What Cocktail?

Selecting a cocktail should be as much fun as drinking it. And now there’s an answer to the dreaded ‘what should I order?’ conundrum.

What Cocktail? does all the hard work for you and serves up a perfect recommendation. No more 20 questions with the bar staff. No more indecision. And you can impress your friends.

It’s like having an expert at hand. Mouth-watering pictures and smart descriptions let you know what you are in for. Sometimes it's nice not having to choose.

*** What Cocktail? v2.0 released (October, 2013) ***

Completely rebuilt, What Cocktail? v2.0 contains support for larger iPhone 5/5C/5S 4" screens and has improved sharing so you can share images of your favourite drinks with friends.

*** TUAW's App of the Day! (22 Feb, 2011) ***

*** Gizmodo's App of the Day! (21 Feb, 2011) ***

*** #1 Lifestyle App on the New Zealand App Store! ***

*** New & Noteworthy on the NZ and Canadian App Stores! ***

*** Featured as What's Hot on the NZ App Store! ***


  • Expertly chosen classic cocktails – nothing embarrassing here
  • Photos of every drink with a description
  • Shake function
  • Mood selector and location support for more control
  • Completely independent (no advertising or product pushing)
  • Bartender card for the curious
  • Remember your favourite drinks
  • Easy access to your favourite drinks
  • Twitter, Facebook, email & messaging social networking support

How it works

  1. Load up the app. Select a mood and… shake your phone.
  2. What Cocktail? will select a drink and display a photo and description. More details are available for the bartender or the curious.
  3. Enjoy the perfect drink while impressing your friends.
  4. Share your drink on Twitter, Facebook, or via messaging or email!

About the drinks

After years of experimenting, our resident cocktail researcher compiled a list of classic drinks that most good bars would know how to make. These have been weighted by season, time of day, and mood. When you shake your phone, you get a great recommendation.

There are no duds here. Lots of effort has gone into ensuring that the most appropriate choice for the situation is served up.

Please drink responsibly.


What Cocktail? Version 2.0
A Flightless Production
Kim Lumsden, John O’Reilly, Greg Harding

Contact us at: info@whatcocktail.com or follow us on Twitter @whatcocktails and on Facebook


Special thanks to:
Gordana Brkljaca and all our test subjects over the years.

What Cocktail? makes use of cocos2d/CocosDenshion & freesound/philberts
for which we are most appreciative.



What’s new in version 2.0?

Hello to the good times;
- shiny new v2.0 cocktail engine
- added native iOS 6 & 7 sharing support, now includes classy cocktail images
- added support for iPhone 5/5C/5S 4" screen and iOS 6 & 7

Farewell, old friends;
- dropped support for older versions of iOS
- removed manual submission of What Cocktail drink statistics

Enjoy :)

How does the app know what drink to recommend?

Knowledge that has been gained over years of cocktail research, mixing, and tasting has been codified for What Cocktail?. Each drink has a weighting for the time of day, the season, and the selected mood.

This means that in some situations (say, summertime, at 3pm, feeling joyous) certain drinks are much more likely to be recommended. In this case, you could expect a Tom Collins rather than a Martini.

No really, it’s just random, right?

Technically, it’s a weighted random so there is some element of chance. But a lot more thinking has gone into the answers than your average magic pool ball.

Where did the drinks come from?

They are all classic drinks that are tried and tested. There are a few surprises but nothing a good bartender couldn’t handle.

Kim, our resident cocktail nerd, fussed and worried about the inclusion of each and every drink. It’s part of his larger project to bring cocktail enjoyment to curious people everywhere: » understandingcocktails.com

Who took the photos? Are they real drinks?

Each drink was mixed and photographed specially by us at the Flightless studios. Of course, they all had to be sampled as well. Each picture is of an honest-to-goodness real cocktail, made with the ingredients listed on the details card. These drinks were lovingly made and happily consumed. Yum.

The drink recommendations don’t seem right. Can I change them?

You might want to specify if you are above or below the equator. This will help determine the season. If you don’t like the recommendation, just give it another shake.

If you are a hospitality worker or you are going to Vegas, you might want to set it to “Vegas”.

I went out last night and had a lousy drink. What gives?

That’s a shame. We hate it when that happens.

There could be many reasons for this.

If it’s any consolation, you can blame the app rather than your cocktail knowledge. :)

How many drinks are there?

The selection should keep an average social butterfly busy for a couple of months.

With What Cocktail? it’s quality over quantity. There are plenty of cocktail recipe apps out there. What Cocktail? is a recommendation engine. Besides, we didn’t want to include anything we wouldn’t order or drink ourselves.

Why isn’t XYZ drink listed?

Probably because we are not fans, or we didn’t think you’d have a high chance of it being made at most good bars. But if you still feel strongly about it, send us an email and we’ll look into including it in the next release.

ABC isn’t a cocktail. What’s it doing here?

Shocking as it may be, sometimes a cocktail isn’t the answer. It took a whole lot of growing up to admit this. We just wanted to pass on the wisdom to your phone so you get a great recommendation

Please drink responsibly.