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Get in the cruise mood with these cocktails.

Sarah on Sep 30, 2015

Get in the cruise mood with these cocktails.

Booked on a cruise and counting down the days to sailaway? You're probably not the only one. With cruise season in Australia and New Zealand on its way, there are definitely others in the same boat (or anxious to be in it, anyway).

The team at Cruise Sale Finder had a thought: what better way to get into the cruise mood than a cocktail or two? Of course, it has to be the right one... the perfect mixed drink to set the tone for your holiday before you even depart.

Each cruise line is a unique experience - so we decided we'd need a different cocktail for every one. We had some fun coming up with the best drink to match each line's vibe, from laid-back to elegant, low-key to bold. Here are the results!

P&O Australia: Fun, laid-back and quintessentially Aussie
This is the beloved Australian line, the only one that's dedicated to our part of the world and tailored to the chilled-out denizens of Down Under. Many of you are likely to be heading out on a P&O cruise this summer, so we thought long and hard about the perfect cocktail to match.

The conclusion? Sex on the Beach! The name of this cocktail is just a little cheeky - but you have to admit it conjures up that holiday vibe pretty well. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and it's also delicious; perfect for down-to-earth Aussie tastes.

Sex on the beach cocktail

Recipe for one serving:

45ml peach schnapps
45ml vodka
60ml each of cranberry, orange and pineapple juices.

Mix it all together, stick a slice of orange or a paper umbrella in there, and enjoy!

Princess: Elegant and modern
Things on a Princess ship are a little more understated and low-key, but sophisticated. If you've booked a cruise with this classy and fun line, why not get your head in the game with our top cocktail pick?

Simple but refreshing, a Gimlet is a lovely drink with a bit of a fresh twist from the lime juice. What's more, it was originally thought to have been given to sailors as a way of making them drink lime juice to ward off scurvy - so there's a long-standing nautical tradition there too. We don't recommend being in charge of a ship while drinking these.

Gimlet cocktail

Recipe for one serving:

60 ml gin
15 ml lime juice
15 ml simple syrup

Mix and serve, garnished with a lime wedge. For an even easier recipe, use 30 ml of lime cordial such as Rose's Lime Juice rather than the syrup and lime juice.

Royal Caribbean: Big, bold and a little bit extravagant
This drink not only looks great but tastes great too - just like a Royal Caribbean ship, attractive on the outside and packed full of things to keep you happy and entertained. Prepare for your Royal Caribbean cruise by mixing up one of these babies.

The Tequila Sunrise not only captures the spirit of a cruise with Royal Caribbean, it is also reminiscent of the world's busiest cruising region and namesake for the line - the Caribbean Sea. Imagine yourself in Mexico as you count down the days to your departure.

Tequila sunrise

Recipe for one serving:
15 ml grenadine
100 ml orange juice
50 ml tequila

Mix tequila and orange juice in a tall glass with ice cubes and stir. Tilt the glass and pour grenadine around the edges so that it sinks to the bottom gently and rises up slowly.

Carnival: Exuberant and entertaining
A Carnival cruise is all about the fun. Sunshine, pools, music, activities, dancing during dinner service - it's a plain good time, with different options for everybody to enjoy their cruise to the fullest. Any mixology to match has to be a crowd pleaser, and one that everyone can customise to their own tastes.

The Margarita is a great accompaniment to fun, at sea or on land. The many different versions of it are testament to the lack of snobbiness surrounding this particular drink - make it how you want it, and enjoy! The same goes for your upcoming Carnival cruise.


Recipe for one serving:
30 ml tequila
20 ml cointreau
30 ml lime or lemon juice

Shake the ingredients together for 30 seconds in a shaker with plenty of crushed ice, then strain into a glass.  For a sweeter drink, replace some of the citrus juice with simple syrup.

Celebrity: Sophisticated and a tad luxurious
As a premium cruise line, Celebrity offers exceptional service, accommodations and amenities. A drink to put you in the Celebrity headspace needs to be a little indulgent, a little sophisticated and something that perks you up for an elegant night out.

The Espresso Martini fits the bill well, combining coffee and liquor in a sumptuous cocktail. A little bit different, just like a Celebrity cruise, it is the perfect post-dinner treat as you await your sailaway.

Espresso martini

Recipe for one serving:
50 ml vodka
35 ml coffee liqueur
1 shot of espresso

Shake together in a shaker filled with ice cubes. Strain and pour into a martini glass, garnish with a coffee bean or two.

Holland America: Low-key and traditional
A Holland America cruise is the often the top choice for an older, well-travelled cruiser - one who enjoys nautical traditions while still appreciating all the creature comforts. Refined and far from rowdy, cocktails before dinner are often the evening focal point.

What could be better than the Aperol Spritz, a drink that is a pre-dinner tradition itself? The drink is a staple aperitif in Italy and is slowly spreading elsewhere - it's refreshing and low-alcohol to leave the Holland America cruiser with a clear head for explorations the next day.

Aperol Spritz

Recipe for one serving:
50 ml Aperol
100 ml prosecco
A splash of soda water

Pour all into a large wine glass with a handful of ice cubes. Garnish with a slice of orange.

Cunard: Glamorous, a little bit old-fashioned
Life onboard a Cunard ship is a throwback to the glamorous heyday of ocean travel. Traditional and luxurious, the line is old-fashioned in all the best ways (attentive service, attention to detail, classic decor) and very modern in others - it has one of the youngest fleets at sea with all the technology and conveniences you could wish for.

Gear up for a Cunard cruise with an Old Fashioned. It's elegant and classic, just like the ship - and is thought to be one of the first ever cocktail recipes. Not a fan? A simple shot of scotch on the rocks will do the trick.

Old fashioned cocktail

Recipe for one serving:
One sugar cube
2 dashes angostura bitters
60 ml bourbon or other whiskey
Orange peel

Dissolve the sugar with a small amount of water in a whiskey glass.  Add the dashes of bitters and a piece of orange peel, and muddle against the bottom of the glass. Put the ice in the glass, add the bourbon and serve. A splash of soda water is optional, as is a cherry garnish.

Fun for the whole family
Of course, some of these lines could also be described as family-friendly, while the cocktails are far from possessing that particular quality! If the little ones are just as excited about your upcoming cruise, here's a great drink you can make for them - and partake of yourself.

The Virgin Pina Colada has all of the tropical fun and fruitiness without any of the alcohol. The tropical and summery taste will get everyone in the cruising frame of mind, and the kids will appreciate a special treat.

Virgin Pina colada

Recipe for one serving:
40 ml coconut cream
80 ml pineapple juice
handful of ice cubes

Mix all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. You can also replace some or all of the juice with fresh pineapple. Garnish with a pineapple slice, serve in a fun glass and enjoy!

Happy cruising! And remember, if you do try some of these cruise line-inspired cocktails, drink responsibly.

I have enjoyed visiting as much of the world as possible over the years. Europe and the Mediterranean are personal favourites, but there is so much to see very close to our little Australasian corner of the globe- one of my top travel experiences was snorkeling with tropical fish and turtles in New Caledonia! Cruising is a fantastic way to see it all, and we hope to make booking a cruise easier for both first-timers and old salts. From ship tips to destination news and views, we will keep you up-to-date. Happy cruising!

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