If that cocktail at your favourite restaurant has started to pinch the pocket, but you would still like to relax with a drink on the weekend, there is an exotic, yet less-costly solution: mix the cocktails at home yourself! Most ingredients are available at your neighbourhood supermarket, and recipes are easy to find. But you will still need to know the difference between shaken and stirred, and how to do the layering. This week we look at a few apps that teach you do all this and more.
[iOS, Android, free]
In case you are thinking that the app focuses on vodka since it has been conceived by Absolut, think again! The app gives you over 500 drink recipes based on vodka, gin, rum, brandy, whisky and tequila and in some cases, even some non-alcoholic options. Choose the drink by an ingredient or just search for one, and it will let you see the recipe. It also lists out the steps including how to shake a drink, to how to layer one, even cutting your own citrus fruits for those wedges. What’s more, use the App on the iPad and you can access over 3,000 recipes.
[Free on iOS and Android with in-app purchases, Rs. 160 on Windows Phone]
You can search the drinks by name, the base spirit, colour or type (a shooter, tropical, creamy or classic drink) and it will show you the stuff required to make the particular cocktail as well as the steps to it. But what’s unique is its “my bar” feature. You can select the ingredients you have in your bar, from base spirits to liqueurs and mixers and it will show you all the possible combination cocktails that you can make. Our experiment threw up 25 options, but if you want more combinations add more stuff to your bar. It also lets you look at photos and reviews from the community and add photos of drinks you made. Though the Windows version needs to be bought, it is worth the small amount one needs to pay.
[iOS only, Rs. 620]
The price is a little on the higher side but Speakeasy is more of a book with over 40 instructional videos that span over 90 minutes of play time and guided tours to take you behind the scenes as well. Through a mix of video and story-telling, two of world’s best bartenders, Jim Meehan and Joseph Schwartz, take you through the whole exercise. There are 201 interactive recipes and 108 original cocktails you won’t find in other apps, as well as a full bar gear list with links on where you can buy them. There is no ‘my bar’ functionality, but if you ever wondered why the best bartenders use a hand-shaved ice block or roll a drink, this app will let you in on the secret.
Indian Wine List
[Android only, free]
Should you choose a Merlot or a Chardonnay with butter chicken for dinner? Does vegetable biryani combine with a Riesling or a brut? The Indian wine list has the answers. Not only can you access a full updated database of Indian wines, with their pricing and serving temperatures, you also get tasting notes, pairing notes and can maintain your cellar through this app. Some of the new wines in the market are absent, though, as well as the vino cocktails that the app talks about. The developer can do with an update.
(BlackBerry 10 only, free)
There’s a very basic interface with a searchable list of cocktails that you can make. You can choose via the ingredient or look up a list. The absence of a search functionality and wrong spellings limit it, but nevertheless a good app to have if you are on BlackBerry.