Drinking 2.0: The best apps for your night out

Just try not to spill any beer on your phone!

Thirsty and need to find the closest bar? Need the recipe to whip up a classic martini at home? Want to send your friend on the other side of the country a beer?

There’s an app for that.

These days, we are all tied to our phones. As wonderful (or sad) as it may be, smart phones have become an integral tool for daily interactions and necessities. While most people stick to Angry Birds, Words with Friends, and Instagram to pass the time, there are loads of other applications that can be downloaded to help you in times of need; such as being parched.

Thousands of applications surrounding the bar and beverage industry have been developed to help consumers ease their anxiety about finding the right cocktail to sip and bar to frequent. Unlike the average individual, my iPhone is loaded with an unhealthy number of food and beverage applications. However, I’ve sorted through the lot to bring you a few of the top (free) applications your phone should have if it thinks it is really “smart.”

Bartab

When my friends on the west coast have a birthday, it saddens me that I cannot buy them a round in honor of their big day. But Bartab has figured out a way to bridge that gap by creating an application by which you can send your friends drinks. The concept is simple: pick a city, select a bar from the list provided (not all bars participate), select a drink special such as $1 beers, shots  or mixed drinks, pay one dollar and choose a friend to receive the kind gesture. All your friend has to do to redeem the drink is to pay one dollar and show the bartender the coupon for the drink. All in all, a $2 beverage? Can’t beat that kind of deal. (www.bartab.com)

BAC Calc

Sometimes we don’t know out limit. Carrying around a breathalyzer seems a bit extreme when going out in the city, so the next best idea is to learn how to calculate your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration). This application takes into account gender, weight, tolerance, hours and quantity of drinks to calculate an approximate level of intoxication. While it may not be 100% accurate, the estimate is certainly helpful for those who may be driving home at night (although, drinking and driving is very dangerous and should be avoided). Or sometimes you just want to see how drunk you got at your friends party after all of the jello shots. (Jxn Interactive)

Beer Brand

Ever roll into a craft beer bar and feel overwhelmed by the variety of brands and terms that you may not recognize. Look no further than this application which boasts a comprehensive encyclopedia-esque listing of almost all the beers on the market. Once you input the name of the beer, the app will tell you the brewery, alcohol content, container, proper glassware and proper serving temperature. When you find a brew that you fancy, you can mark it as a “favorite” to reference on a later date, or take a chance by tapping the “Random Beer” button to find a new selection. (Webworks and Applications)

Mixology

I’m not perfect. There are times when customers request drinks that I either don’t know or forget a few of the ingredients. It’s during these moments when I can consult this application which happens to be one of the few comprehensive listing of drinks available for bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts. Tap the “Bartending” tab and learn about different types of glassware, tools and terminology to keep you at the top of your game. Or browse the lengthy recipe section to brush up on your cocktail memorization. You can upgrade to the “Mixologist” application for $0.99 to get rid of the annoying advertisements and gain access to images of drinks, but the free version will do the trick.  (www.mixologyapp.com)

Sports Bar Finder

Sports and drinking go together like two peas in a pod or like Jeremy Lin and the cover of Sports Illustrated. Not all bars show the same sporting events or support your favorite team (go Buckeyes and Manchester United!). Look no further than this handy application which locates bars in your area that show different types of sporting events including international soccer, hockey, basketball, and even cricket. (Direct TV)


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