If you take cocktails seriously, you’ll be pleased to know that cult mixology den PDT now has an iOS app featuring 400 recipes from their archives. You can download it for $9.99 through the app store to access to a veritable encyclopedia of ingredients and recipes. Here’s what the landing page looks like.
To be honest, the amount of information is a little overwhelming—there’s detailed intel on everything from mint leaves to Peruvian bitters. So here’s how to navigate this wealth of cocktail knowledge, whether you’re a novice mixologist or an advanced boozehound.
The first thing you need to do is take stock of your inventory. This is time consuming but worthwhile, since it will make everything else you do easier. You’re essentially making a list of all the ingredients you’ve got. This will help you locate cocktails that you’re actually able to make.
Now you’re ready to roll. If you’re a newbie, there are two good ways to start exploring your drinking options.
Despite what you see at bars, you don’t need a whole lot of fancy ingredients to make a cocktail. If you’ve got a bottle of vodka in the back of your freezer, type it into the search bar to see what you can do with it.
You can filter the results by all the same categories found on the landing page. The most useful ones are probably ingredients (no point trying to make a Moscow Mule if you don’t have ginger beer) and characteristics, which let’s you choose things like how strong a drink you’d like.
2. Search by base
Another way to get to those results is to browse by base spirit, like bourbon, for instance.
Because you’ve already punched in all your ingredients, the recipe (Mint Julep) helpfully tells you what you’re missing (mint) and what recipe items you can substitute (any brand of bourbon instead of Booker’s).
While there’s plenty there to keep you busy—and tipsy—for a good, long while, where this app really shines is in the opportunity it provides for enthusiasts to geek out. Not only does it provide recipes for cocktails, but it gives a detailed step-by-step for creating the accompanying ingredients, like Momofuku cereal milk or a beer-and-smoke glass rimming mix. And of course, it has all of PDT’s house creations from the last 8 years, usefully gathered in one place.
These are the keys to the castle, right here.
If there’s a particular drink you once enjoyed at the bar, you can look it up by year or by provenance.
Here are a bunch of recipes from the master himself, Jim Meehan.
Overall, the app is probably a little advanced if you just want to improve your Bloody Mary mix or get the right ratios for a margarita. But if you appreciate a well-made drink and know your way around a mixing stick, you’ll realize the value of recreating PDT’s cocktails (which helped to kick off the nation’s current mixology renaissance) is way more than the $9.99 it costs.