I’m just going to do this review in full-on geezer mode. (For a female perspective on Cocktails HD, see our previous review of the iPhone version, Pocket Cocktails.)
Here’s how you make a martini. Five parts gin, one part vermouth, unless you want it dry. Then you just wave the vermouth bottle around in front of a glass. Use vodka if you want instead of gin, but there’s no such thing as an apple martini, a chocolate martini, or a goddam drink from a volcanic Greek island called a Santorinitini. It’s booze with a tiny bit of fake wine dammit. That’s what a martini is.
Try telling that to the guys at Pocket Cocktails, Inc. Their big beautiful Cocktails HD is all about “exploration.” You can pull up the drink you want by general category, like “classics” and “tropical.” You can pull up Christmas and Halloween drinks for your hoity-toity holidays with families that you wouldn’t have anymore if you really knew how to drink. You can tap your way through bartender school and learn which flags go on which drinks in joints where the health department still lets them put fruit on things.
And to add insult to injury, the thing’s even got wines in it, or so-called wines. For my money if it’s not fortified, it’s not wine. There are four basic wines – your Ripple, your Night Train, your Mad Dog 20/20, and your Wild Irish Rose. And that’s not pronounced “Rosay.” But Cocktails HD has a hundred wines, and then they go and tell you how to “pair” them with foods.
You don’t pair alcohol with anything less sketchy than more alcohol. You might pair alcohol with strippers, compulsive gambling, or gunplay. Nobody told Pocket Cocktails. Those guys have the white-wine-with-fish, red-wine-with-meat thing down, to say the least. Feh.
All the drinks and the wines and the food and the bartending tips are presented in beautiful colorful “cards” that are a joy to read – if you’re sober. Think about this: if you’re really getting your drunk on, do you want to go through a multi-step guide to a beautiful drink just like the one on the card? NO! You want to force down another gargle of hootch and hope you don’t see it again.
Now, even I have to admit I like a bartending app with a search box, so I won’t fault the Pocket Cocktail guys for that. Despite the categories a developer may think will resonate with you, you might not want to choose from “tropical” and “mocktail” and “shooters” and “warmers.” You might want to find something by the word “gin” – or “watermelon,” for that matter.
So if you’re of the opinion that booze is to be tasted (not just to be wasted,) Cocktails HD is probably for you. It kills me to say it, but you can find any drink you’re thinking of, and a few you’ve never heard of. If friends are dropping by – another thing you should be over by now, if you really knew how to drink – you can play the perfect host with this app.
For people like you, this app is worth the five bucks. For people like me, that’s a bottle of Popov. No thanks.