When you drink, it’s best to drink with a purpose. It’s why toasts are so popular; drinking just isn’t as fun when you’re only drinking to be drinking and not to celebrate or commiserate about something. It adds a ceremonial element to any night of drinking, no matter how dingy or boring the venue. And of course, one of the most unifying toasts — one that can pull in strangers and enemies alike — is a toast to a common homeland.
But a drink to the homeland needs to be paired with the proper drink. A toast made with red Solo cups full of Miller Lite doesn’t mean all that much unless you’re toasting to Miller Lite and Solo cups, which you absolutely shouldn’t be doing under any circumstances.
A proper toast to Queen and Country, to the Fatherland, or to your Home Sweet Home is a drink that needs to be both symbolic of the country itself and also contains elements of the homeland within it. A Scotsman is never far from Scotland with a glass of Scotch in his hand. Not only is he drinking a spirit that is interchangeable with his own demonym, but he’s drinking ingredients that originated in Scotland.
And naturally, it’s even better if you can cut the liquor with other native ingredients into a full cocktail representation of your country’s drink offerings. Lime and tequila are Mexican staples, but are both a bit harsh on their own. Throw them together and you’ve got a delicious Margarita, a perfect drink to represent the great land of Mexico.
This is why we’ve put together a list of perfect cocktail and country matches. These are what you should drink if you’re a Brazilian attempting to drink away the woes of a humiliating World Cup, or if you’re an American trying to recreate the Great Melting Pot in mixological terms, or if you’re French and are celebrating the natural superiority of all things French.
Slainte, Kanpai, and Salud. Now drink up!
There are a lot of reasons to be drinking if you’re a Brazilian right now. The World Cup is over, and it ended for the hosts in what was probably the most painful-to-watch rout ever in international soccer. Fortunately, the choice of Brazil’s most patriotic drink is easy: It’s the caipirinha. The caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, and when translated into American English, it basically means “little hillbilly.” That name alone is victory enough for Brazil.
Puerto Rico: Piña Colada
The piña colada (“strained pineapple”) was allegedly invented by the pirate Roberto Cofresí, who was known to offer his band of buccaneers the cocktail when morale was low. The piña colada is the official drink of Puerto Rico, and even has its own holiday on July 10. The piña colada earns extra points for inventing what is probably the definitive Caribbean drink, containing, as it does, such quintessential tropical ingredients as rum, pineapple, and coconut.
Matt Hershberger is a contributing writer to The Daily Meal. You can follow him at @MattHershberger