Before entering most countries, I do a quick Google search on food and drink to see what indigenous items they are known for. I searched for unique Croatian cocktails, and the results all pointed toward one concoction: the Crocktail. Press releases, blog articles, and news pieces abounded. You'd think it would be popular and easy to find. Wrong...
The Crocktail is the invention of a famous Croatian bartender who aimed to create a national drink. Croatia is well known for producing the original Maraschino cherry liqueur and for their abundant fresh cherries, of which can we ate many. The point of the cocktail was to highlight what is unique to Croatia. Sounds awesome.
This bartender works at a well known joint called Hemingway's in the city of Split. The first city we visited was the capital, Zagreb. It happened to also have a Hemingway bar, so we tried to check it out. Hemingway Zagreb was closed for renovation, so no luck.
A week later we arrived in Split, but the Hemingway bar was far away from the area in which we were staying. We couldn't make it there without a car, so I tried to find it on other bar menus. I also asked numerous bartenders if they could make it. No one had heard of the "national cocktail" of Croatia and gave me the most quizzical looks I've ever received.
So, despite the Crocktail being neither famous nor widespread, it still looks like a delicious drink and I appreciate the attempt to create something native and unique. I copied the recipe from the website (yes, it has its own website). When we return, I plan to give it a shake and see how it turns out. If you beat me to it, let me know how it tastes!