I like to imagine myself the sort of person with a signature cocktail for every season. In my entertaining fantasies, I see myself pouring out perfectly shaken martinis, Pimm’s Cups or cement mixers at all the right moments. In these fantasies, I know these drinks by heart. My friends are impressed with my cocktail foresight. There is no running to the computer for a frantic print out or nervously thumbing through my sticky copy of Mr. Boston .
Alas, that only happens in my entertaining fantasies. In reality, you’ll find me squinting at my liquor cabinet half way through the party wondering if melon liqueur and Sambuca might be the next big drink of the summer.
This makes me even more grateful for my smart phone. My iPhone keeps me from having to wade through endless search results. I can quickly find exactly the drink that the situation calls for. And no one needs to be any the wiser. I hear that the best and brightest bartenders use their iPhone as a discreet database of recipes. And bartenders know discretion.
No discussion of the cocktail app genre would be complete without mentioning Mixology. Wildly comprehensive, Mixology has a great number of drink options. However, the ad interruptions on the free app found me clicking “close” more than I wanted.
Looking for more perfect cocktails? Mixology offers paid drink booster packs with more photographs and season-specific cocktails. Made for both Android and iPhone, Mixology is free, allowing me to save my money for adorable fruity cocktail picks.
The prettiest of the bunch, Pocket Cocktails will set you back .99, but it is ad free and photograph rich. With features like “Shake” for a random cocktail and a seasonal home page, it is bright and fun and everything a cocktail app should look like. Its sixties style art has me imagining myself a very kicky kind of hostess. The extra tips are worth a visit too — there’s a lot of bartending knowledge packed into that app.
Both Pocket Cocktails and Mixology are available free for Android users, allowing all of us to share a cocktail together.
My favorite of all the apps, Top Shelf shares drink recipes the way I need them. Categories like “Cabinet” and “Ingredients” anticipate how I look for a recipe. (Sadly, no cocktails yet exist for my overabundance of Sambuca and melon liqueur). This app allows me to take notes on the cocktails attempted, save favorites and email friends from each recipe. Top Shelf also has a category for non-alcoholic drinks, with all of the standards for those days I don’t feel like adding sauce.