If you’re going to drink, do it properly. Life’s too short for Coors Light and boring old vodka and tonic. These apps will help you find something a cut above, whether that’s finer beers, a new liquor that’s just to your taste, or a cocktail that makes your random collection of bottles look deliberate. These apps can help you build up a tasting library, give you idea on what to try next, and help you find the best deals. Lots of them have social networking built in too, tying into the recommendations, so you’re bourbon-loving buds can compare notes.


Free Made for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Become an instant expert about all kinds of liquor with an app that makes it easy to sound like you know what you’re talking about (and, eventually, it’ll make sure that you actually do). It gives you detailed flavor descriptions for any bottle you scan or search for, so you can compare with your favorites. Rate drinks, and keep a list of what you’ve tried.


Free (IAPs) Made for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

So, you’ve got a semi–random selection of spirits and liquors left over, and guests are coming. What can you make to impress them? Tell this app exactly what you’ve got, and it will tell you exactly what you should make, with easy–to–follow instructions. You can also look up other cocktail recipes for inspiration, and learn about the ingredients.


Free Made for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

What Distiller does for spirits, Vivino does for wine. Scan a wine label to get tasting notes, average price, reviews, and more. You can rate wines yourself, build a list of favorites, and even take part in a social network of wine lovers. There are some handy ranking lists for different categories (such as by price), so you can go straight for the good stuff.


Free Made for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

It’s easy to know what you like with beer, now Untappd makes it easy to find something new – particularly in your local area. Find bars and breweries with interesting new stuff on tap, and get notifications when new beers are available. You can also chat to other aficionados, and it’s easy to record what beers you liked for future reference.


Free (IAPs) Made for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

An alternative way to browse cocktail recipes, this has a very cool pixel theme and some clever ways to filter recipes. You can narrow down by, for example, margarita variants, or sour options – it makes it easier to find something new that you’re in the mood for. It also suggests alternative ingredients in recipes in case you’re running low.


Free (IAPs) Made for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

This app searches 55,000 merchants to find great prices, meaning you can see whether the price in your local store is above average, or when you’re getting a good deal. You can buy through the app, naturally, and read extra notes about wines and rate them. You can see historical prices too, which is a fun touch for serious wine lovers.

Distiller, Cocktail Flow, Vivino ApS. Untappd, Cool Font LLC, Wine–Searcher Ltd.