Food App Review of the Week: Pocket Cocktails + Halloween Recipes

By on Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Pocket Cocktails + Halloween Recipes
Pocket Cocktails, Inc.
Cost: $0.99
Runs on: iPhone

You never know what you’re going to get when you download a holiday app. Most of the time I feel like the developer is simply trying to make a quick buck by capitalizing on the buzz and lack of competition. When I saw this app from Pocket Cocktails, I wasn’t sure if it was a treat or a trick, since “Halloween Recipes” was tacked on to the end of the title.

To my pleasant surprise, it looks like this developer gave us an early holiday gift. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this app delivers over 35 Halloween recipes that all look gruesomely delicious. In addition, the opening screen of the app allows you to quickly navigate to Martinis, Summer drinks, Warmers, Classics, Wine & Beer, Shooter, Mocktails, and more.

Click on a category (of course I click on Halloween Drinks) and you get a vertical scrolling list of recipes with a good-size thumbnail and the drink title. Click on the drink and you see a large image of the cocktail. From the image, a navigation bar stating “Picture/Recipe” will pop-up when you touch the screen. This is how you access the recipe page, which is simply the ingredient list with the instructions below. Since most cocktails require just a few simple steps, it was nice that they didn’t over-complicate this process. Two other buttons appear on the recipe page: one to mark the recipe as a favorite, the second to e-mail the entire recipe.

If the Halloween recipes were all this app had to offer I would have been happy, but they are just the bonus material to the rest of the app. It’s nice to see this added material thrown in since many new apps like to charge an additional fee for recipe packages (see Jamie Oliver’s Recipes). When you consider the other drink categories that I mentioned above (I didn’t count but after scrolling through the list of recipes I’m guessing) there are several hundred to choose from.

To help navigate this imbiber’s labyrinth, Pocket Cocktails allows you scrub through the drinks by touching the letter of the alphabet to jump through the list (a navigation tool that’s as old as the address book on the first-gen iPhone, but for whatever reason has not been seen in a lot of the current apps I’ve reviewed). There’s also a Random shaker—shake the iPhone and it will display a drink (you can also set the preferences to just show Halloween recipes or Martinis, for example). Then, of course, there’s a classic search engine that works really well. Type just a single ingredient like “Cranberry Juice” and you’ll immediately be swimming with options. Lastly, there’s a Sommelier section that will help pair a drink with your food. You first select the food category (red meat, seafood, etc.) then it will ask you to choose the food item (beef ribs, chili, Osso Buco, etc.) and then will display a few suggestions.

This is where I wish the app went more in depth. Being able to click on those recommendations would be very helpful, especially since wine and other drink information is already in the app. Instead, this is where I began to notice a few cracks. Two recommended wines with Osso Buco were Nebbiolo and Tempranillo, neither of which appeared in the wine section. While I’m nitpicking and riding my broom, I wish the design was slightly more elegant and polished, although it is perfectly adequate and stimulating to the senses with all the color from the drinks and navigation. These are very small criticisms, but show there’s room for improvement.

Saying that, this app, while not a stand-alone Halloween app, definitely delivers the ghoulish goodness. The tricks on you if you are looking for some witches brew and pass on Pocket Cocktails + Halloween Recipes for just $0.99. Enjoy this app, drink responsibly and have a Happy Halloween!

Toque Rating: 4.25/5


Written by Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hitched, a service and lifestyle online magazine for married couples. When Steve is not not researching or dispensing relationship information, he's reading, eating or marrying flavors together in the kitchen.


  1. Can an app featuring Halloween cocktails be anything but cheesy? YES @socaljourn reports on Pocket Cocktails

  2. Squid Ink says:

    RT: @toquemag: Can an app featuring Halloween cocktails be anything but cheesy? @socaljourn reports on Pocket Cocktails

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