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Difford's Encyclopedia of Cocktails: 2600 Recipes Hardcover – September 17, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 492 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books; 1ST edition (September 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554075017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554075010
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Following earlier editions under various titles, this comprehensive British encyclopedia is now published in the U.S. It includes 2,600 recipes arranged alphabetically by the name of the drink—from A1 and ABC to Zoom and Zubway. In addition to the recipe, each entry has a symbol for the author’s rating, from “Disgusting” to “Outstanding.” The type of glass (with a photo of the finished drink), garnish, and method are also noted. Entries for most recipes include variants, the drink’s origin, and Difford’s comments, some of which are entertaining. Interesting facts and amusing quotations related to alcohol are interspersed throughout the text. (Dorothy Parker said, “I do like a dry martini, / Two at the very most, / After three I’m under the table, / After four I’m under the host.”) More than 400 of the recipes (indicated with a key) can be made with 14 key ingredients listed in the introduction. An index by ingredients is followed by an appendix that describes major ingredients. Because the recipes are alphabetical by title, it may be difficult to find a recipe through the index because not all ingredients are listed. However, Difford has a Web site (www.diffordsguide.com), which seems to include the majority of the recipes. They can be searched there by name or by combining types of ingredients. The encyclopedia is highly recommended for reference or circulating collections of libraries that have patrons interested in alcoholic beverages and who, even if they have access to the Internet and Difford’s Web site, would prefer to find the information in a book. --Christine Bulson

Review

Holy cow, this is a hefty book. It looks much like a college chemistry book...hardcover, 8 by 10 1/4 inches, glossy-fronted, and wrist-achingly heavy. Mercifully, the contents of this book [are] more appealing than most chemistry books. (This might be characterized as an alchemy book.) Difford's Encyclopedia has 2,600 cocktail recipes in it. The young bartending student may dig it as it can be plopped open on a counter and one can squint to read recipes, like that of the Dutch Breakfast Martini--Tanqueray, Bols Advocaat liqueur, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and Galliano. Small photographs next to each recipe give one a sense for the type of glass to use and the look and color of the cocktail. And, obviously, with so many recipes to experiment with, one can get a lot of mileage out of this book. (alcoholreviews.com)

If you want to have an all-encompassing cocktail guide, just in case an ice storm hits and the power goes out, Difford's Encyclopedia is a good choice. This is one of those guides that's a relentless stream of drinks, one after another, non-stop, until you don't remember what happened the night before--it's kind of like drinking with Simon Difford. This organic chemistry sized text-book of drinks contains 2600 recipes, which means you'll need to drink 7.1 cocktails per day to complete in one year. I don't recommend that, consider it a 6 to 7 year Ph.D. program. (Darcy O'Neil artofdrink.com Holiday Wish List 2009-11-23)

[This book] includes 2,600 recipes arranged alphabetically by the name of the drink... In addition to the recipe each entry has a symbol for the author's rating, from Disgusting to Outstanding. The type of glass (with a photo of the finished drink), garnish, and method are also noted. Entries for most recipes include variants, the drink's origin, and Difford's comments, some of which are entertaining. Interesting facts and amusing quotations related to alcohol are interspersed throughout the text... More than 400 of the recipes (indicated with a key) can be made with 14 key ingredients listed in the introduction. An index by ingredients is followed by an appendix that describes major ingredients... The encyclopedia is highly recommended for reference or circulating collections of libraries that have patrons interested in alcoholic beverages and who, even if they have access to the Internet and Difford's Web site, would prefer to find the information in a book. (Christine Bulson Booklist 2010-05-01)

Have ice crusher. Will travel. Especially with this 500-page hardcover bartending bible tucked under one arm. A comprehensive compendium of all things gin fizz and champagne bubbly, it features not only recipes and glossy illustrations of just how to place an umbrella on a Singapore Sling, but also detailed guides to the right garnishes, glassware and tools needed for the perfect bartender's kit - think citrus jesters, swivel peelers, juicers and the like... Difford is best known as something of an auteur, having won the Glenfiddich Drink and Bar Writer of the Year Award in 2007. So when he tells you that a Kiss of Death - from equals parts Luxardo Sambuca and Galliano and served in a shot glass gives you fresh breath for that kiss, you believe him. Then again, after you've sampled just a fraction of what he's got on offer, you'll be believing anything. (Deirdre Kelly The Globe and Mail 2010-01-30)

British mixologist Difford has an encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails and an abundance of confidence in his own bartending skills, and he effectively uses both in this entertaining guide to classic and modern alcoholic drinks. After dispensing a short introduction to the equipment, key ingredients, and garnishes a good bar requires, Difford explains everything-including the type of glass to use, the mixing method, and even comments and a rating-needed to complete the beverage to perfection. While this volume might not be quite as luxe as Danny Meyer's Mix Shake Stir (one of the other standout books on drinks published in 2009), it more than makes up in the glam department with its profusion of practical information. VERDICT Whether you take your drink shaken, stirred, on the rocks, or neat, you will still find plenty to keep you busy at the bar with this exceedingly useful resource. (John Charles, Scottsdale Public Library, AZ Library Journal 2010-01-01)

For those who want to learn more about making cocktails, whether you're at home or are considering a career behind the bar. (Judy Creighton London Free Press 2009-12-26)

The 2600 alphabetically arranged entries in this bar reference provide a color photo of the cocktail along with its ingredient list, preparation method, and origin, if known. The ingredients appendix reviews the history of recommended liqueurs and describes their flavors. Previously published as 'Difford's Guide to Cocktails #7, [this] eighth edition adds 400 cocktails and amends many recipes. (SciTech Book News 2010-02-00)

Simon Difford wrote the book on cocktails -- literally....but his new Difford's Encyclopedia of Cocktails goes beyond any bar guide I've seen. It's all a novice needs in order to learn how to make any cocktail.... Even the most experienced mixmaster will get a kick out of the recipes. (Linda Barnard Toronto Star 2010-02-06)

A real nuts and bolts book, it's an alphabetical listing of 2,600 cocktail recipes using just about every liquor imaginable--and yet it is very straightforward and easy to follow. (Waterloo Region Record 2009-12-20)

Simon Difford says he has spent a dozen years "visiting and writing about the world's best bars." He's put together an impressive 2,600 cocktail recipes, which should keep trendy boozers enthralled (or hammered) for ages. (J. Mackie Kelowna.com 2009-10-23)

For friends who own a muddler and know how to use it: Difford's Encyclopedia of Cocktails... Simon Difford, a London-based bartender with a cult following among cocktail enthusiasts, and publisher of Class magazine, has assembled a staggering 2,600 recipes here. (Adam McDowell National Post 2009-11-14)

If you have the right ingredients on hand, Difford says [cocktails are] simpler to create than most food recipes. (Lisa Kadane Calgary Herald 2010-06-06)

(reviewed with Cocktails Made Easy) Pick up a copy of these books and search for Difford's take on your favorite cocktail, or for something new that captures your attention. (E. Leposky Miami Examiner.com 2010-06-18)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Oslund on January 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Difford's Encyclopedia of Cocktails is perhaps the finest bar book I own out of at least a dozen others. It is beautifully presented in color with the finest paper and the photography is second to none. There are 2600 different drinks to choose from.
The drink recipes are clear and consice, from the type of glassware, the garnishes, even the amount of ice to use. There is no guessing on weather the drink should be shaken, stirred, layered, muddled, or served on the rocks.
The dictionary section lists are extensive, even giving the history of the specific types described. No, you do not have to be a professional mixologist to understand the book, and it deserves a five star rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert P. Metzger on January 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was a Christmas gift for our son, and he tells us it is thorough, easy-to-use, and accurate. He is very happy with it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Its a great resource for starting out and exploring. It has a star rating for all the cocktails but we don't bother anything under four starts as there really are some awful cocktails out there - mostly from the 70s and 80s!

it would be nice to have a bit more space around the recipes to write some adjustments for taste, as we do modify a few of the recipes.
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