How: Mix equal parts red wine and coca cola
Originally from Portugal, this one has spread through travel to everywhere that has cheap red wine, some form of cola and curiosity. Which is most places, really. No surprises in the taste department – it does what it says on the tin – but this is a surprisingly good combo. One to try when that bottle of Chateau-de-something-cheap doesn't taste quite as good as the label implied.
The Other Hot Toddy
How: Take one shot of whisky, add a dash of your favourite hot sauce; sip gently.
I've only found out about this one recently and to be honest, it sounded foul to begin with. But give it a chance and you'll feel that creeping warmth of a fine malt may benefit from the creeping warmth of a good habanero (other chilli peppers are available).
The Drunken Doctor
How: Mix equal parts Dr Pepper and beer then drop in a shot of whisky.
Yes, you have a right to feel sceptical, but this one's a grower. Make some as sippers for a just warming-up house party and watch the gradual transformation: mild revulsion at first sip (this is just a knee-jerk reaction) to 'just curious' second take, then watch them come back with empty glasses in 5 minutes.
How: Take your average good size tumbler and dip it in salt to give it a 'rim'. Next mix equal parts beer and tomato juice (vegetable works as well), add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with coarse ground pepper. Serve with a couple of ice cubes for good measure.
Straight out of Guatemala, this one will take you by surprise. Try to avoid thinking of it as a poor man's Bloody Mary and instead appreciate the subtle interplay of the beer bubbles with the fruity smoothness of a good juice, all topped off by the 'zing' of Worcestershire and pepper. Or just just knock it back and ask for another.
How: Take one fresh coconut; hack open with your machete (or nearby knife, careful kids); add a generous measure of guifiti (see below), or rum of your choice. Sip, Repeat.
Another Guatemala special, this is best made with guifiti, a local spirit found mainly on the Caribbean coast. Unless you're on said coast, however, it may prove tricky as this is a Garifuna recipe passed down through families involving a bottle of something strong, some herbs and a wait of about a month. If you're impatient, however, simply add your favourite tipple (I'm thinking a nice dark or coconut rum) straight into the coconut water and enjoy as is. One for lazy afternoons in a hammock when cutting the grass really can wait till tomorrow.