As a bartender, I've had the pleasure of serving drinks to all kinds of people.
From those who stick to the classics to those who are always on the hunt for something new and exciting. And let me tell you, there's nothing more exciting than an exotic cocktail.
But what makes a cocktail exotic? Is it the ingredients? The presentation? The backstory? The truth is, it's a little bit of everything.
An exotic cocktail should transport you to a far-off land, tantalize your taste buds with unique flavors, and leave you wanting more.
That's why I've decided to put together a list of the best exotic cocktail recipes I've come across in my years behind the bar.
These are the drinks that have wowed customers, impressed colleagues, and made me fall in love with mixology all over again.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to explore the world of exotic cocktails.
From the spicy to the sweet, the fruity to the boozy, there's a drink for every palate on this list. And who knows, maybe you'll find your new favorite cocktail.
1. Lychee French 75 Cocktail
The Lychee French 75 Cocktail is a refreshing and sparkling drink that is perfect for those who love gin and Prosecco. This cocktail is a twist on the classic French 75, with the addition of lychees and rosewater, which gives it a unique and exotic flavor. The combination of gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup with Prosecco creates a kick that lives up to its name.
The cocktail is pretty and elegant, making it perfect for a romantic evening or a special occasion. It is a dangerous drink, so it should be consumed with caution. The Lychee French 75 Cocktail is a must-try for anyone who loves exotic cocktails that pack a punch.
2. Swinging Sultan Cocktail
The Swinging Sultan Cocktail is a Turkish-inspired take on the classic Cosmopolitan. This exotic cocktail features a unique blend of pomegranate juice, lime juice, orange liqueur, and a mist of raki, which is a Turkish anise-flavored liquor.
The addition of raki gives the cocktail an extra kick and a hint of its exotic origin. The sweet citrus of the orange liqueur balances the tartness of the pomegranate and lime, making it a refreshing and exciting drink. The Swinging Sultan Cocktail is perfect for those who want to try something new and exotic.
3. Italicus Cocktail
The Italicus Cocktail is a unique and exotic drink that combines the flavors of bergamot and chamomile for a surprising and delightful taste. This gin-based cocktail is not only visually stunning, but also offers an introduction to a lesser-known liqueur, Italicus Rosolio Di Bergamotto, which originates from Italy.
The dehydrated lemon wheels make for an elegant garnish, adding a visual wow-factor to the already impressive drink. This cocktail is perfect for impressing guests or for a special occasion. If you're looking for an exotic and flavorful cocktail, the Italicus Cocktail is definitely worth a try.
4. Strawberry Lava Flow Pina Colada
The Strawberry Lava Flow Pina Colada is a refreshing summer cocktail that combines the classic flavors of a Pina Colada with a Strawberry Daiquiri. Made with fresh strawberries, coconut cream, pineapple, and rum, this partially frozen drink is perfect for beating the heat.
The strawberry puree rises above the cream of coconut and banana puree, giving it a lava-like appearance. It's a popular tropical destination cocktail served at all-inclusive resorts and beach resorts. If you're a fan of fruity and frozen cocktails, you'll love this fun and exotic Miami Vice cocktail recipe.
5. Empress Elderflower Spanish Gin & Tonic
The Empress Elderflower Spanish Gin & Tonic is a magical and delicious cocktail that is sure to impress. Made with Empress Gin 1908, which is infused with butterfly pea flower, this cocktail has a signature purple hue that changes color when mixed with an acidic ingredient. The gin is also infused with classic ingredients like juniper, coriander, ginger, and rose buds, as well as the Empress hotel's proprietary tea blend, giving it a distinct flavor profile.
This Spanish Gin & Tonic is topped with botanicals and fruit, making it a refreshing and indulgent drink that can be enjoyed year-round. If you're looking for a unique and exotic cocktail that is both visually stunning and delicious, the Empress Elderflower Spanish Gin & Tonic is the perfect choice.
6. Strawberry Rose Lychee Mojito
The Strawberry Rose Lychee Mojito is a unique and exotic take on the classic mojito. The combination of lychee fruit and syrup adds a sweet and floral flavor that is complemented by the subtle addition of rose water. Muddled strawberries give the cocktail a beautiful pink hue and add a delicious fruity taste.
The recipe can be modified to use fresh lychees for a more complex flavor. This cocktail is perfect for those looking to try something new and exciting. It's a refreshing and delicious drink that will transport you to a tropical paradise. Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind cocktail experience.
7. Ombre Hibiscus Prosecco Cocktail
The Ombre Hibiscus Prosecco Cocktail is a stunning and delicious drink that is perfect for any occasion. Made with whole hibiscus flowers and Da Luca prosecco, this cocktail has a light, sweet, and refreshing taste that is perfect for brunch or celebrations.
The layered ombre effect of the hibiscus flowers adds an exotic and unique touch to the cocktail. The flowers are edible and slightly chewy, making them a fun and interesting addition to the drink. This cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking for a beautiful and tasty exotic cocktail.
8. Gin Prosecco Cocktail With Chamomile & Tangerine
The Gin Prosecco Cocktail with Chamomile & Tangerine is a unique and refreshing twist on the traditional sparkling wine cocktail. Made with gin, chamomile tea, tangerines, white balsamic vinegar, and topped off with prosecco, this cocktail is a perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors.
The addition of white balsamic vinegar may seem unusual, but it adds a nice tangy note to the drink. The cocktail is easy to make and can be pre-made ahead of time, making it a great option for entertaining guests. If you're looking for an exotic cocktail that will surprise and delight your taste buds, give the Gin Prosecco Cocktail with Chamomile & Tangerine a try.
9. Malibu Bay Breeze
If you're looking for a tropical cocktail to transport you to an island paradise, look no further than the Malibu Bay Breeze. This refreshing drink is the perfect combination of sweet and tart, with the fruity flavors of pineapple and cranberry juice perfectly complementing the coconut notes of Malibu rum.
Whether you're lounging by the pool or hosting a summer party, the Malibu Bay Breeze is sure to be a hit with your guests. And with only three simple ingredients, it's easy to make a big batch to serve in a pitcher or punch bowl. So why not mix up a round of Malibu Bay Breezes and let the good times roll?
10. Pink Grapefruit and Cilantro Spanish Gin & Tonic
If you are looking for a refreshing and unique cocktail to try, the "Pink Grapefruit and Cilantro Spanish Gin & Tonic" is definitely worth a taste. This exotic cocktail is a twist on the classic English gin and tonic, with a lighter and more flavorful touch.
The use of a herbal syrup made with cilantro and grapefruit rind adds a distinct flavor to the drink, while fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice gives it a sweet and sour taste. The cocktail is topped with fizzy tonic water, making it a perfect summer drink to enjoy in the sun. If you are a fan of gin and looking to try something new, the "Pink Grapefruit and Cilantro Spanish Gin & Tonic" is a must-try.
11. Mezcal Margarita Fizz
The Mezcal Margarita Fizz is a unique and exotic cocktail that combines the classic flavors of a margarita with the smoky notes of Mezcal. It's a salty, tart, slightly smoky, and sweet cocktail that is perfect for sipping alongside your favorite Mexican food.
The addition of club soda gives it a refreshing fizz that is sure to please. Overall, it's a delicious and unique cocktail that is perfect for those looking to try something new.
12. Blueberry Mojito Float
The Blueberry Mojito Float is a refreshing and unique twist on the classic mojito. This cocktail features a blueberry sorbet that adds a pop of color and flavor to the traditional mint and lime flavors.
The addition of fresh blueberries and light rum makes this cocktail perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. The Blueberry Mojito Float is a must-try for anyone looking for a fun and exotic cocktail that will impress their guests.
Caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail, is a refreshing and exotic drink that is perfect for sipping on a hot summer evening. Made with fresh lime, raw sugar, and cachaça (a type of Brazilian rum made from sugar cane), this cocktail has a rustic appearance due to the crushed lime pieces at the bottom of the glass.
Some people debate whether to serve it with crushed ice or ice cubes, but either way, it packs a punch and becomes sweeter and smoother as the ice melts. The name "caipirinha" translates to "little countryside drink," which adds to its charm. If you're looking for a tropical cocktail that will transport you to Brazil, give the Caipirinha a try.
14. Sparkling Watermelon Lychee Cocktail
The Sparkling Watermelon Lychee Cocktail is a refreshing and visually stunning drink that is perfect for summer. It combines the sweet and juicy flavors of watermelon with the delicate and floral taste of lychee juice, creating a deliciously exotic blend that is sure to impress. The addition of a hard watermelon seltzer gives this cocktail a fizzy kick, making it even more refreshing on a hot day.
The garnish of a thin slice of watermelon, a couple of lychees, and a sprig of mint adds the perfect finishing touch to this already impressive cocktail. If you're looking for a drink that is both tasty and eye-catching, the Sparkling Watermelon Lychee Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
15. Toasted Coconut Pineapple Cocktail
The Toasted Coconut Pineapple Cocktail is a refreshing and exotic cocktail that will transport you to a tropical beach. Made with rum and coconut rum, this cocktail is not too sweet and has a delicious toasted coconut flavor. What makes this cocktail unique is that it is served in a carved-out pineapple shell, making it a fun and Instagram-worthy drink.
The recipe also includes instructions on how to carve a pineapple, which adds an extra element of fun to the cocktail-making process. If you're looking for a refreshing and unique cocktail to impress your guests, the Toasted Coconut Pineapple Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
Mojitos are a refreshing and minty cocktail that is sure to impress your guests. Made with fresh mint leaves, lime juice, and club soda, this drink is perfect for any occasion. What sets this recipe apart is the infused simple syrup that adds a delightful sweetness to the drink without being overpowering.
This cocktail pairs well with a variety of dishes, including Cuban and Mexican cuisine. If you're looking for a drink that is both flavorful and easy to make, Mojitos are definitely worth a try.
17. Tropical Mimosas
Looking for an exotic twist on a classic brunch cocktail? Look no further than the Tropical Mimosa! This refreshing drink combines the flavors of mango and pineapple with a splash of grenadine for a beautiful sunset hue.
Topped off with a kiwi slice, this mimosa is sure to impress your guests. Just remember to make them a la carte, as the champagne loses fizz once it's opened. If you're looking to switch up your brunch routine, give the Tropical Mimosa a try!
18. The Painkiller Cocktail
The Painkiller Cocktail is an exotic drink created in the 1970s at the Soggy Dollar Bar on the British Virgin Islands. Made with Pusser's Rum, freshly squeezed orange and pineapple juice, and cream of coconut, this tropical cocktail is a spin on the classic Piña Colada.
The Painkiller's distinct aroma contains traces of molasses, toffee, honey, ginger, and cinnamon. It's a rich and delicious drink that's perfect for anyone who wants to feel like they're on vacation.
19. Spicy Thai Basil Cucumber Cocktail
The Spicy Thai Basil Cucumber Cocktail is a refreshing and exotic drink that perfectly balances the heat of hot peppers with the coolness of cucumber. This cocktail is a perfect representation of Thai cuisine with its use of Thai basil, lime, and hot peppers.
The addition of white rum adds a touch of sweetness to the drink, making it a perfect summer cocktail. The use of Chinese Five Color peppers as a garnish adds a pop of color to the drink and is sure to impress your guests. This cocktail is a must-try for anyone who loves Thai food and exotic drinks.
20. Hemingway Daiquiri
The Hemingway Daiquiri is a refreshing and unique variation of the classic daiquiri cocktail. Named after the famous writer Ernest Hemingway, this cocktail features maraschino liqueur and fresh grapefruit juice, which adds a balanced combination of flavors while cutting the tartness of the lime.
The Hemingway Daiquiri is a perfect summer cocktail that will leave you wanting more. If you're looking for an exotic cocktail that's both classic and refreshing, the Hemingway Daiquiri is a must-try.
21. Fresh Strawberry Lemon Drop Martini
The Fresh Strawberry Lemon Drop Martini is a delightful twist on the classic lemon drop cocktail. Made with fresh strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and vodka, this cocktail is perfect for those who love a sweet and tangy drink. The rim of the martini glass is coated with extra fine sugar, adding an extra layer of sweetness.
This cocktail is perfect for a summer evening or a special occasion. The strawberry and lemon garnish adds a pop of color and flavor to the drink, making it visually appealing as well. If you're looking for a refreshing and fruity cocktail, the Fresh Strawberry Lemon Drop Martini is definitely worth a try.
22. Zombie Cocktail
The Zombie Cocktail is a vintage drink that was invented by Donn Beach in the late 1930s. It's a high-octane cocktail full of delicious fruit juices that make you feel like you’re downing sophisticated candy. The cocktail is a blend of different types of rum, pineapple and papaya juice.
It’s the papaya juice that makes this one fairly unique. The flavor of the papaya juice is sweet, mellow and sometimes described as a cross between banana and pineapple. The Zombie Cocktail is a must-try for anyone who loves rum-based cocktails and is perfect for a tropical-themed party.
23. Prickly Pear Margarita
The Prickly Pear Margarita is a stunning pink cocktail that will surely turn heads. This exotic cocktail is a Southwestern favorite that is perfect for the end of summer. The vibrant color of the drink is eye-catching and is sure to make a statement at any party. The cocktail is made with fresh prickly pears, which are abundant in the Southwest from July to September.
The recipe is simple and easy to follow, making it a great choice for anyone who wants to try something new. The cocktail can be garnished with a sugar cayenne rim and lime slice for an added touch of flavor. Overall, the Prickly Pear Margarita is a refreshing and unique cocktail that is perfect for any occasion.