Style guidelines

Our manifesto

  • Craft cocktails with high-quality ingredients, intended for the adult palate. Sazerac yes. Appletini no.
  • Collect recipes shared by others to build your own cocktail book with just the recipes you want.
  • Concoct your own recipes and share them with others.
  • Categorize recipes for easy searching, grouping & printing. Rate, categorize, and take notes about them.
  • Community of like-minded “kindred spirits” sharing and collaborating. Share comments and collaborate on cocktails.

Sharing good cocktail recipes

With the power to enter your own recipes comes responsibility. You share in our success when we work together well ... and our sadness when we don’t. Let’s create recipes that are:

  • Tasty. Not every recipe is worth saving and making again. Publish the best recipes that you'd happily make again.
  • Unique. No one wants to wade through a dozen nearly-identical Daiquiri recipes. A few, maybe, but not a dozen. Having many many slightly-different variations on a cocktail makes it hard to find good recipes in a sea of similar ones. Before adding a cocktail, look at the existing cocktails to see if the cocktail you are considering adding is already in the database. Perhaps you can add it to your cocktail book and put some notes about your variation in the Cocktail Book comments section?
  • Clear with consistent ingredients (more about that below) and unambiguous instructions.
  • Attributed to the right person, with any known history and date information.
  • Well-named, so that others can discover your creations.
  • Well-formatted with the correct information in the correct data entry box.
  • In English. Sorry, but if it's good enough for aircraft control and Formula One, it's good enough for us.

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 the flavors of the alcoholic ingredients. Not just of the mixers to cover-up flavors.
  • 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 and a modern creation from a respected mixologist.

No one likes to have their cocktail curated or unpublished, so we use our best judgment and discretion to try to keep our shared database a fruitful source of drink-making, reference and inspiration.

Classic cocktails such as the Martini, Manhattan, Negroni, Daiquiri, and the like are already well represented in Kindred Cocktails with authentic recipes and worthy variations. We are unlikely to approve variations on classic recipes unless they are created by a famous bartender and are likely to be known other bartenders. Otherwise such recipes are best added as comments to the original. Similarly we frown upon recipes which weaken the name of a classic, such as a Daiquiri made without rum and lime or a Martini with a liqueur.

Sharing ingredients

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 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 can add it to the shared database. But, please, first look to see if it isn’t there already under some other spelling or variation. Every new ingredient is categorized and flavor-profiled by a curator.

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.


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, changing as little as possible. If you feel your cocktail or comment has been moderated unnecessarily, contact us.

The best format for recipes

Cocktail name

Give the cocktail a good name. A helpful list of possible duplicate recipes will pop open if the cocktail name isn’t unique.

Say for example an awesome new variation on the Rob Roy. In uses a smoky scotch and has a dash of some liqueurs to spice it up. You can name it:

  • Something completely different. Dan Chadwick, for example. That's ok but be aware that someone looking for a Rob Roy variation probably won't find it.
  • Something obvious, starting the with base cocktail’s name. Rob Roy (Smoky and Funky). This is an excellent choice as it describes the variation and is likely to be found by others and it will appear alphabetically after the base cocktail.
  • Something clever, starting with the base cocktail's name. Rob Roy's Pants on Fire. This is also an excellent idea, except that you should be more clever than I.

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.)

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 history and background of the cocktail.

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 if you have the copyright to a nice photo, everyone loves to see a picture of the drink and/or its ingredients.


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. 


Recipes are shared with others unless unpublished — perhaps because you are tweaking with the recipe or aren’t yet sure it’s worth sharing.


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 your cocktail menu. See Goodies / Menu.

Save without tweeting

New cocktails are automatically tweeted on Twitter, unless you opt out. If you enter your Twitter user name in your Profile, your Twitter name will be mentioned in the tweet.

Thank you

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