Sweet 'n' sour, frothy and an almond buzz..
Is your favourite in our list...
Sandy the Showgirl Difford's recipe...
America's cocktail and party city...
Last year Difford's Guide published the list with the opening words 'Everyone said they couldn't do it twice,...
Holland's largest city was founded on and continues to thrive from its waterways and proximity to the North Sea...
Launched in 2000, this was the first traditional absinthe to be commercially produced in France since the 1914-15 ban..
Luxardo Maraschino is matured for two years in white Finnish ashwood vats....
The Nolet distillery where Ketel One Vodka is made, claims a family distilling heritage that goes back 300 years...
Josh is the 2015 Chivas Masters Global Winner...
Ron is the creator of the Del Maguay brand and has spearheaded a growing worldwide appreciation of mezcal...
Jonathan believes a great bar is only a great bar if it has great bartenders....
We are looking for bartenders to join our growing teams at Experimental Cocktail Club Chinatown and Joyeux Bordel (Shoreditch).
To celebrate Martell's 300th anniversary, they are looking for new cocktails - could yours be one of them?
The Chivas Masters global winner 2015
Back for a second year, but hurry, the closing date for entries is 31 August...
We are a fun & busy bar working with a small but enthusiastic team, in order to fit in you need to match our enthusiasm for drinks, service & of course gin!
See what Simon Difford thinks of the new products he's recently reviewed.
Nicknamed the \'Green Fairy\', Absinthe is a bitter, aniseed-flavoured green liquor distilled with anise, fennel and wormwood. It has a reputation to...
Beer, cider and perry are fermented alcoholic drinks, each with a colourful and lengthy history of production and consumption. Enjoyed today as much as...
Bourbon is as American as the Stars and Stripes, the Grand Canyon and pumpkin pie, but there are some common misconceptions as to what...
Calvados is a French brandy made from apples (though it can also contain pears). The name is an appellation controlee, meaning that...
The Cognac region sits at the northern end of the Aquitaine basin plains 120km (75 miles) north of Bordeaux, 80km (50 miles) from the...
Gin is potable spirit flavoured with juniper and other botanicals (such as coriander, angelica, lemon and orange peels) either by compounding or...
The spectrum of rum ranges from light, vodka-like extra-light white rums through to characterful cognac-like aged rums with Navy, Dunder...
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...
Vodka is a clear spirit which can be produced from anything containing starch or sugar - including potatoes, sugar beet molasses and, most...
White wine is produced through the fermentation of the pulp of grapes and as grapes are naturally chemically balanced to ferment without requiring additional
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
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
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.
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
Advocaat (or Advocaatenborrel) is a traditional Dutch liqueur made from eggs, sugar and spirit (traditionally brandy but also neutral spirit), usually
Cherry 'brandy' is traditionally the largest category of cherry liqueurs. A confusing term as most of these liqueurs are actually made by macerating cherries
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,
Vermouth is a fortified wine, part of the ‘aromatised’ wine family, flavoured with aromatic herbs and spices. It is distinguished from other aromatised
Grappa is an Italian marc brandy made from the fermented skins, pips and stalks (known as pomace, marc or vinaccia in Italian) left after grapes have been
Kümmel is a sweet clear digestive liqueur is distilled from grain or potatoes and flavoured with caraway seeds, cumin, fennel, orris and other herbs.
Arrack is often confused with the similarly pronounced and spelt 'Arak', which is a Middle Eastern anise flavoured distillate, similar to pastis or ouzo.
Rum is termed 'light' or 'heavy' depending the level of flavour components or 'congeners' - products of fermentation that are not ethyl alcohol. The level
Often described as a sweet or 'cordial' style of gin, ‘old tom’ gins were overwhelmingly popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries, when gin was
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
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
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.
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.
Beer eau-de-vie is traditionally made in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and France, typically by smaller breweries and beer brewing monasteries
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
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
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
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
Fruit cups were invented by the Victorians and were originally a mixture of fruit, liqueurs and spices with a base spirit of gin and usually made in the
Allspice Pimento Dram is a spicy liqueur made by steeping pimento berries in rum. Pimento Dram is a dried, unripened berry from a West Indian tree called
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
Armagnac is a fine brandy from South West France. It is distinguished from Cognac by its use of single continuous distillation rather than double batch
Mastiha, pronounced 'mahs-TEE-ha' and variously spelt Masticha, Mastichato Chiou, Chios Masticha is a Greek liqueur flavoured with mastic, a semi-transparent
Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is unique to Ireland and particularly identified with the Midleton Distillery, County Cork. It is made from a mash of malted
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
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
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
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
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
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
A spirit or liquor is a strong alcoholic beverage produced by distilling an already alcoholic liquid ('wash') produced by fermentation, most commonly wine
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
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
Also known as genever, jeneva, geneva and hollands, jenever is a juniper-flavoured spirit from Holland and Belgium. Helpfully, the van Dale Dictionary,
Amaro is both the Italian word for bitter and the name of a bittersweet style of liqueurs traditionally from Italy. Amari (the plural of amaro) are usually
Bourgogne Aligoté is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) white wine produced from the Aligoté grape variety in the France’s Burgundy region.
Apricot brandy is a common term for the most popular style of apricot liqueurs. This is a confusing as most of these liqueurs are actually made by macerating
Barley wine has nothing to do with grapes. Instead it is the strongest of beers, with alcoholic strengths approaching those of wine (7 to 12% alc./vol.).
Root beer originated in North America and remains most popular in North America. Historically made using the root of the sassafras plant with that being
The word ‘whiskey’ derives from the Gaelic ‘uisque beatha’, meaning ‘water of life’ and whiskies are distilled in countries around the world
Easily misunderstood as a pretty wilderness south of the mainland and famous for the Beaconsville mine collapse that left two men trapped a kilometre underground
Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut plant Cocos nucifera, which belongs within the Arecaceae family of palm trees. Coconut palms flourish in coastal
Pisco is the Peruvian National spirit. It is made by distilling wine fermented from the fresh must of eight specific varieties of vines to produce a clear,
Crème de cassis is a blackcurrant liqueur which originated in France and is made by both infusion and maceration. The original recipe for a crème de
“Inspired by traditional bush teas of the Caribbean”, Bushtea Spiced Rum is made and bottled in Cambridgeshire, England using molasses imported from
Del Maguey Pechuga mezcal is triple distilled, including distilling with wild mountain fruits, almonds, white rice and a whole chicken breast (the Spanish
A Greek liqueur made by distilling mastiha Chios with neutral spirit.
San Luis Del Río is a village that lies two hours’ drive south of Oaxaca on a two-lane, pot holed highway on route to the Gulf of Tehuantepec. It takes
Crafted in a still made of clay with bamboo tubing by Florencio Carlos Sarmiento and his sons Florencio Carlos Vasquez and Luis Carlos Vasquez. Their palenque
Part of Del Maguey’s Vino de Mezcal series, this is made exclusively using rare wild Maguey Tepextate (also known as agave Marmorata). This plant has
Part of Del Maguey’s Vino De Mezcal series, this mezcal is produced only using wild Papalometl, a variety of maguey named in Nahuatl for the butterfly
Part of Del Maguey’s ‘Vino de Mezcal Series’, this mezcal was produced exclusively from rare Espadin agave. Only 56 cases were produced in what we
This Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal is distilled using exclusively Tobala, a variety of agave liked to truffles due to its rarity and due to its growing
This unique mezcal is distilled with an Ibérico de Bellota ham (butchered from Spanish free-range acorn-fed black-footed Ibérico pigs) hung in the top
A Special Edition Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal distilled in San Luis Del Rio in Oaxaca. Unusually, this mezcal was aged (or ‘finished’) for 2,976
Hibiki Japanese Harmony is blended with the same key malt and grain whiskies used in the original Hibiki blends (17 Years and 21 Years), including malt
This oak cask matured expression of the much respected Ketel One jenever was released by the Nolet family in 2015 to their domestic Dutch market.
Created in 1991, Deuchars IPA (pronounced Dew-kars' and not 'Dew-chars’) is named after and inspired by Robert Deuchar, a entrepreneurial brewer who
Capucana Cachaça is distilled in Piracicaba, near Sao Paulo, using the fermented juice of three different varieties of sugar cane and is aged for three
Made using East Ocean Javanese quinine in a traditional small batch production method and cold filling process.
Vulson is a 100% rye spirit distilled at Domaine Des Hautes Glaces, a truly artisanal grain to bottle farm distillery with grains grown, malted, brewed,
Simon Ford of The 86 Company developed this gin with Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers. It is flavoured with 9 botanicals (juniper, coriander seeds,
This reduced sugar version of Lejay’s 20% alc./vol. crème de cassis was developed in 2013 specifically for the U.S. market. Made using traditional Noir
Available exclusively at Beefeater London, the brand’s gin distillery and visitor centre, Beefeater London Garden Gin was launched in May 2014 to coincide
As the name would suggest, this gin is distilled in English county of Kent with classical gin botanicals combined with botanicals from Kent including local
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
Launched in 2009, 901 Tequila is owned by the singer Justin Timberlake and is named after his Memphis home neighbourhood’s area code.
Cabo Wabo is a brand of tequila launched in 1996 by rock 'n' roll hall-of-famer Sammy Hagar of Van Halen. The 'Red Rocker' was apparently looking for a
Launched in 2011, as its name suggests, Rémy Martin Louis XIII Rare Cask was drawn from a single rare cask, which cellar Master Pierrette Trichet earmarked
Produced by Cognac Ferrand, the 6th largest producer in the region, Landy Cognacs are a modern style of cognac packaged in distinctive bottles. Blended
This light-bodied, golden rum is made from continuously distilled, molasses-based rums, which have been matured in American white oak, ex-bourbon casks.
Brewed since 1955, this is reputed to be the first beer brewed in Tahiti. The label features a distinctly Tahitian 'vahine' (Tahitian for 'lady' or 'women')
The best-know expression of the leading Cuban rum brand, this light rum is aged for three years in ex-bourbon casks giving it rum a light straw yellow
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 used
Cordon Rouge (literally 'red ribbon') is the original Grand Marnier liqueur created in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle and was first served
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
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
Passoã is a passion fruit flavoured liqueur launched in the Netherlands in 1986. The matt black Passoã bottle features a brightly coloured tropical motif
Launched in 2000, Tanqueray No. Ten Gin is based on the traditional Tanqueray botanical recipe but with unusual extras such as camomile and fresh grapefruit.
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
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.
Launched in 2000, La Fée was the first traditional absinthe to be commercially produced in France since the 1914-15 ban. This improved ‘Supérieure’
Drambuie, a herbal Scotch whisky based liqueur, traces its origins back to James Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the liqueur
Sugar syrup made from sugar beet, flavoured with almond extracts (prunus amygdalus varietal) and thickened with gum arabic (E414). Alcohol free and without
Part of Giffard’s ‘Premium’ liqueur range, this banana liqueur is made by the slow maceration of Brazilian puree (to optimize contact with alcohol
Part of Giffard’s ‘Premium’ liqueur range, this cassis liqueur is made by the slow maceration of ‘Noir de Bougogne’ blackcurrants in neutral
Launched 19th September 2014, Cotswolds Dry Gin is distilled in a 500l hybrid Holstein still with a wheat neutral spirit base and nine botanicals: juniper,
Produced since 1879, this is a blend of Jamaican pot still rums aged in ex-bourbon barrels for a minimum of five years. The label proclaims the motto “world
Named after Lady Yang Kuei Fei, the beautiful concubine of the last emperor of the T'ang dynasty, Hsuan Tsung (A.D. 712-756). Lady Yang Kuei Fei loved
Cocchi Americano Bianco (pronounced: ‘coke-ey ameri-kano) is based on white wine from Italy’s Piedmont region wine which is fortified and then 'aromatised'
This liqueur is made from an infusion of violet flowers and an extract of violet leaves by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur
Made in Anjou, Loire Valley since 1885, Menthe-Pastille is France’s leading brand of white crème de menthe. It continues to be made in the same town
Distilled by Bruichladdich on Islay with nine traditional botanicals (wild Islay juniper berries, cassia bark, angelica root, coriander seed, cinnamon
Launched in January 2012, exclusively for the European market, Rémy Martin VSOP Mature Cask Finish comprises the same blend of 45% Petite Champagne and
Said to have been first created in 1525 by a young widow who posed as a model for Bernardino Luini, an artist from the Leonardo da Vinci’s school of
This crème de pêche is distinguished by the French term ‘de Vigne’ – literally meaning ‘of bush’ this refers to its being made from peaches
This “most unusual gin” has been brilliantly marketed as a quintessentially British product, associated with cucumber sandwiches and rose gardens,
Part of Giffard’s ‘Premium’ liqueur range, this ginger liqueur is made by the slow maceration of ginger from Asia in neutral alcohol, with orange
Mandarine Napoléon is flavoured with Mediterranean mandarin peel macerated in alcohol with a secret combination of 20 other botanicals (including green
D1 Gin is made by distilling neutral wheat spirit in a copper pot still with: juniper berries, coriander, orange and lemon peel, angelica root, cassia
The Pattison Crisis is a cautionary tale and one which dramatically affected the Scottish whisky industry. Originally dairy farmers in Edinburgh in 1880s,
With the millions and millions of websites in the world, it's a real achievement when a site is a member of the coveted top 100,000 most-visited sites.
Whether you call it a “katzenjammer” (wailing of cats), a “futsukayoi” (two day drunk) or a “kopparslagare” (coppersmith), the hangover is
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder Beer goggles are officially a thing. So much of a thing, in fact, that they even feature in the venerable Oxford
Too much of anything is bad, but too much champagne is just right, said Mark Twain, and he was bang-on. Champagne is our go-to drink for celebrations,
There's been a lot of attention focused on rotary evaporators among the bartending fraternity over the past few years - at least the more experimental
America's national Prohibition lasted from 1920 to 1933 and was supported by groups as diverse as the Christian Women's Temperance Movement and the Ku
A snapshot view on 20th February 2015 of Alexa.com which ranks the UK’s most-visited websites finds Difford's Guide placed 6th against the country's
Do different types of alcohol effect how we behave after one too many drinks? Does mixing beer with wine and spirits send us on a downward spiral of intoxication?
Vegetarians might avoid all forms of meat but alcohol isn't typically an issue; there aren’t many producers who chuck meat into their fermentation tanks
As anyone who's ever tried to design a shooters list knows, the human capacity to tolerate vile flavours in the pursuit of inebriation is quite remarkable.
Are old cognacs, whiskies and gins really worth the time and effort it takes to track them down? Or are they just expensive, intimidating and the bartender's
Murcia's legendary beer-drinking competition may be no more, after 2013’s champion died soon after triumphantly downing seven litres of beer in 20 minutes.
The maturation of wine, spirits and even Tabasco sauce in wooden casks greatly improves their flavour. This has been understood for 100s if not 1000s of
Barrels are a particular size and shape of wooden cask. There are numerous other types of cask and the term ‘barrel’ is often wrongly used as a catch-all
After the First World War, the medical officer of Scotland's Fourth Black Watch told a hearing on shell shock, Had it not been for the rum ration, I do
Colour and flavour. Two things logic tells us should be treated separately. And yet the colour of our food and drink does influence how it tastes in our
It’s the Asia-Pacific region, an area of the world you may not associate with chronic alcohol consumption, that takes the title of the most booze-soaked
Developing a good tasting technique and building a memory bank of flavours is essential to being able to make an informed judgment as to a spirits style
Bitterness is often described by what it’s not. It’s hard to accurately define the flavour that causes many a child to wrinkle their nose at a plate
The way most people pour it is wrong. And the glasses we drink it from are wrong. Think you know about champagne? Think again.
“Its glory is inestimable; it is the parent and lord of all medicines, and its effects are marvelous,” raved the 13th century Italian doctor-scholar-alchemist,
Powdered alcohol is exactly as its name describes, alcohol in a powdered form. The science behind the substance is tricky to say the least, and requires
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
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
Light is as damaging to beer, wine and delicate liqueurs as oxygen and heat. Brown glass offers almost total protection, at least against short-term or
Distillation does not produce alcohol, it merely concentrates it. To produce a distilled spirit you need to start with an alcoholic liquid ('wash') to
The beneficial effect of maturing spirits in oak casks was probably originally discovered by accident. Whether a spirit was to be distributed by horse
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