Latin-Influenced Cocktails

When it comes to mixed drinks, none are more popular as a group than Latin-Influenced cocktails. Maybe it's their exotic connotations, or their vacation-minded attitudes. Most likely it's the base ingredient spirits that make them favored– rum and tequila– which also originate from Spanish-speaking countries. Whatever the reason, they are enjoyed by cocktail lovers the world over.
Here are the classics, along with newly inspired concoctions created by mixologist Freddy Diaz.

Caribbean cocktails


Pomegranate Smash

2 bar spoons of fresh pomegranate
1/2 pint glass of mint leaves with sprigs
2 oz. Gran Duque D’Alba Spanish Brandy
3/4 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

Technique: First the muddle mint, then add pomegranate arils and lightly press down with your muddler so as not to break the seeds. Shake with ice. Double strain over fresh ice into a highball glass. Garnish with pomegranate arils.

This is a Sour Cocktail which is an American classic using lemon juice and sugar. I simply added lightly muddled pomegranate arils and Spanish Brandy. Fresh pomegranate fruit which was introduced to South America and California by the Spanish settlers around 1769. We still get most of our pomegranates from South American countries.
- Freddy Diaz

Pomegranate Smash

Spanish Daiquiri

1½ oz. Dos Maderas 5+3 Spanish Rum
1 oz. simple syrup
¾ oz. fresh lime juice

Technique: Shake ingredients with ice. Strain over crushed ice piled high in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin lime wheel.

The Daiquiri was invented in Cuba around 1898, believed to get its name from Daiquiri, a town east of Santiago de Cuba. Then made famous by Hemingway's favorite bartender Constantino Ribalaigua at El Floridita in Havana during the 1930's. This version is nicely well balanced and flavorful with 8 year old Spanish rum.
- Freddy Diaz

Spanish Daiquiri


Brandy Pineapple Smash

1½ oz. Gran Duque d’Alba Spanish Brandy
3 muddled chunks of pineapple
1 mint sprig and 6 leaves
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup

Technique: Muddle pineapple chunks, lightly muddle mint. Add the rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, double strain over fresh ice into tall rocks or highball glass. Add club soda and garnish with small diced pineapples and a sprig of mint.

The Smash or the Mint Julep are American classics which became very popular bourbon cocktails at Louisville's Kentucky Derby in the late 1930's. Prior to that, brandies were used in the early nineteenth century Juleps. This is a spin off this cocktail using fresh mint, pineapples from Costa Rica and Spanish Brandy.
- Freddy Diaz

Brandy Pineapple Smash


Hibiscus Melon

1½ oz. Dos Maderas 5+3 Spanish Rum
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. Boiron Watermelon Puree
¾ oz. Homemade Hibiscus Infused Syrup*

Technique: Shake ingredients with ice. Strain in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with balled watermelon and sage leaf.

* Hibiscus Infused Syrup
Bring 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to a simmer. Dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add 4 hibiscus tea bags; let steep until cool. Strain. Refrigerate.

Hibiscus Melon

Spanish Cobbler

1 oz. Dos Maderas 5+3 Spanish Rum
1 oz. Dry Sack Spanish Sherry
1/4 oz. Boiron Raspberry puree
1/4 oz. Boiron Blackberry puree
1/2 oz. Boiron Blood Orange puree
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Dash of Angostura Orange Bitters
3/4 oz. simple syrup

Technique: Shake the ingredients with ice. Strain over fresh ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a speared blood orange wedge, lemon wedge, a few blackberries, and a few raspberries.

Derived from an American Classic the "Sherry Cobbler", modified with Spanish rum and pureed seasonal fruits. Dry Sack Sherry also adds a beautiful robust flavor.
- Freddy Diaz

Spanish Cobbler

Spanish Mai Tai

1 oz. Dos Maderas PX
1/2 oz. orange liqueur (Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Triple Sec)
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. Fee Brothers Orgeat Syrup

Technique: Shake ingredients with ice. Pour over fresh ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a mint sprig and a lime wheel.

Mai Tai or "Out of this World" Tiki Cocktail was invented by “Trader” Vic Bergeron in 1944 using a bottle of Wray and Nephew for some Tahitian friends. I modified this cocktail by using a 10 year old Spanish Caribbean-style rum called Dos Maderas PX, aged its last 5 years in two separate sherry casks. This adds amazing flavors of Palomino and Pedro Ximenez sherries.
- Freddy Diaz

Spanish Mai Tai

Pepino Caliente

1½ oz. Gran Duque d’Alba
3/4 oz. Boiron Cucumber puree
1 slice of jalapeño
1 fresh sprig of cilantro
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup

Technique: Muddle cilantro, then lightly pound jalapeño to release the oils and flavor. Add the rest of ingredients, shake with ice. Double strain over fresh ice into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a long core slice of cucumber speared into an "s" shape.

I used fresh and indigenous ingredients from South American countries to put this libation together, also adding a Spanish Caribbean-style rum.
- Freddy Diaz

Pepino Caliente

Chipotle Thai Passion

1½ oz. Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum
3/4 oz. Boiron 100% Passion Fruit puree
3/4 oz. chipotle infused syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
3/8" slice of Thai chili
1 Shiso leaf

Technique: Muddle one Shiso leaf and Thai chili, pounding lightly with muddler to crack chili seeds. Add the rest of ingredients. Shake with ice, double strain over 2 large clear ice cubes in an Old-Fashioned glass. Garnish with a second Shiso leaf.

This cocktail involves all 5 senses and the 6th sense which is the passion that put it all together. Also, inspired by ingredients that grow wild here in South Florida. The ingredients used to bring together this perfectly balanced cocktail have notes of Southern and Latin American countries with an added hint of Asia.
- Freddy Diaz



10-12 fresh mint leaves
1 whole lime (for juicing)
3/4 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. white rum
2 oz. club soda

Technique: Muddle the mint, squeeze in the lime juice and add the simple syrup. Shake lightly with crushed ice. Pour into highball, add more ice if needed. Stir in the rum and top off with club soda.


Piña Colada

2 oz. of white rum
1½ oz. Cream of Coconut (preferably Coco Lopez)
4 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 cup of ice

Technique: Combine all of the ingredients in an electric blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a Hurricane glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge and a cherry.

Caribe Hilton bartender Ramon "Monchito" Marrero first conceived of the Piña Colada in 1954.

Pina Colada


2 oz. Cachaça
4-5 wedges of lime
3/4 oz. simple syrup

Technique: Muddle lime and simple syrup, add Cachaça and shake well with ice. Pour into an Old Fashioned rocks glass.


Rum and Coke (Cuba Libre)

4 oz. white rum
8 oz. Coca-Cola®

Technique: Mix ingredients in an old-fashioned glass with ice. Add a slice of fresh lime.

Rum and Coke

Pisco Sour

1½ oz. Peruvian Pisco
3/4 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
Whites of 1 small egg (1/4 oz.)
1 drop of Angostura bitters

Technique: Combine ingredients (except the bitters) in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass without ice. Garnish with a dash of bitters, and do not stir.

Pisco Sour


2 oz. Tequila
1 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
1 oz. fresh lime juice

Technique: Wet rim of glass with a lime wedge and dip in salt. Shake ingredients with ice, strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.
For Frozen Margarita: In a blender add 1 cup of ice to ingredients and blend at high speed for a few seconds, then low speed until smooth.


Hemingway Daiquiri

1½ Dry Light Rum
1/2 oz. Luxardo or Maraska Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice

Technique: Shake ingredients with ice. Strain over crushed ice into a Cocktail glass.

This was Ernest Hemingway's usual drink at El Floridita in Havana, Cuba.

Hemingway Daiquiri

Coquito (Puerto Rican Rum Eggnog)

1 (14-oz) can condensed milk
1 (15-oz) can Cream of Coconut (such as Coco Lopez)
1 can coconut milk or 1 (11.2 oz) container coconut water
1 vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
3 oz. (or to taste) white or añejo rum

Technique: Mix ingredients ingredients in a blender. Transfer to container and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve cold in short glasses and garnish with cinnamon sticks. Add ice if desired.


Please drink responsibly!


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