Difford's 20 best cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

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Over the past 25 years I've made the 5,000 cocktails I've uploaded to this website and along the way I've created some 600 of my own cocktail recipes - some better than others – these 20 are perhaps my best.

As with all our 20 best pages, please click on the cocktail image or name for recipe page.

My 20 best

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Bermondsey Minute
With: Tequila, vermouth di Torino, maraschino liqueur and lavender syrup
Comment: Tequila and lavender are a match made in heaven, made more complex with herbal wine notes from the vermouth, aromatised by delicately fruity maraschino cherry.

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With: Genever, toffee liqueur, and rosso vermouth.
We say: I 'borrowed' this recipe and then tweaked it to be to my tastes.

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Celery Century
With: Dry gin, Americano bianco, celery saccharum, and lemon juice.
We say: Celery saccharum is easy to make and delicious. Used here in a 20th Century.

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Coco Geisha
With: Japanese single malt, sake, coconut water, sugar syrup, and orange bitters.
We say: Delicately enriched whisky, sake and coconut water.

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Damn It Jimmy
With: Sake, light white rum, fino sherry, dry vermouth and sugar syrup.
Comment: Delicately flavoured and ever so slightly sweet.

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Difford's Fruit Cup No.1
With: Dry gin, orange curaçao, rosso vermouth, aromatic bitters, ginger ale, and cola.
We say: Better than a Pimm's Cup!

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Dublin Minstrel
With: Irish whiskey, Chartreuse Green, maraschino liqueur and lime juice.
Comment: A riff on the classic Last Word cocktail substituting Irish whisky for gin. Named after Frank Fogarty, a vaudeville performer known as the The Dublin Minstrel.

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For Sake's Sake
With: Light white rum, sake, rosolio di bergamotto, and orange curaçao.
We say: Aromatic, subtly orange, and as the same suggests, sake influenced.

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Grand White Lady
With: Dry gin, Grand Marnier, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and egg white.
We say: One of the many cocktails to emerge due to a suggestion in the comments on another cocktail page.

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Iron Negroni
With: Dry gin, ferro china, and rosso vermouth.
We say: An obvious cocktail to make with ferro china but delicious.

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Last Palabra
With: Reposado tequila, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, lavender syrup, lime juice, and lavender bitters.
We say: A lavender tequila-based Last Word.

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Left Bank Martini
With: Gin, elderflower liqueur, Chablis and dry vermouth.
Comment: Forget modern bartending convention – go on, shake the hell out of it!

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Mezcal Dante
With: Fresh basil, mezcal, blanco tequila, Green Chartreuse, kummel, agave syrup, and lime juice.
We say: A riff on another's cocktail at the suggestion of another.

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Pinky Negroni
With: Dry gin, American rosso, ambrato vermouth, rose liqueur, and fino sherry.
We say: And you know what do with your little finger as you drink this.

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R U Bobby Moore?
With: Scotch whisky, bison grass vodka, sauvignon blanc, apple juice, and honey syrup.
We say: whisky, apple, and bison grass vodka with sweet 'n' sour complexity.

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S 'n' Emm
With: Mezcal, Americano rosso, and amaro.
We say: A digestivo that's just on the bitter side of bittersweet.

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With: Genever, red bitter liqueur, amontillado sherry, and rosso vermouth.
We say: A Sherry Negroni based on genever.

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Smokestack Lightning
With: Reposado tequila, Islay single malt, agave syrup, lime juice, and margarita bitters.
Comment: Margarita-like with a wisp of Islay smoke.

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The StiG
With: Calvados, pisco, elderflower liqueur, and sauvignon blanc.
We say: A cocktail I created for the launch of St-Germain back in 2006.

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Sugar My Plums
With: Sake, mirabelle eau-de-vie, umeshu, and plum bitters.
We say: A light, cleansing and aromatic aperitivo.

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