Increasingly, we're becoming as excited about our cocktails as we are our food. Whether you’re partial to a cheeky mojito or celebratory negroni with friends, it's easy to become a more discerning cocktail drinker.
30 Nov 2013 - 2:50 PM  UPDATED 18 Dec 2013 - 11:27 AM

The SBS Food Guide to Cocktails takes a closer look at cocktails, from the colourful and creative to the classics. In this guide, you’ll learn how to make the world’s most popular cocktails, unlock the enduring magic of martinis, and discover how easy it is to set up a bar at home.




Piña colada

The official beverage of Puerto Rico since 1978, this cocktail supposedly originated in the 1800s, when the legendary Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresi gave his crew a mixture of coconut juice, pineapple and white rum.


Mojitos were a favourite drink of Ernest Hemingway and he was a regular patron of La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba, which is credited as the cocktail’s birthplace.

Singapore sling

This extravagant cocktail was developed in 1915 by a bartender at the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Scribbled notes for the original recipe are still on display today at the Raffles Hotel Museum.


One of the earliest mentions of the Negroni came from the famous filmmaker Orson Welles, when he wrote about the new cocktail in the Coshocton Tribune, saying, "The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other."

French 75

Created at Harry’s New York Bar and popularised at the legendary Stork Club, this drink was said to have such a kick it was like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm howitzer artillery piece, also known as a 75 Cocktail in France.

Pimm's cup

James Pimm, the owner of a London oyster bar, invented Pimm’s in 1823. The original drink was gin-based, featuring quinine and a secret mixture of herbs. It was served in a small tankard known as a No.1 cup.


Caipirinhas – the national cocktail of Brazil – were once virtually unknown outside the nation. However, the drink has become more popular and widely available in recent years, in large part due to the exportation of first rate brands of cachaça.

Mint julep

The mint julep has been promoted in association with the Kentucky Derby since 1938. Each year, an estimated 120,000 juleps are served over the two-day period of the derby.


Several stories exist as to the origin of the margarita recipe – none of which have been conclusively proven. It remains, by far, one of the most popular drinks in the US.

Pisco sour

Since 2003, Peru has celebrated a National Pisco Sour Day on the first Saturday of February. The cocktail was invented by Victor Vaughen Morris, an American bartender, in the early 1920s.