medicine.

The City: Sao Paulo

The Cocktail: Caipirinha

Where to Try It: Veloso

Like rum, cachaça is made from sugar cane. But where rum is made from sugarcane juice, the refinery product molasses is used for cachaça. This stiff spirit is most at home in the Caipirinha cocktail, which is basically pure cachaça with more sugar, lime and ice crushed together. It was originally designed to fight Spanish flu in Sao Paulo, so head to Veloso if you’re in town for the real deal, and a whole host of variants.

At Simplexity, we pride ourselves on our local knowledge of the world’s greatest cities. Whether travelling for business or pleasure, let our expert Travel Managers take care of every aspect of your trip. Contact Simplexity today on 0203 535 9290 or email