“Shaken or Stirred-The Cocktails Application for iPhone”, By Nick Ciavatta
Last month’s much anticipated launch of the new iphone 3G has created quite a stir for “techies”, such as myself, as well as less technically inclined users. This new “it” gadget offers dozens of useful add-on applications, such as games, GPS programs, social networking, music, video, and it’s a phone too! To be honest, the application that really creates a “Stir” for me, is the “Cocktails” application.
A Pocket Mixologist…
Created by Cocktail Historian and software developer, Martin Doudoroff of cocktaildb.com, and software wizard Ian Baird from Skorpiostech, Inc. (www.skorpiostech.com)“Cocktails” is a pocket mixologist that caters to the bartender us all. In addition to alphabetically listing the recipes for just about every mixed drink known to mankind, the “Cocktails” application also breaks down the libations by category-including fizzes, flips, flings and punches. Each recipe includes information about specific glassware for each drink, and the user can choose whether a recipe is displayed in Imperial or metric units.
Other functions include the ability to search by keyword, the ability to share recipes with friends via email and twitter.com, and a favorites key which automatically flags and files recipes for future use. iPhone users can also use the “buy the book” function which performs a search for a purchasable copy of the book from where the recipe came on Amazon.com.
An Interesting Mix
Martin Doudoroff founded the Cocktaildb.com project in 2003 with Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh, a prominent cocktail historian, author and collector. Ian Baird, is the president of Skorpiostech (www.skorpiostech.com), a Mac and iPhone development shop specializing in the design and implementation of custom and general purpose software applications.
The two met in 2007 and began collaborating to improve the functionality of CocktailDB.com, when the opportunity to develop the “Cocktails” application for the iPhone arose. “Cocktails” launched in July, 2008 as the preeminent portable cocktail database. They plan to expand the application and add more features in the future.
The Ultimate Bartending Device?
As a former bartender myself, I really could have used the Cocktails application on my iPhone (even though cell phones were probably only used by the military back then). I was forced to drag out the “War and Peace” sized bartender’s guide when a customer came in and ordered a “Knucklebuster” aka “Rusty Nail”, which is comprised of 1.5 oz Scotch and .75oz Drambuie, which you serve over ice in a rocks glass. With “Cocktails”, you can find anything from a basic “Screw Driver” (1.5oz vodka mixed with ice and orange juice and served in a high ball glass) to a “Block and Fall” (.75oz brandy, .75oz cointreau, 1.5oz apple brandy and .5oz pastis-served in a cocktail glass.
According to Doudouroff and Baird, the “Cocktails” application was not created so much as a guide for bar keeps, but for everyone. They have recieved very positive bartender feedback, though, especially from bartenders in New York City, who are dealing with a huge demand for mixed drinks at the present time. Ian Baird warns: “Just be careful that you don’t get lime juice in your iPhone.”
As far as the general public goes, Douderoff and Baird have received emails from people who were inspired by the application and tried new drinks and combinations they never would have attempted before.
Martin Douderoff considers himself an “evangelist” for American cocktail culture, and hopes to inspire people to be adventurous in their mixing endeavors.
Prohibition really disrupted cocktail culture, according to Douderofff, and we unfortunately regressed during those years, but in the past ten years or so there has been a real resurgence and interest in cocktails of days gone by, and a passion for new mixed drink creations.
The Cocktails application costs US$9.99, and can be downloaded and updated from the iTunes “App Store.”