Now is a good time to rediscover the Esquire Drinks Database, says blogger Evan Kessler, on Josh Spear’s trend-spotting website. Esquire has a pedigreed cocktail history—new editions of its Esquire Drinks continue to edify mixologists and trivia seekers alike—and the online database incorporates this material in a clever, easy-to-use format.
You can search for specific drink recipes, browse by alcohol type, or use the rather addictive “What Can You Make?” feature, which allows you to check off the various and sundry ingredients you have lying around the house (so you’ve got Cognac, dark rum, milk, cream, eggs, mint, sugar, and nutmeg?), and comes up with cocktails incorporating them (you can make a Virginia Eggnog! Or a Brandy Julep!).
It’s not foolproof—clicking on “tea” in the ingredients list also brings up results with “teaspoon” in them—but it’s a lot easier than thumbing through a printed index. While you’re at it, you probably should bone up on Esquire’s “Things a Man Should Know About Drinking,” which includes the following useful tidbits:
16. At the holiday office party, consume one drink less than your boss.
17. Adopt a new favorite cocktail on a seasonal basis.
37. A thought for the holidays: Gift wine should not be recognizable as having come from a grocery store.
38. Gift wine, being a gift, is not for tonight’s party. Unless the host opens it.
39. Decent wine costs 15 dollars. Good wine costs 35 dollars. Nobody can tell the difference.