So does the Cocktail Spy.

Nothing against beer and wine—I like them, too. But cocktails are more festive. More interesting. And more likely to make an impression, whether you’re making or ordering one.

Yet so many people know less about spirits and cocktails than they do the other alcohol options. Maybe they have their “go-to” mixed drinks, and maybe they can name the ingredients in them, but that’s often the extent of their knowledge.

That was me. Until I thought…

Why should beer and wine get all the glory?

By learning a few things about cocktails, you'll be able to:

  • Wow your friends with a well-mixed round at home.
  • Impress a date (or your spouse who didn't realize you had such skill).
  • Feel confident at your next business gathering.
  • Sound like a pro when ordering at a bar.
  • Have a ready-made conversation starter at nearly any social event.
  • Know more about your own tastes and preferences.

So belly up to the bar and tell the Cocktail Spy what you're in the mood for.

Want to know what you're actually drinking?

If you want to know about what you’re actually drinking, start here. You'll find out the various types of some of the most popular spirits, plus some background info. (Did you know that gin used to be sold over the counter as medication.?)

Here's how your cocktail should be prepared and why. Yes, the difference between shaken and stirred does matter.

Are you setting up a home cocktail bar?

You don’t need a full bar to make a mean mixed drink at home. Here's what to stock in your liquor cabinet, from the basics to more specialty ingredients.

But you can't just stir your ingredients in a glass and call it a cocktail. Click here to find out exactly what tools you need (plus some cool optional bar supplies).

Not sure yet what you're having? Check out these top cocktail recipes.

Do you Like ordering mixed drinks when you go out?

Even if you’re new, you don’t have to sound like it. Click here to learn bartender lingo. You'll never again wonder what it means to be "on the stick" - and who knows, maybe you’ll get served faster.

Not sure what to order? Try our pick of the month.

Coming to a bar near you: the latest cocktail trends and news. Get it here.