8 Best Cocktail Recipe Cards For Guidance In The Bar in 2023: Reviews

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One of the most important bartender’s skills is memorizing cocktail recipes. Given that countless recipes exist, it can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Luckily, one can master remembering ingredients and procedures using handy cocktail recipe cards!

These small cards are similar to a cocktail book because they contain the measurements of ingredients and bar tools needed. Some even show other useful information about a cocktail, such as those found in famous cocktails recipe books.

If you aspire to be an excellent and competent bartender, the best cocktail recipe cards can help you achieve your goal!

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Our Top Picks

100 Cocktail Recipes to Master Cocktails

Why We Think It’s Great

  • MANY COCKTAIL VARIETIES: Includes 100 different cocktails in 10 varieties of alcohol base.
  • INDIVIDUAL VIDEO TUTORIALS: Displays a QR code that leads to a video tutorial when scanned.
  • LOADED WITH FUN AND USEFUL INFO: Features interesting facts about the cocktail’s history and development, flavor profile, sweetness level, and more.
  • COLOR-CODED CARDS: Designed with colored tops to easily identify recipes.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some of the QR codes don’t show the instructional videos. 

What Our Editors Say

“The material, typography, design, and colors of these cards all exude an air of refined elegance. What we really like, though, is the diversity of the 100 recipes offered, ranging from traditional to experimental drinks.

It’s incredible how much information can be found on such a small card. Aside from the drink’s recipe, there are also the drink’s flavor profile, historical background, sweet/tart chart, required tools and glasses, a QR code for a video demonstration, and more.”

Size: 6.5″x5″ | No. of Cards: 100 | What’s Included: Box, index card, instructional card, and introductory card

Related: The Best Drinking Glasses

Cocktails Made Simple Recipe Cards: Easy Recipes for the Home Bartender

Why We Think It’s Great

  • IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER: Neatly organized, making each recipe card easy to find and return.
  • STRIKING IMAGERY: Displays a cartoonish illustration of the cocktail recipe which sparks interest.
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Includes 20 extra cards that teach basic tools ad techniques.
  • MATTE FINISH: Scratches or fingerprints are far less noticeable than a glossy finish.

What We Don’t Like

  • The range of cocktail recipes is less extensive. 

What Buyers Say

“We don’t regret buying these recipe cards as they’re very informative. The set includes recipes for every typical cocktail and categorizes them by the spirits they typically use.

In addition to a list and explanation of the required tools, the authors also offer alternatives that may be used in their place to ensure that even those of us who have no complete tools will be able to make them.”

Size: 4” x 6” | No. of Cards: 40 | What’s Included: Box, 20 informational cards

Related: Muddler Alternatives

Briston 52 Cocktail & Mixed Drink Recipes Flash Cards

Why We Think It’s Great

  • GLOSSY FINISH: Increases the card’s visual appeal thanks to its shine.
  • CARD STOCK MATERIAL: Thick and sturdy construction ensures the cards will last for years.
  • CURVED EDGES: More comfortable to the touch and has a sleeker appearance.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some cards have mismatched cocktail names and recipes. 

What Our Editors Say

“We love the simplicity of these flashcards. On the front, you’ll find the ingredients and instructions, while the back displays real images of the cocktails to give you an idea of what your drink should look like.

The cards feel thick and sturdy enough, and both sides are gloss laminated as well. This makes the cards excellently resistant to dust and water, and it also contributes to the cards’ overall longevity.”

Size: 2.5″ x 3.5″ | No. of Cards: 52 | Manufactured: USA | What’s Included: Box

Cocktail Expert Cocktail Cards - The Introductory Collection

Why We Think It’s Great

  • MEDIEVAL AESTHETICS: Displays a unique design making the recipe cards more eye-catching. 
  • SHINY APPEARANCE: Very smooth to the touch and makes the cards’ color and design more vibrant.
  • STURDY BOX: Cards are stored in an anti-scratch laminated box to ensure safety and neatness.
  • GREAT RECIPE CHOICES: Features 50 famous cocktails, providing you with a wide variety of well-known options.

What We Don’t Like

What Our Editors Say

“We were blown away by the quality of the card stock used to make the cards as they were much thicker. They are also sufficiently sized, don’t produce any clutter, and their glossy protective covering will prevent any spillage from damaging them.

Furthermore, the design of the card and box is just stunning! Someone took great care in crafting this set to adhere to a fantasy aesthetic, and we have to say, they succeeded magnificently!”

Size: 5” x 3.25” | No. of Cards: 50 | Manufactured: USA | What’s Included: Box

Related: The Best Gifts for Nerds

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Maneful Fundamental Cocktails for the Home Bartender

Why We Think It’s Great

  • NOTES SPACE: Allows the users to jot down ideas and feedback for the cocktail recipe.
  • COLOR-CODED DESIGN: Easy to distinguish every recipe card just by looking at the color theme.
  • INSTRUCTION ILLUSTRATIONS: Shows which bar tool is to be used in each step which is helpful for beginners.
  • FLAVOR PROFILE: Includes the cocktail’s flavor profile which is informative and sets this product from the rest.
  • WATER-RESISTANT: Constructed from durable, spill-resistant material.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some of the recipes appear to be identical, and they contain some hard-to-find ingredients.

What Buyers Say

“We appreciate the excellent standard of quality of the cards as they are thick, durable, and waterproof! They’re a great size, too, with large and legible fonts.

Aside from the greatly detailed recipe cards, we also find the additional cards to be valuable. There’s advice on how to maximize your card value and stock your own cocktail bar with essential mixers, liquors, garnishes, and more.”

Size: 5.75″x3.5″ | No. of Cards: 52 | What’s Included: Box, cocktail and ingredient lists, instruction cards

Related: How To Maintain Bar Equipment 

The Cocktail Deck of Cards: 50 sparkling cocktails for every occasion

Why We Think It’s Great

  • SPECIALTY SPARKLING RECIPES: All 50 cards are sparkling cocktail recipes, excellent for bubbly drink fans.
  • EASY-TO-FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS: Straightforward steps are perfect for beginners.
  • ARTISTIC DESIGN: Sports a vibrant and colorful design that captivates people’s interest.
  • MAKES A GREAT GIFT: The style, size, and packaging make it an effortless gift for cocktail lovers. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The paper is not as thick as others. 

What Our Editors Say

“We love the cute, pink theme of these recipe cards and especially the watercolor art of cocktails! They’re such conversation starters, and they’re very vibrant, matching the sparkling cocktails!

All of the recipes are amazing and perfect for all occasions. They’re also perfect for people who always have leftover wine lying around!”

Size: 4.18” x 5.6” | No. of Cards: 50 | What’s Included: Box

Related: The Best French Champagnes

SUCK UK Cocktail Recipe Drink Mats

Why We Think It’s Great

  • ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY: All recipe cards are made from recycled paper.
  • DUAL-PURPOSE: Can be utilized as recipe cards, a drink coaster, or a Top Trumps game: cocktail edition. 
  • COMPACT: Saves space when storing and is effortless to use. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The cards’ structural integrity is compromised due to condensation on the glass. 

What Buyers Say

“The cards seem very sturdy and durable. We understand that the cards double as glass mats for a coffee table or counter, and we think they’re capable of that unless your drinks are cold and they make rings. But then again, the seller said these cards are made to be disposable.

Nevertheless, we like that they are simple and neat, as this makes them easy to read and understand. In addition, we appreciate that they included actual pictures of the cocktails. If you want them to last longer, we suggest using them solely as recipe cards.”

Size: 3.6”x3.6” | No. of Cards: 30 | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Box

Related: The Best Drink Coasters

Pick Your Sweet Poison Custom Cocktail Recipe Cards

Why We Think It’s Great

  • CHEST-LIKE BOX: Easily opens and closes and is made out of thick and high-quality cardboard.
  • INDEX TABS: Keeps the cards organized according to spirit base and makes it easy to locate certain recipe cards.
  • LUXURY COCKTAILS: Features 60 ideas for high-end cocktails that are perfect for hosting a gathering.

What We Don’t Like

  • The cards do not offer a lot of bartending information.

What Our Editors Say

“We like the unique box that stores the recipe cards; with the flip top, it’s easier to take cards out. There are different kinds of recipes here for everyone’s preference, whether you like vodka, rum, candy cocktails, and more!

Additionally, the recipes are designed to be more creative rather than serious and are mainly intended for women who like to host parties and make carefree drinks. Whatever your preference is, there is a fair share of simple and challenging recipes!”

Size: 5.7”x3.2” | No. of Cards: 60 | What’s Included: Box, Thank You card, Tabs card

Related: The Best Cocktail Hacks

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Final Verdict

Cocktail recipe cards are undoubtedly an efficient way to learn how to make cocktails, from the classic to the more complicated ones. They are also conveniently small, so they don’t clutter your workstation and make great gifts to novice and expert bartenders alike.

Which set of cocktail recipe cards do you prefer? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. 

Best Cocktail Recipe Cards Buying Guide

Bar tools with recipe cards

Since cocktail cards are considered learning tools, it’s natural for one to have a preference according to his/her learning style. So, here are some factors to consider when buying recipe cards. 

When putting out money, get the most out of it, meaning go for a deck of cards that offer more recipes!  Our list consists of products that offer 30 – 100 cards, but we also recommend considering what kinds of recipes are offered in the deck.

It’s understandable to pick the product with the most recipe cards to be practical, but if they’re a mix of repetitive cocktails, it will not be useful.

You want to have classic and popular recipes in your deck of cards. If you’re a beginner, go for a product that features simple recipes, as some products feature challenging ones that require complicated steps, ingredients, and tools!  

The usual information you’ll find on cocktail recipe cards is the cocktail’s name, the ingredients with their measurements, procedures, and an illustration of the drink. While these details will suffice, you can find more interesting information on some products.

Some sets may include a history or fun facts about the cocktail, flavor profile, the tools that will be needed to make the drinks, a sweetness or tartness scale, and even a QR code! These details can really help you master the craft better and faster.

You’ll want the cards to be visually appealing and match the concept of your bar. There are several designs to choose from, such as artsy or rustic.

Take into account the font as well, as it may interfere with the readability and comprehension of the content if they are too edgy or fashionable. Choose fonts that are basic and easy to read!

Furthermore, all-text cocktail recipe cards might get monotonous and won’t motivate you to prepare the recipes. Search for recipe cards with bright pictures, bold colors, and designs so they may double as displays.

Some cards are also color-coded, which is a huge plus. Basically, the cards have a colored accent which determines which spirit base they use or the spirit category they belong to. 

Furthermore, think about whether you like a matte finish or a glossy finish.

Recipe cards are similar to a classic cocktail recipe book but more practical in a busy setting. And picking the right-sized card for you enhances your comfort in handling them.

Recipe cards normally come in three sizes: 3″ x 5″, 4″ x 6″ for the traditional size, and 5″ x 7″. However, you may have seen them in a few different sizes.

Bigger cards are highly likely to have bigger fonts which are helpful for the older population and for people with poor eyesight. And more often than not, bigger cards mean more information!

Smaller cards, on the other hand, are compact, which means they’re easier to carry, and they work best for any traveling bartender or bartender for hire for being a space-saver!

Buying cocktail recipe cards won’t break the bank, but the product prices still need to be considered to get the best value.

Most of the time, the price can tell if the cards are made out of high-quality material or not. If a product’s price seems too low, it’s probably just made out of thin material and susceptible to damage.

In a busy environment such as a bar, you’ll need everything to hold up well, from appliances and bar tools to recipe cards.

Best Cocktail Recipe Cards FAQ

Female bartender making cocktails

1. What are the most classic cocktails? 

    For aspiring bartenders, going for classic cocktails has always been a default when practicing. It’s easier to practice making classics as they tend to be simple, require fewer ingredients, and they’ve been around for quite some time. They are also frequently ordered by customers.

    We support everybody’s personal preference for cocktails, but if you’re new to the cocktail world, then we suggest you try the basics first. Listed below are the classic cocktails grouped according to the spirit base they’re made with.

    Tequila:

    Gin:

    Whiskey:

    Rum:

    Vodka:

    2. What is the golden ratio for cocktails?

      The goal of any good bartender should be to create a drink that has a balanced blend of flavors rather than one that is particularly sweet, sour, or bitter.

      Successful bartenders usually have years of experience behind the bar, during which they honed their skills. However, the Golden Ratio is the secret to mixing the perfect drink and is a useful guide, especially if you’re just starting out.

      The ideal proportion is said to have been derived from making punch and consists of two parts liquor, one part sweetener, and one part sour. The fruity drink was all the rage among fashionable people from the 1600s through the 1800s.

      Back then, people mixed booze, spirits, water, fruit, and spice to make a drink called punch. The proportions of ingredients in this cocktail became the standard for mixing drinks in the following decades.

      But some bartenders today may have their own proportions, according to their or their customer’s tastes. 

      3. How can bartenders memorize recipes?

        It can be overwhelming for a bartender to remember numerous recipes, ingredients, bottles of alcohol, tools, procedures, etc. But certain techniques, such as the following, can help them become more familiarized and confident when making drinks.

        • Mnemonics – Mental shortcuts that help remember concepts using acronyms, rhymes, keywords, etc. For example, the ingredients for a Tom Collins can be remembered using the phrase, “Tom Gave Lucy Simple Syrup.”  (G – gin; L – lemon juice; S – simple syrup/sugar; S – soda water)
        • Drink Classification – The type of cocktail can give an idea of what it is or its ingredients. For instance, a Tiki cocktail will almost always have rum and fruit juices. On the other hand, a muddled cocktail will indicate sugar cubes, herbs, bitters, etc.
        • Repetition – Making the same cocktail repeatedly can help you lock the recipe in your mind. This usually happens when many customers order the same drinks, but it can also be done mentally using recipe cards.
        • Cocktail books – Recipe cards are like the summarized version of your favorite cocktail recipe books, like Cocktail Codex and Savoy Cocktail Book. Cards have the advantage of being compact and easier to navigate, but if you want access to more extensive information about cocktails to learn the recipes faster, a cocktail book can help.

        4. What drinks impress bartenders?

          Bartenders are usually the ones trying to impress their customers with their skills, but sometimes, it can be the other way around. Drinkers can also impress a bartender when ordering something unique, infrequently ordered, or modern classic cocktails.

          Of course, it will be beneficial for you since you’re getting a drink, but it’s also a clever way of testing a bartender’s knowledge and skills. 

          The next time you’re going to a bar, go for a Vieux Carre, Last Word, Negroni Sbagliato, Jungle Bird, Boulevardier, Side Car, Aviation, Painkiller, Martinez, etc.! 

          Why Trust Advanced Mixology?

          We believe that our readers should have access to unbiased, well-informed reviews when deciding which products to buy, and we work hard to provide that type of content. Our editorial team is experienced and passionate about mixology and bar equipment. In addition, we often consult with industry professionals when gathering information, which gives us an insider’s perspective on the products we’re reviewing.

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