diffordsguide.com is aimed at discerning drinkers and is one of the world’s largest and most-visited drinks-related websites, with more than 116,000 monthly unique visitors and nearly 450,000 monthly page views.
The diffordsguide brand was first established in 2001 by Simon Difford, and in addition to the website, we also publish a series of drinks-related guide books under the diffordsguide brand name, with ‘diffordsguide Cocktails’, now in its tenth edition, the best known.
In addition, we also utilise our in-house writers, editors, photographers and graphic designers to contract-publish bespoke print and digital publications and websites for the world’s largest drinks companies and we have produced books for Diageo and Pernod-Ricard.
All this demands thousands of fabulous images to accompany our award-winning writers’ prolific content – photographs of cocktails (over 3,500 images alone), bartenders, bars, distilleries and distillers. As a result we believe we own the largest drinks-related photographic library in the world. And a significant proportion of the company’s present annual revenue comes from photography commissioned by drinks companies – the two biggest, Diageo and Pernod-Ricard, included. We have our own private bar, the Cabinet Room, which sits directly above our London office, which we use for photography and special events.
Our parent company, Odd Firm of Sin (an anagram of founder Simon Difford) publishes and supplies copy and images to the drinks industry and acts as a consultant in brand development, cocktail development and drink serves. The company was founded in 1997 and over the past 16 years has amassed unrivalled databases populated with images and information on all areas of alcoholic beverages, including: beers, wines, spirits, cocktails, bars, distilleries, breweries, brand owning companies, distributors and the bartenders, distillers and others who work in the drinks industry. Odd Firm of Sin profits by selling products and services which use and display this information. It also profits from the continued amassing of intellectual property by charging drinks companies who want their brands more fully represented in Odd Firm of Sin’s award-winning books, magazine, applications and website.
We also organise London Cocktail Week, an annual celebration of London’s leading cocktail and drinks culture, with hundreds of events 7–13th October 2013. The 2012 event saw 12,500 people register for a wristband allowing them to participate.
Simon lives and breathes the modern drinks industry. His own bar, at his house in South London, is one of the best stocked bars in the world, with practically every example of spirits and liqueurs on the market today. He has become a world authority and expert on distillation and is respected for his encyclopeadic knowledge of spirits production. And when he's not tasting and testing new products, he's out there 'in the field' road-testing bars around the world - instantly recognizable if not by his personal appearance but by his signature bar call - so if you hear someone ask for a 'Classic Daiquiri' in a Cockney accent, better make sure it's a good 'un!
Likes: Blue shirts, gadgets, everything just-so
Dislikes: Religion, tweeting, public transport
Ian's our intrepid in-house hack - a career journalist who used to work for our rival magazine Theme. Having spent his formative years as a medical journalist, he's much happier writing about bars and booze, as you might imagine. He's also authored a number of cocktail books too, and ghost-writes for some well-known figureheads in the cocktail world - though he won't say who. Armed only with a napkin and a blunt pencil he's always on the look-out for a story.
Likes: Riding his bike, turning left on planes, You've Been Framed
Dislikes: Making everyone tea, other people's mess, Eastenders
Sally is also responsible for keeping us up to date in the ways of the internet. She's a kick-ass digital designer who is extremely patient and known for her ability to speak slowly until the rest of us understand. She works from Bristol and is also a professional trapeze artist, but is currently between circuses - seriously!
Likes: Hanging upside down, pot plants, her many cats
Dislikes: Stopping smoking, our continual spec changes
Jane came to us fresh out of university after doing a journalism degree. As Ian's mini-me she helps write the content for the weekly and follows Simon around the world on distillery visits. She's a proper Aussie and swears like a trooper, but is so young she has no memory of early Neighbours plot lines. Strewth!
Likes: Raw green peppers, Henry VIII, swimming in Noosa
Dislikes: Mozzie bites, sand in her cozzie, neck sunburn
Siobhan joined the PR department of the firm in August 2011. Following her degree in Economics from Sheffield and an extended trip around the world she is now integral to ensuring our name is in the papers for all the right reasons. She also works on London Cocktail Week and oversees all the public relations for the festival.
Likes: Hunks, Bloody Mary's, being tanned
Dislikes: Negativity, negativity, negativity
Dan is our happy-go-lucky Art Director and has worked for Simon for 12 years on all our publications. Happiest when taking photographs, he lives with his little boy Jake in North London. He also looks a bit like Bruce Forsyth.
Likes: Drinking, smoking, stripes, sheds
Dislikes: Colour, pictures of people smiling, pickled onion monster munch
Hannah started working for Captain Cocktail in 2007 and looks after the PR, marketing and events for all our projects - and is focused on developing London Cocktail Week. She started in the bar trade in 2002, working for Jonathan Downey and has a very useful degree in tap dancing.
Likes: Bicycles, Smythson, beautiful things
Dislikes: Shouters, grey hairs, having to be on time
Our newest graphic designer Gavin joined the team in 2010 after taking a prolonged trip round Latin America, which he talks about non-stop. Gavin has been a designer for 14 years and previously worked for London Underground. His love of lists has helped us a lot but his tendency towards lime green is causing problems with the art director.
Likes: Notebooks, Neil Young, Brussel Sprouts
Dislikes: Queues, cucumbers, bad service
Harry jumped aboard the good ship Difford in July 2010 as our pet geek. He's responsible for taking us into the 21st century and has made our weekly digital magazine possible, which we find all the more impressive as he does it from Matlock, which is somewhere up north. He's conversant in ten different computer languages though still has to talk to us in English.
Likes: Golf, darts, anything IT-releated
Dislikes: Buses, triple-bogeys, Watford Gap Services (M1)
Mike is our website developer: working closely with our Harold on all-things webs-related, and based in the Matlock technology corridor of the north. Our multi-talented Mike has been a skateboarder for almost 23 years (has broken many bones) and also plays bass guitar in a rock band.
Likes: Summer, Tom Waits and red wine
Dislikes: Winter, hospitals and Internet Explorer
Matt Mason is our IT whizz kid from the tech generation: he could code before he could walk, and we suspect he sees the world like it’s The Matrix.
A recent graduate, he abandoned a prospective job in animation (he decided it was a Mickey Mouse career) and ventured into web development instead. He works out of our other office in Milan Matlock, Derbyshire where he regularly entertains the rest of the crew with his rendition of Stairway to Heaven.
Likes: Rum, making music, Italian food
Dislikes: Autotune, balloons, ankle sprains