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Cocktail Software, Apps, & Databases


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Bump.

Since the past exercises in frustration noted above, I've kept a google document listing ~100 of the drinks I'm most likely to turn to, updating and printing it out monthly. If I care to do so, I can pull out my laptop, search on a string, and slog through all of the "gin" or "egg white" selections one by one. It wasn't ideal, but I figured what the heck.

A few months ago, I got a Droid, and I started snooping around at cocktail apps that use the Android OS. The big boy on the block is 10001 Cocktails, which has thousands of horrifying drinks, a bad interface, ads, and a lot of other problems. I haven't snooped through the entire Android Market, but most of the choices there seem extremely limited. Meanwhile, recipe apps are designed for mains, baked goods, and so on, and don't have the simplicity and search functionality I wanted for cocktails.

So I started trying to see if I could find simple db software that I could tweak for cocktail use. Turns out that an app called Memento, which is being marketed as personal database software and has stuff preloaded for CDs, lecture notes, and recipes, does the trick.

With just a bit of time editing the Recipe library by changing the library name to "Cocktails," tweaking entry fields (including drop-down menu selections for drink categories), and figuring out basic .csv protocols and transfers, I had uploaded all of the google recipes onto the Droid. Now they're all sortable, searchable, and groupable by any field or text string. I'm very happy with my little kludgy app, which does just what I need it to do.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Very interesting, Chris. I'll check it out. As you add entries, do you key in the ingredients individually, or can you set up drop-down menus for those too?

I've been using Zotero, synced across various PCs. It's not perfect, but does have some nice features. I enter drink ingredients as tags, then can filter the library by either clicking on one or several tags, or by entering full or partial word search terms into a search bar. All entries are hyperlinked to the original source. Notes can be added if I want to modify proportions. It's far better than the standard bookmark managers that come with most browsers.

The downsides are 1) no functional mobile interface, 2) not really designed for this purpose, so there's a lot of extra "stuff", 3) all actual recipes are contained on the linked external websites, so they could theoretically disappear in the future.

 

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As an iPod Touch user (read: addict), my go-to app is Cocktails+ (based on CocktailDB) - the quality of the recipes, searchability, favorites, and glossary functions are particularly useful to me. I've also downloaded Tiki+, which is by the same author/software team, but focuses instead on tiki drinks from Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic. I haven't used it as much as Cocktails+ since I'm just not much of a tiki guy.

For cataloging my own recipes and others I've picked up, I've been using an app called Tag Notes. It has a very simple note-taking interface - you create a new note, type in your recipe, and then it's displayed in the list. The killer feature is the ability to tag the notes, so I can give each recipe a tag for each major ingredient. Then you can browse by tags in a similar way that you can browse in Cocktails+ (select a tag and see all the recipes associated with it). My beefs with Tag Notes are that 1) there's no search function, 2) notes are fixed in order of date of creation, and 3) tags must be typed in manually each time.

I also keep a journal with tasting notes in the iPod's built-in Notes app, but it isn't tagable, searchable, or favorite-able.

Does anyone else use an iPhone/iPod Touch for cocktailian purposes? Any recommendations?

Jeff Fox

Aspiring Cocktailian

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Very interesting, Chris. I'll check it out. As you add entries, do you key in the ingredients individually, or can you set up drop-down menus for those too?

What I've been doing is creating csv files with recipes from Wondrich, Thomas, DeGroff, Duffy, et al on my laptop and then uploading them to the Droid. You can enter them directly into the Droid too, but since I can touchtype this is easier for me.

ETA: Someone asked specifics, so:

When I edited the Recipe library, I:

1. renamed the library to "Cocktails"

2. Left the Name and Ingredients entry fields unchanged

3. Edited the Category field to include the values that you want to use. (I have Sours, Punches, Old Fashioneds, Martinezes/Manhattans, Flips/Noggs/Milk Punches, Syrups, Infusions, Fizzes/Sodas/Champagne, Hot Drinks, Misfits.)

Of course, the categorization in 3 is eminently debatable (use Embury? Regan? DeGroff?). I went with simple, since I mainly search on ingredients or look for a specific drink by name. YMMV.

Edited by Chris Amirault (log)

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 2 weeks later...

What would be really sweet is if CocktailDB would allow you to create your account there and input your own recipes there. I would pay for that.

A different collection of recipes would also be useful. The current collection is pretty good but has some junk and is missing a lot of modern recipes. We could make an eGullet collection. These collections could co-exist.

I currently have everything in Word documents.

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  • 2 months later...

I have been working on a cocktail organizer website. It is still in it's "formative years" as they used to say. You will be able to organize, categorize, and share your recipes. I would be most interesting in hearing from this elite group about a couple of items:

1) What categories do you use (or would like to use) to categorize your cocktail recipes? The software already can organize by cocktail name, ingredients, and primary alcohol. It also has a "Menu category" for each cocktail. For my own use, I use these menu categories:

  • Classic -- Major well-known long-standing cocktails, like Martini or Manhattan, perhaps with a twist (like a Hemmingway Daiquiri)
  • Vintage -- Cocktails from the past, not so well known (e.g. Martinez)
  • Tiki -- Mai Tai's and the like
  • Easy Drinking -- Sweeter drinks without challenging flavors (e.g. Caipirinha, Pisco Sour)
  • Challenging -- Bitter, herbal, or other out-there drinks (e.g. Art of Choke, Negroni)
  • Innovative -- New drinks that aren't too challenging

So what organizational categories would you find useful? These could be additions to a menu category, or some other completely different category. For example,I currently don't do anything with glassware or mixing/serving style because I didn't find them useful (but others might). Or maybe you categorize by when you would drink it (lunchtime, before dinner, with dinner, after dinner, summer, winter)?

2) If you are currently using a computer to organize your cocktails and are willing to send me your file, I would be interesting in examining it to continue to improve the cocktail import process. There isn't much standardization in cocktail recipes, so I plan to be as flexible as possible on import formats. If so, please send them to dan899 at gmail dot com. You would also be welcome to beta test, when the software is ready.

Thanks much.

Dan Chadwick

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been building a google cocktail db for our work recipes and have been using the following idiosyncratic list for categories:

* Sour

* Old Fashioned

* Martinez/Manhattan

* Martini

* Fizz/Tonic/Soda

* Champagne

* Flip/Nogg/Milk Punch

* Punch (non-Milk)

* Hot Drink

* Syrups/Infusions

* Mocktail

* Misfit

As with most taxonomies, it's deeply flawed; I personally wish that I could use more than one category in the google db (that's why there's no "Tiki," for example, since most are more or less sours).

We also have description (for the menu blurb), ingredients, glass, method, garnish, bartender and notes for each recipe.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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As with most taxonomies, it's deeply flawed; I personally wish that I could use more than one category in the google db (that's why there's no "Tiki," for example, since most are more or less sours).

Don't you mean punches? Or what differentiates the two categories in your system?

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Maybe you could build off of Gary Regan's categories in Joy of Mixology. They might not cover everything you want but they would be a good start. Can you add other fields for different attributes? So for example, you could have a field "Approachability" with values "Gateway", "Intermediate", "Challenging". Then you could find for example Challenging highballs or whatever. I haven't looked at the Google product, but the ability to query multiple fields is pretty fundamental in databases.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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The key to this problem is to find a program that allows you to categorize each entry with one or more tags (think labels in Gmail vs folders in other email programs). I might have mentioned this upthread, but I've shoehorned Zotero into a workable cocktail database:

Screenshot.png

I use the Tag field for ingredients. Progressively selecting tags filters the whole database, returning only entries that contain the specified ingredients. It would be great to have a field like Chris has created to classify drinks by type or family.

 

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I don't really categorize by anything other than base liquor.

Your categories sound good, but being able to have multiple categories (using tags) is key.

Perhaps a "citrusy" category is useful, or is that covered by Sours. Is everything that has citrus a sour?

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  • 9 months later...

As an iPod Touch user (read: addict), my go-to app is Cocktails+ (based on CocktailDB) - the quality of the recipes, searchability, favorites, and glossary functions are particularly useful to me. I've also downloaded Tiki+, which is by the same author/software team, but focuses instead on tiki drinks from Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic. I haven't used it as much as Cocktails+ since I'm just not much of a tiki guy.

I can't find either of these apps in the iTunes store. Have they been removed from sale?

Any recently released apps that people have been using?

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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It appears that Tiki+ can now be found under "Beachbum Berry's Tiki+"

And it appears that Cocktails+ is gone completely--their website is still up but the link into the app store doesn't work, so it's definitely not there. Too bad, it had a nice clean interface and decent recipes.

Edited by cadmixes (log)
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Dan's Kindred Cocktails has really come a long way. It's the absolute best source now, no need to use CocktailDB, Esquire, etc.

If you're looking for an iPhone app, don't bother. All the ones I've seen have terrible content. Just dial up Kindred Cocktails in your phone's browser.

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  • 1 year later...

The only cocktail app that I have is the Bartender's Choice app by Sam Ross et al., and I use it quite a bit! I also use eatyourbooks.com to look for ideas based on specific ingredients, although their cocktail book database is still somewhat limited - but at least it encourages me to use the cocktails books that I already have. Kindred Cocktails is very useful as well and easily searchable.

On another topic, my bar is starting to grow out of control and it's getting more difficult to keep track of everything I have. I have just downloaded the My Bar app that Martin Doudoroff created, in the hope that it will help me keep track of things. For the time being, despite an impressive list of ingredients already in the database, the app is pretty bare-boned regarding the features that it offers, but hopefully it will continue to evolve and improve in the future. One big plus is that you can very quickly enter your collection by scanning the bar codes (some bottles won't have one or won't be recognized but it's very easy to add them to the database). I am hoping that it will soon be possible to see my "inventory" organized by liquor type, so I can remember to rotate between rums for example instead of always reaching for the same 4 or 5 bottles.

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I have been using the Top Shelf app for adding my recipes and sharing with friends.

Those are the best parts of the app. The recipes that the app comes with are the usual junk but that is not what we use it for.

With four of us sharing recipes, my favorites has over 160 recipes.

There are probably better apps but I'm too lazy to look for one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just found out that there was a free cocktail app by Food and Wine that includes their guide to America's best bars, together with a few original recipes from these bars. It seems similar to the little guidebook that they published earlier this year.

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  • 1 year later...

Is anyone using the app Speakeasy Cocktails (by Jim Meehan and Joseph Schwartz)? It's a bit pricey ($9.99), but based on the free chapter, the recipes look pretty good. There may be a bit of overlap with the PDT cocktail book and the Bartender's Choice app.

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  • 5 months later...

Martin Doudoroff just released a new cocktail app, Martin's Index of Cocktails and Mixed Drinks. It's a curated list of cocktail recipes from the 1850s until Prohibition. I own a handful of books that he is drawing from, but obviously have not amassed the library he has access to. This seems like an amazing resource for $10.

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The videos look pretty cool, I wonder if those stream within the app, or if they're preloaded...

Stream.

Videos now released for free online anyway.

Crap sound quality.

Useless.

Do. Not. Buy.

Edited by Adam George (log)

The Dead Parrot; Built from the ground up by bartenders, for everyone:

Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Champions, 2015

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  • 4 months later...
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