For many, taking in postcard-worthy views with a beverage in hand is the quintessential way to kick back. Whether you prefer pinotage or rally around rum, sublime selections can be found in the most picturesque of places. Pick your pleasure, eat a hefty meal (and pack the aspirin).
Rum bars, Barbados
Rocking to a beat all its own, the 21-mile-long Caribbean paradise of Barbados is home to a booze-lover's anomaly. Rum bars are no-frills establishments where revelers purchase a flask, settle in and banter the day away. Usually, the minimal investment ($6 for decent snorts at the popular, waterfront John Moore bar in Weston, St. James) comes with ice and the mixer of your choice. Of the 1,500 or so that exist on the island, most have culinary specialties to soak up the sips, such as fried, fresh-caught barracuda, chicken, or pork roast. Some spots karaoke into the wee hours, while others -- like Lexie's by Oistins -- pack the house with fisherman who have a penchant for ballroom dance. Of course, it's possible to skip the scene and go right to the source; the Mount Gay Visitor's Centre (www.mountgayrum.com) in Bridgetown offers distillery tours.
Winelands, South Africa
Rivaling Burgundy's Route des Grands Crus in the beauty department, South Africa's historic Cape Winelands include the quaint, quietly luxurious towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, and Wellington. Verdant valleys, expansive, marshmallow-cloud skies and rugged mountain ranges give way to working wineries outfitted with posh, under-the-radar auberges and destination-worthy restaurants. While you can snag touted petit chenin at Ken Forrester Vineyards (www.kenforresterwines.com), you'll also stumble upon lesser-known producers like Rickety Bridge Winery (www.ricketybridgewinery.com). Fortunately, wherever you land, memorable bottles abound. And many of them never make it to the States. Tastings are complimentary at numerous estates; others charge only a nominal fee.
La Ruta del Tequila, Mexico
Jalisco is considered ground zero for tequila lovers since much of Mexico's blue agave is grown here. Consequently, a designated -- and, yes, touristy -- "route" through El Arenal, Amatitán, Tequila, and Magdelena was established. Needless to say, this is good news for those looking to learn (without a lot of legwork) how the spirit comes to fruition. Among those offering distillery tours: José Cuervo, Sauza, Casa Noble (www.casanoble.com), and Casa Herradura (www.herradura.com). Samples are generous; the stainless steel fermentation tanks seem massive; and the hard-hat tours manage to be entertaining and informative.