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Feature: Top beach destinations for enjoying a cocktail in the sun

Friday, 3 June 2011 1:54 PM

Our ethos at iWantSun.co.uk is all about recommending the best destinations for you to enjoy a couple of weeks in the sun. Nothing could be more relaxing than lounging on a beach with a cocktail in hand so we’ve put together a guide to the world’s most famous cocktails and the destinations that inspired them!

Jamaica

Here in this sunny slice of the Caribbean where palm forests merge with the blue azure of the sea, cocktails are king! Rum is a way of life in Jamaica, and visitors to this spectacular destination would be hard pressed to get away from it. But why would you want to?! King of the Caribbean rum production, producing dozens of brands each year in numerous colours and flavours, Jamaica is host to luxurious resorts where all you have to do is sit back and relax, cocktail in hand. Start with the famed banana daiquiri with its mixture of rum, banana, sugar, and orange juice, before heading onto the classic rum punch. As varied as a jerk seasoning recipe, each bar and hotel makes them differently. Our personal favourite is made by mixing two types of rum with coconut milk and then adding pineapple, orange, and lime juice. It sure does pack a punch! On the north of the island, the 400 acre luxurious Half Moon resort boasts a private lagoon, spa, spacious villas, and nine bars! Here, award winning bartender Fitzgerald Haughton is always coming up with new concoctions. His, The First Kiss, mixes white rum with melon liqueur, syrup, nutmeg, oconut cream, orange and pineapple juice. Then all you have to do is sit back and drink it while the sun sets....

Cuba

Possibly the cocktail capital of the world, more concoctions spring from this angelic isle than from any other. The relaxed but vibrant way of life so perfectly complements the variety of drinks on offer, that our mouths are already watering just thinking about them! The birthplace of the Mojito, the island is another major producer of rum, and most visitors will be blown away by the number of cocktails available in most bars. Fly into Havana and spend a night or two touring the colonial streets and partying in the jazz bars. Try a Hemingway Special in dedication to the writer who spent so long here. Created with rum, cherry liqueur, grapefruit juice, and lemon, it perfectly counter-balances the intense heat! The El Gato Tuerto is a cool bohemian bar with live music on most nights.

But the capital is not the only place to sip a Pina Colada or Havanana. Head out to the coast to many of the island’s luxury resorts to sit and stare into the Atlantic or Caribbean for some ultimate sun-living. The Paradisus Varadero Resort and Spa is located on the north of the island in the Varadero ecological reserve. The white sanded beaches and thatched beach umbrellas are stunning, and the six bars serve all manner of cocktails all night long. A great option to get the party started is the Voltface, which is made from run, vodka, and tequila!

Italy

Sure the Italians are known for their incredible range of fantastic wines, but this fashionable and cultural nation have done their bit to move the cocktail image away from tacky fruit mixes and Happy Hour. The cocktail trend really took off in the 50s when new drink trends arrived from America. Just imagine sitting overlooking the stunning Amalfi Coast while sipping a sparkling wine Bellini, or passionately chatting over a vermouth and campari based Americano as the sun sets in a Milanese bar. These unique and chic drinks epitomise the grandeur of this famous beverage Cardinale is a mixture of gin, vermouth, and bitter campari, while Angelo Azzuro is a tempting mixture of gin, triple sec, and blue curacao. For an atmospheric stay on the stunning Amalfi Coast, the Palazzo Sasso is a five-star resort set in a 12th century Italian villa. Set atop a 35 metre high cliff overlooking the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, the resort stares out over some of the coast’s most stunning picturesque fishing villages. Really soak up that renowned Italian style in the Caffe dell’Arte with its art deco interiors and sea views. Ask for a God Father, made from amaretto and whisky in an Old Fashioned glass, or sip a Rossini (or two!) with its tasty combination of sparkling wine and strawberry juice. A perfect thirst quencher after a day’s sunbathing!

Whether your lounging on a beach in Mexico or jet-skiing in the Algarve, you’ll never be too far away from a cocktail.

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