Style Guidelines for Cocktail Submissions


We want recipes that are:

  • Craft cocktails with high-quality ingredients, intended for the adult palate. Sazerac yes. Appletini no.
  • Tasty. Your best recipes, ones you'd happily make again and again.
  • Unique. Distinctive, compelling riffs, yes. Minor tweaks and variations, no. Those should be notes or "custom ingredients" in your cocktail book entry for the original cocktail.
  • Well-named, so that others can discover your creations.
  • Clear with consistent ingredients (more about that below) and unambiguous, succinct instructions.
  • Attributed to the right person, with any known history and date information.
  • Well-formatted with complete, correct information, proper capitalization and punctuation.
  • In English, please.

Craft Cocktails

The hallmarks of craft cocktails are:

  • High quality spirits and liqueurs. Not Midori, Apple Pucker, most flavored vodkas, most cream liqueurs.
  • Fresh and/or high quality mixers and flavoring ingredients. Not premade sour mix, drink mixes, most soda pop.
  • Taste of alcohol and alcoholic ingredients. Not just of the mixers disguising the spirit's flavor.
  • Usually no more than slightly sweet unless
    • Sweetness balanced with bitter, herbal, or complex flavors or
    • Flavors combined in unusual or interesting ways or
    • Intended as a well-crafted tiki, tropical, or dessert drink.
  • Use accepted preparation techniques.
  • Pedigree helps in borderline cases, such as being an accepted classic, a modern creation from a respected mixologist, or being published in a print or on-line media that is unaffiliated with a brand.

No one likes to have their cocktail curated or rejected. We use our best judgment and discretion to try to keep our shared database a fruitful source of drink-making, reference and inspiration.

Cocktail name

A good name is:

  • Unique. A list of possible duplicate names will pop open if the cocktail name isn’t unique. If you're posting an authoritative or well-known recipe and the name is already used by a lesser cocktail, save your cocktail as a draft using a variation on the name, then request curation to explain the issue.
  • Meaningful. A good name can be descriptive, evocative, clever, witty, or intellectual. It can be meaningful to only you, but then no one else will appreciate the name unless you explain it in the history.
  • Not a misnomer. A cocktail whose name doesn't suit its recipe will generally not be published unless it has outstanding pedigree, such as Audrey Saunders famous Earl Grey MarTEAni.


Kindred Cocktails knows thousands high-quality ingredients and brands, many with articles describing them and their history. This consistent shared ingredient database makes it easy to enter new cocktails and find them later. Many ingredients are known by more than one name, and Kindred Cocktails recognizes these synonyms and spelling variations to make entries consistent. So Italian Vermouth becomes Sweet vermouth.

Kindred cocktails also knows many brands, so that if you enter just “Old Overholt”, you’ll get “Rye, Old Overholt”. If you use an ingredient that is new to Kindred Cocktails, you may (depending upon your Kindred Cocktails reputation) be able to add it. But, please, first look to see if it isn’t there already under some other spelling or variation. New ingredients are categorized and their flavors profiled by a curator.

Ingredient Quantity

Both decimal (1.5) and fractions (1 1/2 or 1-1/2) are fine. Be specific. If it takes 2 oz of Champagne to fill the glass, say so because your glass may be different than the next person’s.

Ingredient Unit

Both metric and English measurement are fine; Kindred Cocktails can convert between them. In addition, there are lots of cocktail-specific units, like drops, dashes, twists, rinses, and so forth. Use them. (Metric lovers can indicate their measurement system preference in their Profile.) Avoid parts if possible.

Ingredient Name

Start typing and a list of possibilities pops up. Curly brackets such as {bourbon} indicate that a non-exact spelling match was found, possibly due to a typo. Look for existing ingredients with a different spelling or word order before adding a new ingredient. Assume that the reader knows that all ingredients are expected to be “fresh” or “freshly squeezed” — no need to say so.

Ingredient Brand

Enter a brand only if it’s important to the success of the cocktail. A list of known brands will pop up, or enter a brand that Kindred Cocktails doesn’t know yet if necessary. When you must include an age, use just the year, such as “El Dorado 5” rather than “El Dorado 5 year” or “El Dorado 5 yo”.

Ingredient Processing Notes

Don’t include parentheses in the notes; they’re added automatically. If an ingredient is a garnish, enter “as garnish”.


Brief is best. A good format is, “Shake, strain, straight up, cocktail glass, garnish.” Assume the reader knows terms like “dry shake” or “double strain.” If the instructions are copyrighted, rewrite them in your own words.


Include tasting notes, ingredient options, and information needed when making the cocktail. Put personal notes in your Cocktail Book comments. Put attribution in the attribution fields (see below). Put the history and background in the history.


Tell the brief history and background of the cocktail, if known. If you'd like to write an article about a cocktail, contact us. We publish guest articles.

Attribution (Year, Creator, Source reference)

Give credit where credit is due. Include the year if known (even if approximate). Creator is ideally in the format “Person, Bar, City, State, Country (if not U.S.)”. Add web links or author/title source references when known. If you are creator of the cocktail, check the “Original creation” option under authenticity.


Optional, but highly preferred. No copyright violations. Don't post someone else's image without permission. Include ingredients in the background for more interest.


Readers want to know how if the recipe is “real”:

Original creation. You created this recipe.
Authentic recipe. You quite sure that you’ve entered the authentic, accurate recipe from a referenced source.
Altered recipe. A riff or spin on another recipe, or an alternative (but therefore not authentic) variation.


When you create a cocktail, you can save it as a draft. This leaves it unpublished so you can continue to work on it. When you're ready to submit it, edit the cocktail and click the button to submit it. 

The curators will examine your cocktail to ensure it meets these style guidelines. If it duplicates or nearly duplicates another cocktail, they will merge it with the existing cocktail, keeping whichever one is more authoritative. They may edit it for style and format and publish it. If it blatantly disregards these style guidelines, they will simply delete it. Or they may send it back to you for further improvement and notify you by e-mail of what needs improving.

Some users with a demonstrated history of posting cocktail which need no curation may be granted the ability to publish themselves.

Your Cocktail Book


You may rate for yourself and also for a friend (perhaps a spouse or a typical bar patron).

0 or empty: Unrated
1: Dislike
2: Ok. Drinkable but won’t make again soon.
3: Good. Worth remaking.
4: Very good. Worth putting in the rotation.
5: Excellent. Top favorite.

Menu category

Any category word or phrase that you will use to group your cocktails on a printed menu. Be consistent.


Your personal comments for this cocktail. Note any modifications that you’ve made to the recipe for your personal preferences. Comments made in your cocktail book will be shared with others unless you click “Hide comments.”

Special merit

Mark cocktails to make them easy to find:

Suggested. Suggested cocktails are easy to find on your home page.
Bookmarked. Find these cocktails later using the Cocktail filter page.
Work in progress. Easily find cocktails that you are still fiddling with.
On menu: Include this cocktail on A cocktail menu.

Custom ingredients

If you prefer that another user's cocktail be made with different ingredients or amounts, you can enter your own custom ingredients. These will be displayed to you in the recipe (unless you uncheck the option to do so).


If a cocktail is incorrect, inappropriate or improperly formatted, click “Request curation” so we can work it out with the author. When drinks or comments need to be curated, we will do so gently to improve accuracy or style. If you feel your cocktail or comment has been curated unnecessarily, contact us.

Sharing comments

You can freely comment on any cocktail. In addition, the comments in your cocktail book are shared with others (along with your rating), unless you elect to keep them private. In this way, you can see what others think about cocktails — both yours and others.

Please be honest, but also sensitive and not unduly negative. If you’ve tasted the drink made as written, say what you like and don’t like. “Too sweet for me” is helpful. “Awful”  is not. Speak about balance and flavor issues and make helpful suggestions.

Thank you

Without your contributions, Kindred Cocktails would be dull as a Martini without vermouth.