You don’t have to be a professional bartender to make delicious cocktails at home. Using a savvy cocktail app, you can see the ingredients and equipment you need to shake (or stir) one yourself.
Having a drink in a bar is fun, but learning to make your own cocktails at home it’s the bee’s knees! Staples like the martini, enjoy tiki drinks, and beloved Prohibition era cocktails like the Sazerac, hundreds of cocktails are just waiting to be prepared. And with one of these useful bartender apps, you can create and try any of them!
What to look for in Cocktail apps
Just as the ingredients of your drinks are important, so are the functionality of these cocktail apps. From step-by-step guides to a wide variety of recipes, an app with all of these features can really make or break your beverage making experience:
Varied and high quality recipes: Because everyone likes something different, a good cocktail app should offer a wide variety of cocktail recipes that have been tested and found to be delicious. The best cocktail apps offer frozen and sweet drink recipes, classic and prohibition-era cocktails, international alcoholic drinks, and fun new concoctions so there is something for everyone. Having a wide variety of recipes also means more new drinks to try, so you can get a better idea of what you like.
Step by step guides: There is always that person at a party who has a natural instinct to mix drinks, but for the rest of us, it’s nice to have simple step-by-step instructions, especially if there are photos . And let’s be honest, the instructions are also nice when you need another drink, but you’ve already had a few.
Complete supply lists: If you want your drinks to be perfect, you need to have the right ingredients and the right equipment. The best bartender apps list absolutely everything you will need, so you can get ready.
Professional photos: The high quality photos not only encourage us to consume a drink, but they also give us a frame of reference for making it (do the color and viscosity match, for example). They also provide a suggestion on how to garnish and serve the drink.
Some extras: While the above four features are all you need, there are a few extras that are nice to have, like the ability to save or bookmark a recipe that you liked so you can easily reference again. Some bartender apps also offer a drink randomizer, which shows you a random drink if you’re undecided (or if you’re feeling brave). Bonus points for apps that provide information on why particular supplies are needed or a little history about a particular drink.
Authoritarian and educational: The Liquor Cabinet
The interface of The Liquor Cabinet (Free) is as beautiful as the drinks it contains. The app is filled with classic drinks as well as exclusive cocktails organized and tested by the three brothers who founded the app. You can search for recipes in the app, and even search for drinks made with just one basic alcohol like brandy or rum. Tapping on a drink takes you to its individual page, where you can see a professional photo of it with its recipe and all the equipment you’ll need to make it (along with some facts about each piece of equipment, explaining what it does and how it works).
The Liquor Cabinet is a beautiful and intuitive application, because the brothers believe that presentation is everything. The app also contains a complete bottle guide, which shows you photos of different types of alcohol as well as some brief notes on their tasting notes, their stories and the types of drinks you can make with. The app is ideal for sophisticated drinkers and home bartenders of all skill levels.
From bottom to top: cocktail flow
Cocktail stream (Free) is a solid app for all kinds of cocktail lovers, but it is especially great for those looking to master the making of all the most popular drinks. However, the app has over 600 recipes, so there are many more bevs to explore once the basics are mastered, including tasty but lesser-known options like Dark and Stormy, Negroni and Mint Julep. In addition to searching for drinks by name, you can search for recipes made with a specific type of alcohol such as tequila or gin.
You can also narrow down the recipe options based on the ingredients you have on hand, such as limes, simple syrup, orange juice, eggs, or tonic water. This is especially handy if you want a cocktail but don’t know much about it, or if you need to know what else you need to buy in the store to make a particular cocktail. It also allows you to tag your favorite drink recipes so that they are easier to find next time. With so many recipes and search options and its simple and colorful interface, Cocktail Flow is a great app for all kinds of drinkers.
For the undecided drinker: the choice of bartender
If your liquor cabinet is well stocked but you can’t decide what to drink, Bartender’s Choice ($ 4.99) can help you make a decision. Just tell him the type of alcohol you want to drink or the type of drink you want (like alcoholic, sweet, creamy), and he’ll show you a few options, with photos and a short list of Ingredients. Tapping on a drink brings you to a page with a larger photo of it, its recipe, and a quick phrase or two about the drink just for fun. Of course, you can also scroll through the Bartender’s Choice drinks database alphabetically and save or share drink recipes with friends.
Connoisseur Essentials: Modern Classics
If you just want to have a clean list of timeless and beloved cocktails without frilly club drinks or dive bar concoctions, Modern classics ($ 9.99) is the app for you. It offers 99 essential recipes divided into four categories: modern classics, objectively popular drinks that could become classics, critical favorites worthy of more praise, and a collection of fundamental drinks from the 1970s and 1990s that helped make advancing the renaissance of today’s cocktails.
Modern Classics is a great drink recipe app for connoisseurs and those who appreciate the history of making modern cocktails. You can search for recipes using one of the many unique filters, such as creation date, base spirit or type of cocktail, or simply tick the ingredients you have in stock until all possible options appear. The app also makes it easy to save your favorite recipes and create personalized recipe lists, with your own recipe annotations, and sync your inventory of barware and ingredients for easier use in the future.
Trendy and popular cocktails: Guru cocktails
Those with an adventurous spirit and a strong liver can get started and try some of the 15,000 recipes Cocktail Guru Database (free). In addition to being well stocked with recipes, Cocktails Guru also lists the top 100 cocktails as well as those that are in vogue with members of its community. So you can try what other people are drinking or do something you’ve never had before. The app also makes it easy to save drinks to your favorites list for easy reference and to rate each recipe you try.
Tapping on a drink brings you to its individual page, which has different tabs for information, recipe, images and comments. You can check out several photos of the drink and see how popular it is within the Guru Cocktails community. In the Recipe tab, the application tells you the type of glass to serve, the ingredients and tools you will need and step-by-step instructions. Most cocktails also have a video tutorial option as well as a way to make a non-alcoholic version of the drink, if possible.
Animation guide to building drinks: lush
If you’re new to making your own drinks or just enjoy receiving in-depth visual instructions during the bartender, Lush ($ 1.99) is a great option. The app offers hundreds of hand-picked drinks and plans, which you can search for individually or scroll through alphabetically. It also has a fantastic search function that lets you search for recipes by a basic spirit, like vodka, and tack on a secondary ingredient, like Amaretto or cola, and find fun options for this way. Lush also offers organized drink lists to make a quick cocktail choice if you’re not undecided, or you can create your own by promoting all of the best recipes.
However, Lush really shines with his animation guide. Pressing a drink takes you to its recipe page, where each ingredient is listed by quantity and color coded in a checklist. You will also see the “color” of each ingredient in the animated photo of the finished drink, making it easy to see the ratio of each ingredient in the cocktail. Lush gives you a step-by-step guide to preparing the cocktail, from garnishing a glass of salt to finishing with a garnish to make it perfect every time.