Dining at a Latin American restaurant might include a plate of nachos, slabs of meat carved tableside or aji de gallina. But the drink of choice to go with these foods doesn’t have to be a margarita, piña colada or even a mojito. Here's a guide to a few alternative Latin American cocktails and suggestions on where to drink them:
Brazil’s national cocktail is a sweet and sour concoction that was once hard to find a decade ago, but now it pops up regularly at Latin American restaurants.
Ingredients: lime, sugar and cachaça (a Brazilian spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice)
Where to drink it: The Grill from Ipanema, Zengo, Café Citron. Tico’s version adds cashews to the mix, while Cuba Libre serves one with pineapple and basil and another with guava.
This is the libation of choice before making that climb to Machu Picchu. Or if travel isn’t on the horizon, it’s the drink to savor before digging into lomo saltado at China Chilcano in Penn Quarter.
Ingredients: pisco, lemon or lime juice, simple syrup, egg whites and Angostura bitters
Where to drink it: Minibar by José Andrés serves a hot and cold pisco sour, with liquid nitrogen and warmed egg white foam. Barrel in Capitol Hill serves a blackberry pisco sour while Toro Toro serves a passion fruit flavored version. China Chilcano serves the Capital with sour cherry pisco, vermouth and Amargo Chuncho bitter.
Fernet & Coke
This drink is popular in Argentina. It's a remnant of Italian immigration to the country in the 19th century and early 20th centuries. Fernet, a bitter Italian herbal liqueur, isn’t for everyone, but fans of the black licorice-like taste can find plenty of places to drink it around town.
Ingredients: Fernet and Coke
Where to drink it: Del Campo, Harold Black and Tico. Barmini serves a coffee-infused Fernet with bourbon and lime juice, while the Partisan serves a fernet ice cream float.
This beer cocktail is often described as a beer-lover’s Bloody Mary.
Ingredients: Mexican lager, tomato juice and lime juice. It could also include a variety of other sauces and seasonings, including Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and chili powder.
Where to drink it: El Centro, El Camino, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana and Agua 301. At Rosa Mexicano, the drink is served over ice with a chile de arbol and guajillo chile salted rim.