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Six cocktail apps every home bartender should download

Written by
Dan Q Dao

Home bartending is becoming more popular, with more and more clued-in drinkers looking to recreate iconic sips from their favorite cocktail bars. After you’ve armed yourself with the essential bar tools and stocked up using some handy alcohol delivery services, it’s time to actually make the drinks. That’s where these mixology-mastering apps come in handy. From a compendium of modern classics to a leftover-booze recipe generator, find the app that works best for you in our curated list.

1. Cocktail Flow

Unfortunately, it’s tough for home bars to even come close to their pro counterparts in terms of bottle diversity. Cocktail Flow is the perfect option if you have a limited selection of booze and need some inspiration for drinks you can make with just what you have. Enter the spirits and ingredients at your bar in the “My Bar” section and the software will do the rest. The database packs a whopping over-600 recipes, including fun smoothies and virgin drinks for the booze-averse. Download it here. Free

2. Modern Classics

Cocktail geeks, take note: prolific drinks writer Robert Simonson has chronicled a definitive list of what he’s dubbed “modern classics”: 23 cocktails that have transcended their place of origin, appear widely on menus and are highly regarded in the industry. Among those esteemed elixirs are the Penicillin (2005), conceived by Sam Ross at New York’s Milk & Honey, the Barrel-Aged Negroni (2009) by Jeffrey Morgenthaler at Portland’s Clyde Common and the Breakfast Martini (1997) by Salvatore Calabrese at London’s famed Library Bar. Also included on the app, which was designed by Martin Doudoroff (PDT Cocktails, Index of Punch), are 50 originals which meet at least some of the modern-classic criteria. Download it here. $9.99

Modern Classics App

Photograph: Courtesy Mixology Tech

3. Distiller

Use this digital liquor expert to stock your bar with the best bottles you never knew existed. The app (pictured at the top) provides recommendations on what to drink while out, or when purchasing new spirits. Bottles are reviewed by a panel of drinks veterans, and each label has a handy out-of-100 Distiller rating to help you quickly locate the best one. Whether you're looking to purchase whiskey, tequila or rum, a detailed flavor profile breakdown will help steer you in the right direction. Download it here. Free

4. Highball

This app is for the drinks veteran who’s well-versed enough to create their own concoctions. Designed for compiling and broadcasting original recipes, it functions as a shared resource for inventive bar keeps to see what others are coming up with. Within the interface, you’re able to create a shareable recipe card on which to add ingredients, measurements and an image. For the at-home enthusiast looking to start a library of drinks or the professional trying to keep up with an ever-changing menu, it’s the perfect digital notepad. Download it here. Free

Highball app

Photograph: Courtesy Studio Neat

5. Lush

For the indecisive boozer, this full-service app takes the thinking out of drinking and tells you exactly what you want. The platform organizes its index of cocktails in accessible flavor lists (fruity, minty, nutty) as well as in curated shortlists like “brunch” or “girls’ night.” Want a drink with fresh lime and light rum? Lush will narrow down all the recipes that contain those ingredients. Download it here. $1.99

6. The Liquor Cabinet

Though currently in a private beta testing mode (we’ve tried it, it’s good), this forthcoming app will be a godsend for the beginner-level drinks lover. After you’ve ogled at the stunning on-screen photos—the app’s a collaboration between Instagram megastar Patrick Janelle, his brothers Peter and Sean and Maison Premiere vet Maxwell Britten—start shaking and stirring with easy-to-follow instructions accompanied by crystal-clear visuals showing how to build each drink. Especially helpful to newcomers will be built-in tasting notes for common ingredients, tips for bar gear and fun factoids about popular spirits. Sign up for updates here. Free

The Liquor Cabinet app

Photograph: Courtesy The Liquor Cabinet

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