Cocktail Flow review

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With the Zune Marketplace still very new, it’s often the case that most apps we stumble across end up being less than desirably alternatives to applications on the more established platforms, with menus a mess and the controls crying out for Android’s menu button.

Not so with Cocktail Flow, an app seemingly hand-made for the Windows Phone 7 platform, which sparkles and shines out of the screen thanks to the sought-after combination of stylish presentation and a large measure of quality content.

One of the main reasons why Cocktail Flow is a great app is how it uses the systems slide-menus in an intelligent manner – dividing each section into logical areas of cocktail creation and, in turn, making similar apps on iPhone and Android look old in comparison.

For instance, the landing page starts by presenting four options to quickly search through the large database of recipes, either through user input or randomly, while the next is dedicated to making drinks from the ingredients you have on hand in your drinks cabinet – or more likely your fridge.

Brilliantly, the app is never a simple, boring list of spirits. Picking the drinks you currently own, for instance, is performed by tapping on greyed-out racks of vodka, gin, rum bottles from supermarket brands like Absolut. Opening up a recipe shows each component – from the finished drink and garnish – zipping along the top individually, which is as graphically impressive as it is useful.

It’s not just a nice-looking app, but a clever one, too. Suggestions made by the software display all the ingredients your current stash is missing, along with an estimated price, ensuring you know exactly how expensive that Manhattan or Mojito will be, should you choose to go ahead and make it.

For those not used to the art of cocktail making, the app comes with a selection of simple tips and guidance as to what equipment you’ll need to make the recipes, along with explanations as to common ingredients, such as ice, and why they’re used – all helpfully kept in their own menu screen for quick reference.

While there are gaps in the databases knowledge – Grasshopper is conspicuous by its absence – Cocktail Flow also includes the option of downloading special packs, usually focused around a theme such as Valentine’s day. These additionally recipes are free, and are of the same high quality as the rest of the app, making the initial asking price actually seem a little low.

Even if you’re not one for dabbling in cocktails, Cocktail Flow is a great example of how to make a uniquely Windows Phone 7 app without compromising on quality.

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