A little ode to my favourite drink in all of Diffordsguide

My copy of Diffordsguide is the 10th edition, published in 2012, and I am still not finished making all 3000 cocktails contained therein. The fact that, in the time since owning it, two more editions have been released and the total number of cocktails listed is now at 4200, suggests to me that I am never going to fully conquer it.

So I haven’t made all 3000 cocktails in my copy of the book. I haven’t even made all 16 types of Old Fashioned that it lists. Nor even the 4 variations of Mai Tai. And yet I feel perfectly comfortable in saying that I’m pretty sure I have found the best drink in the whole book. Close the cover, put it back on the shelf, my work here is done.

The drink in question is the Warsaw Cooler. It was, Mr Difford explains, created in 2002 by Morgan Watson of Apartment, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and to Morgan I say this: Thank you for all you have done. I now owe you a life debt similar to the one that your namesake vows to Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. Just say the word and I’ll be there.


It's so beautiful and natural, like the freshly butchered forest that this backdrop suggests.


What makes the Warsaw Cooler so special? Simply put, it contains lots of ingredients and you can taste them all. Now, I know that is true of most cocktails, but a lot of ingredient combinations play a game of flavour maths, (e.g. Amaretto + Cherry Brandy = Bakewell Tart) and that’s not the case here.

In the Warsaw Cooler, every ingredient takes it in turn to wash over your taste buds in perfect complementation. Who knew that sometimes a drink should be nothing more than exactly the sum of its parts, one after the other?

There’s the freshly-mown grassiness of Zubrowka, followed by tongue-tantalising spiced rum, held together by natural sweetness of the honey, all cut through by the palate-cleansing apple juice and sharp citrus of the lemon. Every sip is like running through a revolving door of taste and then you look up and realise some polite genius has hung some mint in the doorway for extra freshness.

Ok, fine, enough of me making ill-advised analogies. Here’s the recipe:

Warsaw Cooler



1.5oz Zubrowka Vodka
1/2oz Spiced rum
1/4oz Triple Sec
2oz Cloudy Apple Juice
3/4oz Lemon Juice
1/2oz Sugar Syrup
2 tsp Runny Honey

Method: Stir the honey and the vodka together until the honey dissolves. Then add all the other ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a tall glass filled with more ice and garnish with an orange slice and mint sprig.
The only thing that’s left to do is address the typo in Diffordsguide, which gives this a 4.5/5 star rating when clearly that’s supposed to read ’22/5’.

Tags: Diffordsguide, Diffords, Zubrowka, Vodka, Warsaw Cooler

You might also like...