Words by: Simon Difford
Photography by: Dan Malpass
The cocktails we came across during June and liked enough to add to Difford’s Guide, plus those recipes we’ve revisited and updated...
Caribbean Colada [NEW]
With: White rum, aged rum, pineapple liqueur, coconut syrup, passion fruit syrup and orange juice.
We say: Rum and pineapple strike up a tropical harmony, helped by coconut, passionfruit and orange.
With: Vodka, lemon juice, Czech liqueur, sugar syrup and pilsner.
We say: The herbal notes of Becherovka are noted for combining harmoniously with beer, fittingly in this recipe a pilsner (Becherovka is Czech, as are the origins of pilsner). This combo is fortified with vodka and freshened with lemon juice to produce a long refreshing cocktail which makes a great alternative to merely drinking beer.
With: Fresh strawberry, raspberries, vodka, elderflower liqueur, apple juice, lime juice, sugar syrup and soda.
We say: Easy drinking, fruity, refreshing and lightly sweet. Bring on the summer's afternoon.
Dutch Sour [NEW]
With: Vodka, orange curaçao, lemon juice, sugar syrup, grapefruit bitters, orange flower water and egg white.
We say: A floral orangey riff on a vodka sour.
With: Rosolio di bergamotto and IPA beer.
We say: Take a citrusy hoped beer and add a tad more citrus in the shape of Rosolio di Bergamotto. The result is predictably citrusy, refreshing and suited to the aperitivo moment rather than a night down the Rose & Crown.
The Joanna [NEW]
With: Vodka, fino sherry, dry vermouth, elderflower liqueur and lavender bitters.
We say: Reminiscent of a vodkatini with fino sherry and notes of floral elderflower and lavender.
Gin & IT (Rosolio recipe) [NEW]
With: Dry gin and rosolio di bergamotto.
We say: Bitter orange peel is a botanical which features in many gins, and in this cocktail a bitter sweet bergamot liqueur is mixed with gin to good effect.
Mai Tai (Difford's recipe) [NEW]
With: Aged rum, pineapple rum, orange curaçao, lime juice, almond syrup, amaretto, falernum, white crème de menthe and absinthe.
We say: We love Daiquiris and this is basically a classic Daiquiri with a few bells and whistles.
Paisley Spritz [NEW]
With: Dry white wine, Scottish spiced honey liqueur and ginger ale.
We say: The sweet honeyed spice notes of the liqueur combine harmoniously with the gentle acidity of the wine, lengthened and freshened with ginger ale.
Pineapple Daiquiri (Difford's recipe) [NEW]
With: Light rum, aged rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, pineapple liqueur, sugar syrup and Tiki bitters.
We say: Tangy pineapple fruit laced with light white and aged rums. Yumm!
Pineapple Martini (1990s recipe) [NEW]
With: Vodka, pineapple juice, lime juice and sugar syrup.
We say: Deliciously simple, fruity and ridiculously easy to drink.
Pineapple Martini (Difford's recipe) [NEW]
With: Vodka, pineapple juice, lime juice, pineapple liqueur, sugar syrup and Tiki bitters.
We say: There's a lot of Daiquiri going on in this very tasty vodka based cocktail - indeed so much that we couldn't help trying the same drink with a rum base - a Pineapple Daiquiri.
Rhubarb Negroni [NEW]
With: Dry gin, Campari, rabarbaro and sweet vermouth.
We say: Rabarbaro amaro influences this Negroni, making it a tad drier and punchier than standard three ingredient Negronis.
Royal Smile [UPDATED]
With: With: Dry gin, calvados, lemon juice, sugar syrup and grenadine.
We say: This balanced sweet and sour cocktail could put a smile on anyone's face. Unless that is, "one is not amused!" Calvados notes shine through.
Rum & IT [NEW]
With: Light white rum and rosolio di bergamotto.
We say: I mixed these two ingredients together just to ascertain where to go from there when creating a drink with Italicus and liked the simplicity of this two ingredient cocktail. Gin & It also works well. Later, the same mixing session also gave birth to For Sake's Sake.
La Sang Jaune (The Yellow Blood) [NEW]
With: Calvados, dry vermouth, elderflower liqueur, gentian liqueur and absinthe.
We say: Spirituous apple and rich elderflower with herbal dry vermouth and gentian complexity, finished with the merest hint of anise courtesy of a dash of absinthe.
Shadow Boxer [NEW]
With: Cachaça, Campari, dry vermouth, pink grapefruit liqueur, apricot eau-de-vie.
We say: As the name suggests this is a punchy cocktail - spirituous and bittersweet with a long bitter finish. Far from being a crowd-pleaser.
Showgirl Cocktail [NEW]
With: Aperol, dry vermouth, vodka, rose liqueur, black raspberry liqueur and champagne.
We say: Wonderfully floral - flavours of rose and raspberry dominate with dry vermouth adding balance and complexity.
Stiletto Manhattan [NEW]
With: Jack Daniel's, amaretto, dry vermouth and orange bitters.
We say: Many make this drink with 1 shot of amaretto and ½ dry vermouth and as you'd expect the result is sweet with amaretto predominating. This formula by yours truly is more in the style of a traditional Sweet Manhattan.
Tropical Pineapple Daiquiri [NEW]
With: White rum, pineapple liqueur, lime juice and orgeat syrup.
We say: Pineapple and rich almond flavours add a tropical touch to this refreshing Daiquiri.