The closest the Beachbum will ever come to having class is having Class magazine, the high-toned free weekly cocktail digest put out by Simon Difford. Class covers the international drinks scene in general, and the London bar scene in particular, thoroughly and critically — the latter particularly refreshing in a world where trade publications routinely rubber stamp any new press release that finds its way to their inbox.
We’re not sure how he finds the time, but Mr. Difford also puts out a mammoth annual cocktail compendium called Cocktails: The Bartender’s Bible. It’s certainly biblical in scope; the new 11th Edition features over 3,000 recipes, every one of them accompanied by a color photo to take the mystery out of proper glassware and garnish.
Like London’s bars, Mr. Difford was an early adopter of Tiki drinks. Back in the early 2000s, when U.S. cocktail guides routinely turned up their noses at exotic tropical cocktails, Difford’s guide was chock full of Mai Tai, Fog Cutter and Zombie variations. The new edition digs even deeper, attributing authorship of each drink with academic rigor. There’s Harry Yee’s Blue Hawaii, Don The Beachcomber’s Rum Barrel, Tony Ramos’s Hawaiian Eye, Ray Buhen’s Hula Hula, and even such obscurities as José Yatco’s Golden Wave.
But don’t stop there. We encourage you to try Simon’s own Doughnut Martini, his attempt “at mimicking the taste of a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut without ending up with an overly sweet cocktail.” Recipe: Shake with ice 1 1/2 ounce white Puerto Rican rum, 3/4 ounce bourbon, 1/2 ounce Licor 43, 1/2 ounce vanilla schnapps, 1/2 ounce butterscotch schnapps, and 3/4 ounce mineral water. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a doughnut segment on rim of glass.