diffordsguide cocktails encyclopaedia on amazon
diffordsguide cocktails encyclopedia on amazon

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Absinthe

Nicknamed the 'Green Fairy', Absinthe is a bitter, aniseed-flavoured green liquor distilled with anise, fennel and wormwood. It has a reputation to...

Friday 28 March 2014

Beer, Cider & Perry

Beer, cider and perry are fermented alcoholic drinks, each with a colourful and lengthy history of production and consumption. Enjoyed today as much as...

Friday 28 March 2014

Bourbon

Bourbon is as American as the Stars and Stripes, the Grand Canyon and pumpkin pie, but there are some common misconceptions as to what...

Friday 28 March 2014

Calvados

Calvados is a French brandy made from apples (though it can also contain pears). The name is an appellation controlee, meaning that...

Friday 28 March 2014

Cognac

The Cognac region sits at the northern end of the Aquitaine basin plains 120km (75 miles) north of Bordeaux, 80km (50 miles) from the...

Friday 28 March 2014

Gin

Gin is potable spirit flavoured with juniper and other botanicals (such as coriander, angelica, lemon and orange peels) either by compounding or...

Friday 28 March 2014

Rum

The spectrum of rum ranges from light, vodka-like extra-light white rums through to characterful cognac-like aged rums with Navy, Dunder...

Friday 28 March 2014

Tequila

Named after the Mexican town of the same name, tequila is made in Mexico and like cognac and champagne, to be called tequila it must be...

Friday 28 March 2014

Vodka

Vodka is a clear spirit which can be produced from anything containing starch or sugar - including potatoes, sugar beet molasses and, most...

Friday 28 March 2014

Wine - White

White wine is produced through the fermentation of the pulp of grapes and as grapes are naturally chemically balanced to ferment without requiring additional...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Sake / Rice wine

Sometimes described as a rice wine, sometimes as a rice beer, sake shares qualities of both. It is fermented from specially developed rice and water by...

Monday 24 March 2014

Orange/curaçao liqueurs

Curaçao liqueurs are traditionally made from the dried peel of the small bitter Curaçao orange, named for the island of Curaçao. As Curaçao was a Dutch...

Friday 28 March 2014

Falernum

Falernum (pronounced 'Fah-Learn-Um') is a sweet liqueur or syrup (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) from the Caribbean which is used to sweeten and flavour cocktails...

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Floc de Gascogne

Floc de Gascogne is a fortified aperitif wine from France's Gascony region, an inland area between Bordeaux and Toulouse, stretching to the Pyrenees famous...

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Advocaat / Eierlikör

Advocaat (or Advocaatenborrel) is a traditional Dutch liqueur made from eggs, sugar and brandy, usually with vanilla and sometime also with fruit. With...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Cream of coconut

Cream of coconut is a non-alcoholic sticky goo not be confused with coconut cream. Cream of Coconut is made by mixing coconut juice, sugar, emulsifier,...

Friday 28 March 2014

Vermouth & aromatized wines

Vermouth is a fortified wine, flavoured with aromatic herbs and spices. Part of the 'aromatised' wine family, vermouth is a staple cocktail ingredient,...

Friday 28 March 2014

Kümmel (caraway) liqueurs

Kümmel is a sweet clear digestive liqueur is distilled from grain or potatoes and flavoured with caraway seeds, cumin, fennel, orris and other herbs...

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Arrack

Arrack is often confused with the similarly pronounced and spelt 'Arak', which is a Middle Eastern anise flavoured distillate, similar to pastis or ouzo...

Friday 28 March 2014

Light White Rums

Rum is termed 'light' or 'heavy' depending the level of flavour components or 'congeners' - products of fermentation that are not ethyl alcohol. The level...

Thursday 27 March 2014

Baijiu (白酒) / Shaojiu (烧酒)

Baijiu (白酒) or Shaojiu (烧酒) is a Chinese distilled alcoholic beverage between 40-60% alc./vol. Baijiu literally translates as 'white alcohol' and...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)

Brandy is distilled from fermented fruit (not grain). The name brandy comes from northern Europe, where 'brand' means to burn, and is a reference to...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Canadian Whiskey

Canadian whisky (spelt without an 'e') has for decades been the best-selling whiskey in the USA and tends to be light bodied in style...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Blended Scotch Whisky

For whisky to be called 'Scotch whisky' it must be a) made on Scotland and b) be aged in oak casks in Scotland for a minimum of three years...

Friday 28 March 2014

Beer eau-de-vie (bierbrand)

Beer eau-de-vie is traditionally made in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and France, typically by smaller breweries and beer brewing monasteries...

Friday 14 March 2014

Akvavit

The word akvavit, like the word whisky, originates from the alchemical term 'water of life' - in Latin, aqua vitae. It is also known as aquavit. This flavoured...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Scotch Grain Whisky

Until the 1830s almost all Scottish whisky was made exclusively from malted barley and produced in pot stills – i.e., it was what we would today call...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Barolo Chinato Wines

As the name (which incidentally is pronounced 'barolo kee-NOT-oh') suggests, Barolo Chinato is an aromatised wine is based on Barolo wine, the famous red...

Monday 31 March 2014

Naval Rum

The long connection between the Royal Navy and rum can be traced back to 1655 and Vice-Admiral William Penn's expedition to the West Indies. In addition...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Blanche d'Armagnacs

Blanche has long been consumed in the Armagnac region but you had to know a distiller in order to obtain what was flavoursome hootch. However, in 2007...

Friday 28 March 2014

Mastikha/Mastika/Masticha/Mastic/Μαστίχα

Mastikha, pronounced 'mahs-TEE-ha' and variously spelt Masticha, Mastichato Chiou, Chios Masticha is a Greek liqueur flavoured with mastic, a semi-transparent...

Friday 28 March 2014

Cold compounded gins

To produce a decent (i.e. distilled) gin requires a two stage process – first a base 'neutral spirit' is made and then this is flavoured by through...

Monday 24 March 2014

Wine - Red

Red wine is made from dark (red or black) grape varieties and can range in colour from intense violet, typical of young wines, through to brick red for...

Monday 24 March 2014

Olives, Cherries & Garnishes

Garnishes are used to decorate cocktails and are often anchored to the rim of the glass. You'll find more about garnishes and how to prepare them in...

Monday 24 March 2014

Mixers, Minerals, Juices & Garnishes

Mixers, minerals and juices are hardly the sexiest items gracing the shelves and fridges of your average bar. However, they are equally important as the...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Wine - Sparkling

Sparkling wine can be red, white or rose, be any alcoholic strength (up to the mid-teens), have any degree of sweetness and any amount of fizziness. The...

Friday 28 March 2014

Wine - Fortified

If you missed The Art of Shim by Dinah Sanders now would be a good time to invest, because vermouth, amaro, sherry and port have cemented themselves as...

Friday 28 March 2014

Spirits

A spirit or liquor is a strong alcoholic beverage produced by distilling an already alcoholic liquid ('wash') produced by fermentation, most commonly wine...

Friday 28 March 2014

Cocktail Ingredients

Cocktails are made from practically anything which is edible, alcoholic or otherwise. The range of spirits and liqueurs available is vast, as are the variety...

Friday 28 March 2014

Spiced / Flavoured Rums

The spectrum of rum ranges from light, vodka-like extra-light white rums through to characterful cognac-like aged rums with Navy, Dunder and such like...

Friday 28 March 2014

Jenever (Genever)

Also known as jenever, jeneva, geneva and hollands, genever is a juniper-flavoured spirit from Holland and Belgium. Helpfully, the van Dale Dictionary,...

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Spirited Reviews April 2014

The following are new products received and other products reviewed during April 2014. We will continue to add to this list throughout the month. Products...

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Cider continues unrivalled growth

It's cider – not cidre – and that's because it's British, through and through...

Thursday 3 April 2014

Wine by the glass: introducing the Coravin preservation system

It's a rare pleasure to try an expensive wine by the glass. Most bottles over £150 (US$250) are sold as just that; bottles. But an invention from Greg...

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Arrack

Arrack is often confused with the similarly pronounced and spelt 'Arak', which is a Middle Eastern anise flavoured distillate, similar to pastis or ouzo...

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Ume Shu

Ume Shu is a Japanese liqueur named after the small variety of Japanese plum of the same name - actually a type of apricot, these are grown in the warm...

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Floc de Gascogne

Floc de Gascogne is a fortified aperitif wine from France's Gascony region, an inland area between Bordeaux and Toulouse, stretching to the Pyrenees famous...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Cream of coconut

Cream of coconut is a non-alcoholic sticky goo not be confused with coconut cream. Cream of Coconut is made by mixing coconut juice, sugar, emulsifier,...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Scotch grain whisky

Until the 1830s almost all Scottish whisky was made exclusively from malted barley and produced in pot stills – i.e., it was what we would today call...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Scotch whisky

For whisky to be called 'Scotch whisky' it must be a) made on Scotland and b) be aged in oak casks in Scotland for a minimum of three years...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

How to identify good mezcal

We came across these rules for selecting good quality mezcal at Tales of the Cocktail and thought we would share them, courtesy of Mezonte, a civil association...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Firewater - or water of life?

The exact meaning of the word 'aguardiente' is shrouded in more than a little mystery - at least when it comes to spirits marketing. A range of online...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Pisco growth

Pisco has for years been the much misunderstood, poor relation of the spirit world. If a bar even carries the Chilean or Peruvian brandy it's more than...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Bitters

A term for bitter liqueurs and aperitifs made from roots, flowers, fruits and peels, macerated in neutral spirits. Popular ingredients include gentian,...

Most viewed

Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

Cordon Rouge (literally 'red ribbon') is the original Grand Marnier liqueur created in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle and was first served...

Ketel One Vodka

The Dutch refer to their pot stills as 'ketels', thus this vodka is named after the Nolet's original 1864 'Distilleerketel #1' which is still...

Hendrick's Gin

This 'most unusual gin'has been brilliantly marketed as a quintessentially British product, associated with cucumber sandwiches and rose gardens,...

Remy Martin VSOP (‘Traditional’)

Rémy Martin VSOP is a fine champagne cognac blended from 240 eaux-de-vie (45% Petite Champagne and 55% Grande Champagne), aged 4-12 years with the final...

Agave Sec Liqueur

Agave Sec retains the classic orange notes of a triple sec liqueur and blends them with rich agave nectar extracted from the same plant tequila is distilled...

Cherry Heering Liqueur

Cherry Heering is made to an 1818 recipe from Danish Steven's cherries, harvested in August. The fruit is crushed together with the stones, which give...

Difford's Margarita Bitters

A cocktail elixir flavoured with lavender and other secret ingredients - add three drops to lift a Margarita with complex notes of lavender and extenuate...

Bigallet China China

Produced by Bigallet since 1875, China China is made from a blend of sweet and bitter orange peels macerated in beet neutral alcohol and re-distilled in...

Kahlua coffee

Created in Mexico's Yacatán region in 1936, Kahlùa is the original and world's number one selling coffee liqueur. It is made by blending roasted and...

Ketel One Citroen

Ketel One Citroen was launched in 2000 and is created by infusing Ketel One vodka with citrus essential oils essence. Two different types of lemon from...

Beluga Noble

Beluga vodka is distilled in Siberia, 300 km from the nearest town. It is produced from malt using a natural fermentation process without the addition...

Tanqueray London Dry Gin

Packaged in the same iconic bottle and almost identically labelled to the original 47.3% Tanqueray Special Dry 'Export Strength', this lower 43.1%...

Ketel One Oranje

Ketel One Oranje was launched on 30 April 2010 to coincide with Queen's Day, a national holiday in The Netherlands honouring the Queen's official birthday...

Giffard Banane du Brésil

Part of Giffard's 'Premium' liqueur range, this banana liqueur is made by the slow maceration of Brazilian puree (to optimize contact with alcohol...