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Raise a Toast to the Global City With These International Drinks

By Nigel Chiwaya | February 5, 2013 6:54am

NEW YORK CITY — Move over, margarita. There's a whole wide world of drinks from around the globe for New Yorkers to explore.

When it comes to ordering cocktails pretty much everyone knows of the standard gin-and-tonic or vodka-soda.

Bars across the five boroughs, however, offer mixed drinks far beyond the standard menu, offering a taste of international culture.

DNAinfo.com New York went hunting for some of the most delicious international drinks around and came back with a list that stretches from South America to Africa and Europe.

Here are some of the best:

Black Diamond - South Africa

Fans of Bailey's Irish Cream should check out the Black Diamond, a popular creamy drink made with Amarula cream liqueur from South Africa. Amarula gets its name from the marula plant, a small apricot-like plant that has a flavor said to resemble a peach.

New Yorkers can get their hands on Amarula at Madiba Restaurant, located at 195 DeKalb Ave. in Fort Greene. Bartenders at Madiba combine the cream with Kahlua, lychee and mint to create a cocktail called the Black Diamond. Denis Henegan, the cocktail's inventor, said the drink is extremely versatile, as it can be had before or after a meal.

"The Amarula cream is incredibly light and flavorful," said Henegan, whose brother Mark opened Madiba in 1999. "It's something you could can have aperitif or sitting out on the terrace a hot summer's day."

Manzanilla - Spain

Manzanilla is a Spanish sherry that is a popular drink during outdoor festivals, and is the main ingredient in the cocktail Rebujito, which mixes the sherry with lemonade or a lemon soda.

The Rebujito is a big seller at Chelsea tapas bar Tia Pol, which adds a lemon soda to the sherry and a lemon peel for decoration.

"It's really popular in the summer," said Kate Willer, Tia Pol's Beverage Manager. "It's something that [they] haven't heard of but want after we tell them about it or they already know all about and they only want it."

Pimm's Cup - England

The Pimm's Cup, a drink made with the namesake English gin, lemon juice and cucumbers, has been gaining in popularity in recent years. It was even the topic of a New York Times article in the summer of 2012.

While the Pimm's Cup is a seasonal drink, Greenwich Village restaurant Whitehall serves up a winter twist by selling it with a hot Pimm's, and adding hot apple cider and a cinnamon stick to the mix.

Staff at Whitehall, located at 19 Greenwich St., say the drink is extremely popular with the brunch crowd, but it can still be had any time.

"It's a good drink to start off with or as a night cap," said bartender Chris Daish. "It warms you right up."

Caipirinha - Brazil

Chances are you've already heard of the Caipirinha, one of the most popular drinks to come out of Brazil.

Made from sugar, lime juice and the sugarcane liquor Cachaça, it is a refreshing cocktail that dominates Brazilian menus and is the most requested cocktail at Williamsburg's Beco Bar, located at 45 Richardson St.

"Pretty much every single person that comes here drinks caipirinhas," said bartender Alejandra Hoppe. "It's super refreshing, but its also super-strong. After a couple you're pretty much done."

Pisco Sour - Peru

The Pisco sour is one of Peru's most famous drinks. Made of Pisco brandy, lime juice, syrup, egg whites and bitters, the drink is a staple in New York's Peruvian restaurants.

It's especially a hit at Panca, located at 92 7th Ave. South in the Village. "It's very popular," said Panca bartender Ricardo Meteos. "It's one of our most traditional drinks. Everyone wants to try Pisco, so they start with the Pisco Sour."