Today, we celebrate the diverse cocktail culture across America’s 50 states by highlighting five states and present a drink to represent each region’s culture, unique architecture, festivals or landscape. As the US is one of the top most culturally diverse nations in the world, it was hard to choose just five states and one drink for each. However, we have decided to focus on some of the most populated and well-known states in the US: Florida, Louisiana, California, New York State, and Texas. All you need to recreate these tasty drinks at home is a few ingredients listed under each section or on the corresponding recipe from the Barillio blog and your bartender kit from our store – easy!
Florida – Fresh Strawberry Mojito
The Florida Strawberry Festival is a family-friendly event with strange traditions involving strawberry spaghetti and strawberry garlic mashed potatoes. The festival is popular among locals and out-of-towners and runs over two weeks during the strawberry harvest in Feburary and March every year.
We could have chosen several strawberry cocktails for this state, such as a Strawberry Margarita or the iconic Strawberry Daiquiri. However, our pick is a Fresh Strawberry Mojito, which is also refreshing for the heat of Florida and ideal for beachside vacations in Miami.
You could even build this strawberry mojito using a rum straight out of the State of Florida. For example, the Oak and Cane Gold Rum is a fruity and slightly sweet variety of rum made with sugarcane and oranges grown on Floridan soil and aged six years in oak barrels in this sunshine state.
New Orleans is in the Southern State of Louisiana. This city has a reputation for its lively music scene and hosts serval festivals throughout the year. As a melting pot of cultures, we thought New Orleans deserved two options for cocktails and mixed drinks to represent such a vibrant and diverse city.
Firstly, as New Orleans, Louisiana, is known for its French and Spanish architecture, we thought it was only fitting to choose a drink from Spain, Europe, as an option for this State. Therefore, our Sangria recipe is based on the traditional recipe from Spain and Portugal, where it originated.
This red wine mixed drink with sugar and fruits became a sensation in the US as early as 1964 when it was showcased at the New York World’s Fair. However, the Romans enjoyed this delicious pitcher-perfect drink over 2000 years ago! The first Sangrias concocted were almost like watery wines, with the addition of herbs and spices to disguise the bad taste of the wine. The wine was added to kill the bacteria in the water as it was not safe to drink water pure.
Secondly, as a homage to the senators of Louisiana who attempted to make the Sazerac the official cocktail of this state in 2008 after absinthe was legalised the year before, here is an easy recipe for this cocktail using absinthe and whiskey. This cocktail originated in the 1800s, around the same time that Absinthe was invented.
- Add ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) absinthe to a lowball glass with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of sugar syrup. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Introduce 3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters, 1 dash of Angostura Bitters and 1.5 fl oz (45 ml) rye whiskey into the glass. Use your Barillio spoon from the bartender kit to mix these ingredients gently in the glass.
- Add 2 tablespoons (30ml cold water) and top the glass with ice. Stir until combined.
- Leave to chill for a few minutes, then garnish with an orange or lemon twist before serving. If your drink is too strong, add another 2 tablespoons of cold water or allow the ice to melt before tasting.
California is known for several famous landmarks, including the infamous Hollywood Sign in LA and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. However, California also lies on the West Coast of our county and is not short of beaches or sea views. Therefore, there is no more fitting cocktail than the Piña Colada, the ultimate seaside cocktail.
Serve your creamy coconut and pineapple concoction with a helping of Cobb Salad. This refreshing and high-protein salad was invented in California. It uses hard-boiled eggs, bacon, roast chicken, and avocado and perfectly accompanies the Piña Colada to complete the ultimate Californian cocktail moment.
The Manhattan is an obvious choice for the State of New York. The Manhattan is similar to a classic Old Fashioned. However, the sweet vermouth used (instead of sugar and water) gives the Manhattan a deeper and more reddish hue and is a slightly stronger, boozier drink.
To make the Manhattan, follow the Old Fashioned recipe on the Barillio blog with a tiny alternation. Replace the simple syrup and water from the Old Fashioned with 1 ounce of sweet vermouth. Garnish with a brandied cherry or lemon twist. Just be sure to stir and not shake this cocktail, as shaking can cause this delicate balance of sweet and dry ingredients to become cloudy. Shaking can also bruise the alcohol, affecting the intricate taste of the Manhattan.
As a patriotic state, Texas has been given the Most American Cocktail from the Barillio blog. Our recipe was created as a 4th of July drink. However, as the colors of the Texas state flag are also red, white and blue, this drink seems fitting for the occasion. This drink’s ingredients list is slightly longer than most cocktails on the Barillio blog. Still, it’s worth sourcing the more obscure ingredients of Poprocks, Blue Curaçao Liqueur and Grenadine as a treat.
Texas is the largest state of mainland America with 268,597 square miles of land. And within this huge stretch of land you can find cowboys, rodeos, ranching and country music. Therefore, put your best foot forward as you dance the two-step with a glass of this red, white and blue cocktail in your hand.
We have barely scratched the surface of the diverse cocktail culture across the 50 states of the USA. We hope you enjoyed learning about these six cocktail recipes and mixed drinks that suit the five states chosen for this article, and we may see you soon for part 2 on the Barillio blog. In the meantime, happy mixing!