Cocktail Flow (Free) by Distinction Ltd is a gorgeous cocktail recipe book on your iPhone.
I’m sure we all like to have a good drink every now and then, but sometimes it can be hard to remember how to make that one drink without looking it up. Or perhaps you want to try out something new? Whatever the case may be, Cocktail Flow has you covered, and it does it gracefully.
The first thing you’ll notice about the app is how stunning the overall design is. In fact, it was the main reason I could not wait to get my hands on the app (I love beautiful looking apps). Cocktail Flow has two themes that are included (with more available through packs, though we’ll get to these in a bit) that just look great. The visual elements and organization of the app are just top-notch, and I’m extremely surprised that all of this is found in a free app (for the base, anyway).
When Cocktail Flow is first opened, you will be taken to the main tab: Cocktails. At the bottom is the menubar, which contains the following sections: Cocktails, Barstock, Store, Guides, and More.
The Cocktails tab is basically where you start. There are three tabs along the top to help you find your drinks: Favourites, Categories, and Search. The Categories view is default, and allows you to browse through drinks by base drink (Brandy, Gin, Tequila, Vodka, etc), type (Classical, Creamy, Long Drink, Tropical, etc), or color (Blue, Green, Pink, Red, Yellow). Viewing any category allows you to browse through drinks – select a drink by tapping on it. Search allows you to type in a drink name (and hope the app has it); it searches in real-time, so results will appear as you type.
As you select a drink, you’ll be taken to the drink detail screen; you’ll also get a nice animation of your drink and its components sliding in (it feels like a bartender is sliding your drink to you). There are three sections to the drink detail screen: Cocktail, Preparation, and Similar. The Cocktail view shows the ingredients that you need, while Preparation tells you the steps involved to make it. Similar will reveal other drinks that you may like, depending on the current selection.
If you like any drink and want to save it for future reference, just tap on the heart in the top right corner – this adds it to your Favourites. All of your Favourites are accessible from the main Cocktail screen of the app.
Now, what if you already have a couple of drinks stored away in your house and want to know if you can make anything with it? In the Barstock section, there’s the Cabinet that will find what you can make depending on what you currently have. You can select your Spirits, Liquers, and Mixers – they will go from black and white to colored when selected. As you select your ingredients, if any cocktail can be made, you will see a number count in the Cocktail tab – tap on it to see what can be made from the selected components.
The other feature in Barstock is the Shopping section. This will give you a four different options of ingredients to buy (with their average total price) and, depending on your Cabinet, what you can make if you buy those ingredients.
In addition to being a recipe book, Cocktail Flow also has some basics of cocktails that are found in the Guides section. You can find an Introduction (getting started with mixing cocktails), Barware (essential glassware and bar tools), and Garnishes (tips and tricks to make those drinks fabulous). This can definitely help if you’re a beginner to cocktails.
Even though Cocktail Flow is free and comes with all of the basic cocktails, there are more to get through content packs. Two packs are free (Shooters and Non-Alcoholic), but there are four more premium packs for the holidays (Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, and New Years) that will cost you $0.99 a pop. These premium packs will contain an themed skin and special themed drinks to fit the occasion (complete with images).
While Cocktail Flow is feature packed, I do wish that there was the ability to add your own cocktails. My friends have prepared mixed drinks (video-game themed) at several gatherings that I’ve gone to, and I would love the ability to add them to Cocktail Flow (with photos). Perhaps this can be a feature added in the future.
Besides that, I found Cocktail Flow to be an absolute pleasure to use. It’s alluring and jam-packed with features, which actually surprises me since it’s a free app to start with. It’s definitely much nicer than some other cocktail apps out there, and I’m more than willing to give the developer some cash for additional content once the holidays come up again.
If you like drinks, then definitely check out Cocktail Flow – it’s absolutely free to do so. You won’t regret it.
Don’t forget to drink responsibly.