Drinknation frequently asked questions

Honestly, we don't ever get asked these questions. We just wanted to write down some illuminating thoughts for your benefit. We have those all the time.

If the wisdom contained here does not answer your question/problem, email us.


What is Drinknation?

Drinknation is essentially a database of drink recipes. We created it out of general frustration with trying to come up with good ideas for drinks to serve. Using a barbook is difficult unless you have almost all the base alcohols, and even when you do run across a recipe that you have the ingredients for, it is difficult for most people to imagine how it might taste. Thus Drinknation is designed to allow instant searching for drink recipes, and be interactive so that you can benefit from what other users think about drinks. And if you're serious about it, Drinknation is also designed as a reference to some of the common aspects of drinking that everyone should know.

How come there is no information on beer?

Currently, Drinknation is concentrating on mixed drink recipes only. The field of beer and wine is a specialty field indeed, and we are not currently set up to provide reliable information on these subjects. Perhaps if we get enough requests we will provide this sort of information in the future.

I'm having trouble viewing Drinknation with my browser.

In order to use Drinknation, ensure that cookies and javascript are enabled on your browser. If you have concerns about this, please read our privacy policy. Drinknation has been recently re-designed to be more functional, and we have made no effort to support old version 4 browsers. If you are using a version 4 browser, for the love of pinnipeds, upgrade! That version 4 crap was buggy, non-compliant and totally ugly! For all of these reasons, Drinknation supports the movement to eliminate non-W3C compliant browsers.

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Drink of the Week

What is it?

Drink of the Week is an email that we send out every week to anyone who is subscribed to our list. It's great - we send you a recipe and whatever other cool stuff we find kickin' around. For more information see our DOTW info page.

How do I join?

If you wish to join, just surf over to our Drink of the Week page, and enter your email address into the box. You will be sent a confirmation email message, which contains a link that you must click on to activate your subscription, and that's it, you're joined! Please don't send us email asking to join the list unless you're having troubles with joining.

I want to unsubscribe!

Please don't send us email asking us to remove you from the list! We have automated the subscribe and unsubscribe procedures because there are thousands of people on the list, and we just don't have time to add/delete people from the list manually. If you want to be removed from the list, follow the instructions near the bottom of the last Drink of the Week email that you received. Alternately you can go to the unsubscribe page and enter your email address into the box. You will receive a confirmation email with a link in it that you must click to be removed from the list.

What's with the confirmation process?

The confirmation process is necessary to prevent malicious users or your despicable enemies from running programs that might try to subscribe or unsubscribe you without your consent.

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Your Bar and Your Favourites

What do you mean "my bar"?

This is one of the most powerful features of Drinknation. "My Bar" is essentially a way of letting you tell Drinknation what alcohols you currently have at home, as well as mixers and garnishes. (This information is stored as cookies in your web browser - this unfortunately means that if you change to a new browser or delete your cookies you'll have to re-enter your info. On the bright side though, we don't make you create an "account" with user names and passwords....) Once you've entered your stock into the "my bar" feature, you can use some new searching techniques that only utilize the ingredients that you have when searching for drink recipes. This guarantees that you will be able to create all the drinks that are returned with your searches!

How come I can't add brand name alcohols to my bar stock?

When designing the database and the ingredients it contained, we were forced to make some judgement calls. There are literally hundreds of different brands of alcohols all over the world. Some of them are virtually unknown outside of small regional areas, while some are sold everywhere. In the ingredient list, we included only specific brands of alcohols when we thought that it was important enough. For example, "Kahlua" is actually a brand of coffee liqueur originating in Mexico, and many recipes call for Kahlua specifically. In fact, most people think of Kahlua as a type of base alcohol and wouldn't take notice of the fact that it is actually a type of liqueur. Thus Kahlua was included in our ingredient list. However, wherever possible we have modified the drink recipes to use only the broad class of base alcohol instead of brand name alcohols. While the distinguishing connoisseur might find this a drawback, it makes it much easier for you to select from a list of 150 alcohols instead of 1500. When a recipe calls for "Gin", most people don't care whether they have Beefeater or Bombay Sapphire, and will use their favourite to suit their tastes. Wherever possible, we have noted in the recipe description when a certain brand of alcohol is traditionally called for. Feel free to send us your comments if you like the recipe better with some other brand!

Help! I don't know what type of alcohol my brand is!

First of all, check the label. Today's manufacturers often state what "category" of liquor is in the bottle. If you still can't figure out if your brand of whiskey is "straight", "Irish", "Canadian" etc., check the manufacturer's web site. We are in the process of compiling a partial list for some of the more confusing alcohol types for quicker reference, but it isn't ready yet!

I can't seem to add anything to my bar or my favourites list.

Drinknation uses "cookies" to store your favourites list and your bar ingredients on your computer. If you have cookies turned off or are blocking them, then you won't be able to add or retrieve your favourites or your bar ingredients. We don't store any personal information with the cookies, but if you are concerned please see our Privacy Policy. We found that cookies are a better solution than making you create an account and logging in all the time, but the downside is that if you ever clear your cookies you will lose your favourites and bar ingredients.


I'm a little confused about how to use all the searching features.

Searching is available from many places on Drinknation - after all, it is essentially what this web site is about. Here's how to use the searches:

  • You can search for any drink name at any time by entering some text into the box at the top left of the site and pressing Enter.
  • To access most of the search functions, click the "Search" text in the main title graphic. This brings up the set of "folder tabs" that allow you to edit your bar, access your favorite recipes, and search. Clicking on the "Search" tab brings a few search options:
  • "Search using all your bar ingredients" runs a search for drinks that can be made using the ingredients in your bar. This search may take a few seconds depending on how many ingredients you have.
  • "Search for drinks by name" is the same as the box at the top left of the site. Enter some text and press Enter to search for matching drink names.
  • "Random drink" generates a totally random recipe for you.
  • "Advanced Search" leads to a search window that allows many more parameters to be specified in the search.
  • Once a search has run, it is saved in your browser. This allows you to come back to the results without having to re-run the search or open new browser windows.
  • Handily, this last search is kept until new results are displayed. So if you run several unsuccessful searches that return no matches after previously running a successful search, the results are still saved! Until you run another search that actually returns new results, you can keep coming back to your results without having to execute the search again every time.
  • To start a new search, click on the "New Search" link at the top or at the bottom of the list of search results.
  • The ingredients "Water", "Ice", "Salt" and "Sugar" are automatically added to any ingredient search you do. (We're assuming that everyone has easy access to these ingredients.) Therefore, you don't need to worry about adding them to your bar.