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gmi3804

Best Cocktail Recipe Website?

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Cocktaildb.com, run by Ted Haigh (Dr. Cocktail) and Martin Doudoroff is pretty highly regarded. Esquire magazine's drink website consists primarily of material written by Dave Wondrich. I don't know if he's still involved with it (or if they're adding new material), but it's amusing and informative for the most part. If you want stories with your recipes, it's a good place to look.

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+1 for cocktaildb.com. Invaluable research and quick look-up tool for recipes.

I have been developing a website for organizing your own recipes, as well as sharing them with others. It's a different kind of thing -- certainly not authoritative because the recipes are from other users. Think of it as your personal cocktail recipe book plus Wikipedia for cocktails.

As a registered user, you can create your own cocktail recipe book by entering cocktails, pasting them, importing them from a file, or merely clicking to sharing recipes that others have entered. As a non-registered user, you can look up recipes that others have entered. It is still pre-release, so there aren't many recipes yet (fewer than 500). Of course, my recipes are they so they are of the highest quality. :wink:

If anyone is interested in becoming a pre-release tester (particularly if you have an existing consistently-formatted cocktail database that you'd like imported), just contact me: dan at kindredcocktails dot com, or through eGullet.


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

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For the classics, I typically turn to Dale DeGroff's books, cross referenced with cocktaildb.com (which you can also get on your iPhone through the Drink-a-Dex application, formerly known as Cocktails+).

Although sometimes it will have historical recipes that call for, say, "juice of 1/2 a lime," and I prefer more accurate measures.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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I humbly offer the eG Forums Spirits and Cocktails forum for consideration. In addition, there are quite a few bloggers who have excellent drinks databases. I often check Paul Clarke's at Cocktail Chronicles, for example.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Am I the only one who thinks that CocktailDB is almost worthless to the novice? The recipes are all over the place. I definitely appreciate the effort that went into it and I grant that it can be a useful place to turn to for inspiration but made as-is, many of the recipes there are questionable at best.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I think "almost worthless" is far too strong. I think it's a great resource for a particular sort of novice, the sort who'd rather look a word up in the Oxford English Dictionary than read a wikipedia entry on it.

In my workshops, I want people to consider their own ratios for, say, the Sidecar, and cocktaildb's variations -- Equal parts? 3:1:1? neither? -- are good starting points. I also think that a beginner with a bottle of something new to them would find the search function very useful, and the hyperlinks to ingredient descriptions and other drinks are instructive as well.

As for the real bombs in there, well, you can learn a lot from the drinks that end up in the sink.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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It depends novice in question and on the source, which is why I recommended Dale DeGroff's books upthread. I think also his palette and mine must be very similar.

Answering the question "Do I even like Sidecars to begin with?" is different from "What's the perfect Sidecar recipe?"

On the iPhone/iPad application, you can actually flip through and compare, say, the historical recipes vs. the modern ones. Gary Regan vs the Savoy vs Ted Haigh.

I do find some of the historical ones to be sometimes questionable.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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Tasting a bad Sidecar will not accurately tell you if you like Sidecars though. If I had to recommend a single comprehensive resource I would probably say the Esquire one, as I find Dr. Wondrich's writing to be hip, entertaining, and informative and the recipes are more often than not well suited to my tastes. I'll grant you that they are generally towards the dry/tart/austere side but adding a tsp of simple syrup will solve that for anyone who finds them lacking in sugar.

My earlier analysis of CocktailDB might have been a little harsh but to follow up on Mr. Amirault's analogy, CocktailDB is more like looking up a word in a dictionary from 1911: it will give you some idea of the meaning, but the information is likely to be lacking in context and it definitely won't reflect contemporary usage.

ETA: As for drinks in the sink, if a novice encounters too many of those they are probably more likely to give up on the whole thing, hence the need for a reputable resource.


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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That is what I was trying to say.

Another reason why I like DeGroff's books: he'll tell you the history of a drink, the historical proportions, and how he has tweaked it to make it more balanced, accomodate larger modern eggs, etc. I find nearly all of his recipes to be solid.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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I agree. CocktailDB is good for looking up recipes but just because a recipe is included doesn't mean it's a good drink. For someone new to cocktails, this could end badly. In addition to my collection of books, I like Drhnkboy Robert Hess includes recipes for drinks that he likes and has adjusted the recipes to his liking. I find I like most of what he suggests. I also enjoy Eric's Savoy Cocktails where he painstakingly tries to replicate every recipe and then lets you know how he liked the drink. He started the process here but continues at Underhill-Lounge He has been a good source of new drinks that have stayed in the house rotation. Folks who are new to cocktails just need to know that bad recipes are a waste of good booze so try to find a source that actually makes the drink before printing the recipe and provides a suitable warning where necessary.


KathyM

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The short answer is that there is no currently-existing web site that comes close to providing the kind of valuable information and good recipes that can be gained from having even just a few decent cocktail books.


--

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The short answer is that there is no currently-existing web site that comes close to providing the kind of valuable information and good recipes that can be gained from having even just a few decent cocktail books.

I have to agree with this. The websites are fun to poke around with once in a while, but I don't rely on any of them as my primary sources for recipes. Many of the better ones don't seem to have been updated in quite some time, and the ones that allow unmoderated user entries are atrocious--filled up with useless frat-boy scattershot concoctions with puerile names. Some of them have some fun widgets, though, like CocktailDB's Mixilator or The Webtender's In My Bar feature which allows you to select all of the ingredients you have at hand and then lists all of the drinks you can make with what you have.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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I humbly offer the eG Forums Spirits and Cocktails forum for consideration. In addition, there are quite a few bloggers who have excellent drinks databases. I often check Paul Clarke's at Cocktail Chronicles, for example.

I was going to suggest we make a group effort to get some key "consensus" cocktails with perhaps some variations into recipie Gullet. But I think it would need considerable rework to be useful as a general resource where you could browse by spirit type or search effectively. There are some awesome recipies in "what are you drinking" but really hard to find. Could we pin a moderated "best of eGdrinks" thread? If nothing else, it could lead to some enlightening discussion on what works for different people.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Warning: self-serving biased opinionated drivel follows:

I created Kindred Cocktails to address this issue (and others). I observed that ratings of cocktails by the general population aren't very helpful because your taste in cocktails is unlike that of many of the people doing the rating. To someone who thinks a Screwdriver or Jack 'n Coke is the cat's pajamas, a Moment of Silence or Aviation is going to be just yucky. And vice-versa. Witness the thread on Chowhound where someone said that Campari was the worst bottle they had ever bought. Dagger to my heart....

I found that when I opened a general cocktail book, unless it had a narrow focus around my area(s) of interest, it was filled with many uninteresting recipes, many of which seem somewhat similar. I've been very happy with cocktail books where the author has a focused point of view. Perhaps the most extreme example is Beta Cocktails.

My solution to finding and collecting good recipes was to create my own personal cocktail book by collecting recipes from books, forums, blogs, and articles. I did this first in a word processing file. That got unwieldy fast. Then in a FileMaker database. That worked fine, but it was hard to get cocktails in-and-out, and I had to launch an application whenever I wanted a recipe. And I couldn't share with my fellow cocktail enthusiasts.

So what I have now is an early version of my ideal cocktail recipe website. It allows you to easily enter cocktails of your own into a personal cocktail book (called My Cocktails). You can also click to add another person's cocktail to My Cocktails. You can search and organize in a wide variety of ways (e.g. My Cocktails, grouped by Primary Alcohol, whose name contains "Fizz") or that you've rated 4 stars or greater or that you've indicated should be on your personal menu, etc. This is your personal cocktail book. I keep ratings and private notes and build a personal cocktail menu with it.

I'm not sure how eGullet would feel about it, but if there is no objection, I would welcome a group effort to create a collection of high-quality cocktails from eGullet. In fact, you'll find quite a number of them in Kindred Cocktails already -- because I collected them for my personal My Cocktails from reading old forum threads. I'm envisioning a group of users who can work either on their individual cocktail book (My Cocktails), or collaborate on a group cocktail book ("Our Cocktails", perhaps?).

I'll be away on vacation for the next week or two, but will be interested to see if this idea get traction.


Edited by EvergreenDan (log)

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

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