Cocktail Hall of Fame


Absinthe Drip Cocktail (French method) image

Absinthe Drip Cocktail (French method)

Patience is a virtue. Slow dripping of the water is essential to dissolve the entire sugar cube and give the drink enough sweetness to balance the absinthe.

Adonis image


Some describe the Adonis as The sweet version of the Bamboo but that hardly does this brilliant vintage aperitivo/digestivo, that's off-dry and aromatic

Affinity image


A spirituous aperitivo-style cocktail, or an after-dinner sipper, which can be made with numerous different sweet vermouths or indeed a vermouth amaro

Airmail image


Lightly or well-aged rum invigorated with dry champagne, freshened by a touch of lime and balanced by honeyed richness. Described by some as being a rum-based

Alaska (Straub's 1914 recipe) image

Alaska (Straub's 1914 recipe)

Made with an Old Tom gin with amplified botanicals and minimal sugar (some are way too sweet) this is a spiritous and, if you hit the right dilution, tasty

Alexander image


This gin-laced creamy Alexander has sadly slipped from popularity, partly knocked by its successors, particularly the Brandy Alexander.

Algonquin image


Classically made with 2 parts whiskey, 1 part dry vermouth, and 1 part pineapple juice, this vintage cocktail is opened and improved by splitting the vermouth

Almond Old-Fashioned image

Almond Old-Fashioned

Bourbon's sweet notes are lifted and amplified by amaretto's almond flavours. For a slightly drier, more complex version of this drink try a Toasted Almond

Amaretto Sour (by Jeffrey Morgenthaler) image

Amaretto Sour (by Jeffrey Morgenthaler)

As the name suggests, this drink is dominated by amaretto, with lemon juice providing the sour balancing element and a slug of bourbon giving backbone.

American Trilogy image

American Trilogy

To adhere to the original recipe, you should smash a sugar cube and then painstakingly stir this with bitters into a paste. Life is just too short to faff

Americano image


Bittersweet, lightly effervescent, long and refreshing.

Añejo Highball image

Añejo Highball

Orange and rum with a hint of ginger spice. Long and thirst-quenching.

Añejo Old-Fashioned (AKA Tequila Old-Fashioned) image

Añejo Old-Fashioned (AKA Tequila Old-Fashioned)

A hint of agave syrup sweetness and dilution from the stirred ice knocks back the spirit's fire while opening and releasing agave flavours. (If you don't

Aperol Spritz / Aperitivo Spritz image

Aperol Spritz / Aperitivo Spritz

Slightly sweet, herbal, refreshing and quaffable. The good folk at Aperol, the aperitivo liqueur brand most identified with the Spritz, recommend equal

Appletini image


This Martini is unashamedly fun and brash with lurid green apple liqueur at its 'core'.

Army & Navy image

Army & Navy

Almond and lemon flavoured gin. Subtle, citrus and, despite generous orgeat, fairly dry.

Aviation (Difford's recipe) image

Aviation (Difford's recipe)

Citrus, floral gin with a slightly sour finish. The recipe above has been my preferred recipe for some years. However, in early 2020, I decided that the

B-52 image


Probably the best-known and most popular shot.

Bacardi Cocktail image

Bacardi Cocktail

This classic salmon-pinky cocktail perfectly combines and balances the light rum with the assertive sourness of lime juice and rich sweetness of pomegranate

Bamboo (Difford's 'classic' recipe) image

Bamboo (Difford's 'classic' recipe)

I've respected the first-known 1886 recipe which calls for three parts dry sherry to one part vermouth. However, I've split the vermouth between a more

Banana Calling image

Banana Calling

This short, sharp cocktail is best described as a Banana & Fino Sherry Gin Sour. The fino and banana notes are subtle, so subtle that it is not obviously

Bahama Mama image

Bahama Mama

The holy trinity of rum, coconut and pineapple served in a well-balanced, not overly sweet Tiki-style cocktail.

Banana Daiquiri (frozen) image

Banana Daiquiri (frozen)

A tangy banana drink that's not overly sweet and is more sophisticated than the uninitiated may expect.

Batanga image


Basically a Cuba Libre made with tequila in place of rum and an all-important pinch of salt.

Bee's Knees image

Bee's Knees

The combination of honey and lemon suggests flu relief but don't wait for an ailment before trying this soothing concoction. The beneficial addition of

Bellini image


It's hard not to like this blend of peaches and sparkling wine. Lemon juice adds balance and a citrusy bite while peach schnapps boosts peachy flavour.

Bernice image


Best described as A vodka daiquiri with a hint of herbal peppermint courtesy of Galliano.

Between The Sheets image

Between The Sheets

The classic proportions for a Between the Sheets are most often quoted as being: 30ml (1oz) Light rum 30ml (1oz) Cognac brandy 30ml (1oz) Triple sec liqueur

Bijou image


It is not uncommon to see this drink stipulated with equal parts gin, Chartreuse and sweet vermouth, as called for in Harry Johnson's Bartender's Manual.

Black Manhattan image

Black Manhattan

Basically, a classic Manhattan with amaro in place of sweet vermouth. Heavier in style and with distinctive bitter chocolate and light spice.

Black Russian image

Black Russian

This popular cocktail is simple but tasty. Try with just a splash of cola (rather than also with the cream that makes a Colorado Bulldog).

Blackthorn No. 3 image

Blackthorn No. 3

As Robert Vermeire says in his 1922 Cocktails: How to Mix Them, The Blackthorn is a very old cocktail, which is made in two different ways. The most popular

Blazer/Blue Blazer image

Blazer/Blue Blazer

The showy way to make a simple hot whisky punch.

Blinker image


Back in the 1940s, in his The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, David Embury said of this drink, One of a few cocktails using grapefruit juice. Not particularly

Blood & Sand image

Blood & Sand

The equal parts Blood and Sand (scotch, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth, and orange juice) formula from the 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book is the accepted

Bloody Mary (Difford's) image

Bloody Mary (Difford's)

A Bloody Mary Cocktail with a hint of bell pepper freshness and a touch of sherry.

Bobby Burns image

Bobby Burns

This recipe combines elements from the world's most respected writers of vintage recipes – the base formula comes from Craddock's 1930 The Savoy Cocktail

Boston Sour image

Boston Sour

Bourbon whiskey soured with lemon juice and smoothed by egg white.

Boulevardier image


Basically a Negroni with bourbon replacing gin. The original 1927 recipe calls for equal parts, but I've previously favoured a 3:2:2 (45ml bourbon, 30ml

Bradford (5:1) image

Bradford (5:1)

I do like a shaken Dry Martini! Sorry, I should say Bradford. For some a shaken martini is blasphemous but the aeration generated by the more vigorous

Bramble image


One of the best and most popular drinks to come out of the 1980s.

Brandy Alexander image

Brandy Alexander

This after-dinner classic is rich, creamy and subtly chocolaty.

Brandy Crusta image

Brandy Crusta

This old classic zings with fresh lemon and is beautifully balanced by the cognac base.

Brandy Milk Punch image

Brandy Milk Punch

This traditional New Orleans hangover cure beats your bog-standard vanilla milkshake.

Breakfast Martini image

Breakfast Martini

The success or failure of this tangy drink is partly reliant on the quality of marmalade used. For ease of use, choose fine cut or even no peel/shredless

Bronx image


The challenge, and indeed the opportunity, with the Bronx is to strike the perfect balance between the botanical flavours of the gin, vermouths and zesty

Brooklyn image


Perhaps my favourite of the many renditions of the Brooklyn cocktail due to being dry yet made approachable by faint sweet maraschino and bittersweet herbal

Brown Derby image

Brown Derby

Some folk make this cocktail with honey syrup rather than maple syrup. Honey does indeed make for a tasty cocktail and is stipulated in the Brown Derby

Buck's Fizz image

Buck's Fizz

A very simple cocktail, but when made with freshly squeezed oranges straight from the refrigerator this is a great brunch drink. (Be sure to fine strain

Join the Discussion

... comment(s) for A-B

You must log in to your account to make a comment.

Report comment

You must be logged in to upvote or downvote a comment

Click here to login
Welcome to Difford's Guide

All editorial and photography on is copyright protected

© Odd Firm of Sin 2023