Learning to make cocktails at home can be hard. Despite living in a time where accessing information is easier than ever before, it’s still challenging to master a new craft. And making cocktails or mixology is just that, a craft. It’s about learning different recipes and new techniques constantly. You have to educate yourself about bar tools, history, and flavors that work together.
And honestly, learning all this at once is impossible. But luckily, some tools can assist with this: Besides the obvious platforms like Youtube and Instagram, there are also Smartphone Apps that really help you on this journey. I assembled a list of the eight best Smartphone Apps for making cocktails at home.
If you’re not sure about the right equipment, check out my post about the different types of cocktail shakers. There you can find all the tools you need to make delicious cocktails at home.
Cocktail Flow is a great app for beginners. It not only offers a comprehensive design and User interface, but it also includes a large selection of cocktail recipes. You can easily follow their step-by-step guides and won’t get lost while shaking up your drink.
The app contains plenty of inspiration for your next drink. You can use text-based search to select a base spirit, or you can browse collections of different recipes to find one that floats your boat. It is also possible to add notes to drinks you already mixed. Perhaps you slightly altered the recipe, you thought it was perfect, or maybe you didn’t like it after all. Then this ensures you won’t make that drink a second time and better try something new.
One feature I am a big fan of is the “My Bar” tab. It lets you enter ingredients you have at home, and the app will then suggest cocktail recipes based on your home bar ingredients list. -Overall a fantastic app for aspiring home bartenders. And it’s free for Android and iOS.
BarSpoon is another app that’s great for learning new cocktail recipes. It offers a sleek design and contains more than 400 recipes. You can download it for free on the iOS App Store.
What I like most about BarSpoon are the recipe cards. They have a nicely designed with the option to switch from oz to ml measurements if required. You see which ingredients you need, which glass to use, and how to garnish your drink.
I also appreciate the feature to filter cocktails by age. You can select different Eras like “Turn of the Century” (1880 to 1919) or “Prohibition” (1920 – 1933) and get a list of cocktails from that time. This way you don’t only learn new recipes but also a bit of history.
Modern Classics is a compilation of not-so-usual cocktail recipes meticulously curated by New York Times Journalist Robert Simonson. You will find recipes for barrel-aged Negronis or the so-called “Paper Plane“. Robert Simonson made sure to evaluate each drink and explains why it made it into the app.
There’s also carefully researched background information. And in my opinion, some of the cocktail recipes have the potential to be classics of the future. This app is not as beginner-friendly as others but a great choice for aspiring home bartenders who want to learn more about modern-days mixology.
The app comes at a somewhat hefty price tag of $9.99. But for this, you get information you won’t find in any other app. Unfortunately, it’s only available for iOS, so Android users don’t have the chance to check it out at this stage.
Mixel is a relatively new app that is available for iOS and Android. It offers a wide selection of more than 1,900 cocktail recipes and many options to filter and sort them. You even can add your own cocktail recipes to the Mixel database.
Like “Cocktail Flow” and “Modern Classics”, this app allows you to insert the ingredients you have at home. That makes it a lot easier to find recipes you can mix up straight away.
The download is free and provides access to 80 recipes. If you want to get full access, you have to pay for premium access. Currently, the premium upgrade is available for $11.99.
Have you ever been to one of the fancy bars that don’t provide a menu? Where all staff members are well-trained bartenders that ask you for your preferences and mix up personalized cocktails? With Bartender’s Choice, you can almost get this experience at home now.
The app asks for your preferences regarding liquor, flavors, and styles of cocktails. Based on your answers, it recommends a list of suiting drinks. Virtually, like in a fancy bar. And the knowledge behind the logic of this app is coming from an actual and renowned bartender: Sam Ross created the app that’s capable of serving perfect cocktails for everyone at home without having extensive knowledge of ingredients and recipes.
For only $4.99, you can get this for your iOS or Android phone, making you the bartender who mixes up custom cocktails for your friends and guests.
Highball is another quality home-mixologist app that is only available on iOS. This app features well-designed recipe cards organized in a stylish stack. You can create and upload your own cocktail recipes by simply adding a list of ingredients with measurements and notes on How to Make the cocktail.
Those recipes are visible to all users of the app. They then can suggest twists and changes to your formula that might make it even better. It’s a beautiful app to keep track of your recipes and share and collaborate on them with other mixologists around the globe.
The Distiller app is significantly different from the smartphone apps above. One main feature is that it offers extensive knowledge about spirits on the market. Have you ever been to the supermarket or liquor store and wondered which bourbon whiskey you should choose for your Continental Sour recipe? With Distiller, you can quickly look up the different options and check out the reviews.
It’s one of the best databases for spirits. You’ll get a short description, reviews, tasting notes, and flavor profiles for almost every spirit brand on the market. -A great little tool to have on your smartphone. Plus, you can also leave reviews and tasting notes, letting other users know your opinion on a specific spirit.
Best of all, the app comes completely free of charge. You only need to set up an account and can start browsing through its contents straightaway. I say it’s an absolute must-have for your phone.
Ginventory is similar to Distiller. However, as the name suggests, this one is all about Gin. As an aspiring home bartender, you might sometimes face the problem of finding the correct tonic water for your Gin to create a perfect serve. That can either be solved by personal, encyclopedia-like knowledge about Gin or by simply asking Ginventory.
You’ll find almost every Gin on this app, and it makes recommendations for tonic water and suitable botanicals. But that is not everything. The app also offers a review mechanism, making it a great tool to find new and high-quality Gins to try.
Because I love Gins and like to be up-to-date regarding what’s new on the market, this is a must-have for me. I also love the feature that lets you manage your personal gin collection by adding all Gins you have at home to your virtual shelf. You can download the app for free on iOS and Android.