Easter is here and that means spring-cleaning for me. So, I’m finally getting around to having that last bit of Gran Centenario Anejo in my Easter Margarita, or my Easterita…depending on how many I’ve had…and my penchent for slurring on Sundays.
But, instead of really cleaning, I thought I’d take a minute to write about something other than my normal angry-smash-smash rants. Though I promise you I am still full of spite filled acidic rants, just not today. Today I will talk about things I like, apps I like, to be precise. There are a couple of beverage apps for all those smarter-than-me phones that I endorse because they actually inspire me to enjoy my job.
No one is paying me to do this (though I wouldn’t turn down a new iPad).
Jeff “Beach Bum” Berry is a big fucking deal. So much so that if I were to rebrand him I might call him Beach “Big Fucking Kahuna” Bum Berry. I always recommend the Bum’s books, but frankly they are for those that want a story, a long story, a story filled with all sorts of facts and history (I tell that story too…like this one time, during prohibition….zzzzzzz). Thankfully the Bum’s cocktail app TIKI+ combines all of the knowledge of his books into an app that is concise and logical, but still conveys his love of kitschy fun and quality cocktails.
Specifically, the huge wins for this app are:
- A rum decoder
- A database searchable by ingredients
- A function to help convert units of measurement
- A note keeping section for each recipe (because ingredients named vary quite a bit)
- A brief histories of tiki’s biggest influences (the crux of the book Sippin’ Safari)
This app is essential for anyone looking to understand and enjoy cocktails, Tiki or otherwise. Also, Jeff is a great writer; you should give him a 5 spot for his research.
Drink writers and bartenders all say that every generation hates to drink what their parents drank, but that logic just leaves us with vodka redbull. There can’t be more that 60 drinks in this app, but they are all those with history (except the Japanese Slipper). This brief list of cocktails seems cliché at first, but in actuality is more like the list of 70’s cinema that we take for granted but never really studied. This app reviews the perfect execution of the Tom Collins, which if pounded in college in excess is boring. Take the same drink, served perfectly, in the setting of your choosing (for me: clad in white pants on the croquet course) and in this simplicity it shows true luxury.
Some of the reviews say that this app is too limited. Yes, it is not some encyclopedic clusterfuck of recipes, and that is good. It is a list of basics known from Bennigan’s to the Zig Zag that will still be classics in 40 years.
This is a videogame! This is a video game where you pretend to be a bartender! Shut up with your jokes.
Yes, you are poor, you are initially unqualified for your job and you have to talk with idiots. This is a reality game; you even have a surly guy with a facial scar to guide you along the way. All of the drinks that are the classics listed in the IBA app are here for you to fake pour and faux serve to extremely accurately written characters (drunk philospher guy, overtly flirty gay dude, dumped girl) and you get to work with bitchy cocktail servers.
But what really happens is a guide to understanding how to make drinks on the most basic level: adding ice first, when to stir, how to garnish and even get better tips. This videogame actually talks about flavor balance, something that is missing from 99% of any cocktail apps or books.
This video game is stupid, but I love it. Sometimes I wish I could still discover how to make all of these drinks again for the first time.
Also when you beat it, you can get a diploma. Blammo!
There is no bar better than any other bar (too Zen?). But what I mean is that sometimes I want a whiskey/beer/burger and sometimes I want negroni/hamachi crudo. Seattle Sips Cocktail app highlights accurately the better parts of my city’s top venues for boozery. For me, it mostly serves as a happy hour reminder, but for others it is an excellent checklist of the best drinks in town.
If I missed your favorite cocktail app, please send me hate mail along with the URL and a check for buying the app.