Olympics: Celebrate the start of the Games with drinks from around the world

It’s a summer of sport this year, with many of last year’s cancelled and delayed events having a long-awaited reprisal.

The European Championships have been and gone, and despite England’s best efforts, they *just* lost out by the finest of margins.

Wimbledon went by in what was a fantastic return in SW19, with Novak Djokovic sealing a 20th grand slam victory, equalling Federer and Nadal’s records.

The world number one will be heading for Tokyo in the hopes of adding a gold medal to his impressive haul, and thousands of hopeful athletes will be aiming for gold too.

Tokyo’s Olympic Games was delayed last year due to the pandemic and is now set to go ahead without crowds, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the most of the fun!

And what better way to celebrate than with a few drinks?

With more than 11,000 athletes competing from 206 nations for 339 gold medals, there’s plenty of options…

So here are a few of my favourite cocktails from around the world for you to try when the Olympics opening ceremony kicks things off on 23 July.

Ginza Mary – Japan

Where else can we start other than Japan? The hosts of the 2020 Olympics (held in 2021, I know) are famous for their love of sake, which is a type of rice wine.

Cocktails such as a Coco Geisha and Cucumber Sake-Tini make great use of sake, and we’ve turned to a classic cocktail with a Japanese sake twist because this one’s a little bit different…

A Ginza Mary is the Japanese take on the classic Bloody Mary, which is a US cocktail.

Ingredients: Vodka, sake, tomato juice, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, soy sauce, ice and ground black pepper.

To prepare: Mix all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with ice, then strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass for the ultimate Japanese twist on a classic!

Piña Colada – Puerto Rico

Nothing says summer to me like a Piña Colada!

It’s the ultimate summer holiday drink but who says you have to be on holiday to enjoy it?!

There’s no better reason to get the Piña Coladas on the go than celebrating the unity and worldwide competition that the Olympics represents with one of Puerto Rico’s most famous exports.

Ingredients: 120ml pineapple juice, 60ml white rum, 60ml coconut cream, ice. Optional: Wedge of pineapple and cocktail umbrella to garnish.

To prepare: Add all of the ingredients to a blender with a handful of ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and garnish as you like – personally, I’d always opt for a wedge of pineapple and a cocktail umbrella, because why not?

Dark ‘N’ stormy - Bermuda

This is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITES! Despite Bermuda being a tropical island that’s rarely dark and stormy, the cocktail is the island’s signature drink.

When Gosling, a 19th-century spirit merchant, created Black Seal rum on the island, locals quickly realised that combining the dark rum with ginger beer created a gorgeous blend.

The drink is rumoured to have been named by a sailor who compared its appearance to dark storm clouds – it’s stunning in appearance and in taste, so it’s a real winner.

Ingredients: 50ml dark rum, 25ml fresh lime juice, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters, 5ml sugar syrup, ice, and 100ml ginger beer. Lime wedge to garnish.

To prepare: Add all of the ingredients to a highball or tall glass with a handful of ice, stir and garnish with a lime wedge.

Espresso Martini – United Kingdom

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a cocktail from the UK! Particularly since we’ll be cheering on every Team GB athlete from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Espresso Martini is said to have been born when a model walked into Dick Bradsel’s bar in the 1980s and asked for something to "Wake me up".

Fast forward to today, and the Espresso Martini is a British cocktail favourite, combining two of life's greatest pleasures: coffee and cocktails.

Ingredients: 50ml vodka, 25ml espresso coffee, 25ml coffee liqueur, sugar syrup, ice, and 2 coffee beans to garnish.

To prepare: Pop a martini glass in the fridge to chill. Pour one teaspoon of sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice, vodka, espresso, and coffee liqueur and then shake until the shaker feels icy cold!

Strain the mixture into the chilled glasses and garnish with coffee beans.

Whatever you choose to do to celebrate the continuing summer of sport, make sure you do it well!

Happy celebrations,