A cocktail fairy godmother

During the pandemic, a few of my friends and I started exchanging old-fashioned handwritten letters. It was such a joy to spy an envelope in the mailbox bearing familiar handwriting. In her most recent letter, one friend lamented that while she had enjoyed learning about cocktails before lockdown began, it was difficult for her to continue this quest since she could not explore new drinks at bars and restaurants. She wished there were a way that she could list the liquors she had on hand and come up with a catalog of cocktails that made use of them. As soon as I read that, I felt like a cocktail fairy godmother about to grant a wish. I could not wait for the postman to come and pick up my reply letter, so I texted her to deliver the good news. I explained that such a system not only existed but that it was immediately available at her fingertips, and she was soon exploring a plethora of options in the EYB Library.

Although EYB is a go-to resource for members looking for cooking and baking recipes, I am not certain people realize how wonderful it is for cocktails as well. The number of cocktail books has exploded in the past few years, from all-encompassing bar guides to niche volumes focused on a particular liquor or aperitif. We have indexed over 150 wine, beer, and spirits-focused books, with about half of those devoted mainly to cocktails. When you add these to the occasional cocktail recipe in magazines and cookbooks, the result is 40,000+ cocktail recipes in the EYB Library. You will find over 8,700 of these cocktail recipes online! In addition to drinks containing alcohol, there are plenty of options for teetotalers, with nearly 5,000 online beverage recipes containing no alcohol.

There are precious few alternatives that have such a deep well of available cocktail recipes. Most of the online cocktail databases only allow limited searches, often based on drink name only, or their interfaces are wonky (to use a polite term). Websites that I used years ago seem to have vanished, but that does not surprise me. It is a lot of work to maintain a database and make it user-friendly (which reminds me to once again thank both our professional and member indexers). Many of the recipes in the EYB Library come from today’s top bartenders and mixologists: Jeffrey Morgenthaler, David Wondrich, Jim Meehan, Audrey Sanders, David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, Alex Day, Ted Haigh, and more. Whether you are looking for a vivacious punch, a moody sipper, or a sparkling thirst-quencher, you can find it in the EYB Library. I’ll drink to that!

Photo of Negroni sbagliato from  Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau

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