I haven’t done an iPhone app review in a while, but this one is just made for Tiki Month. Tiki+: Exotic Drinks & Tiki Cocktails is a drink reference app that provides a collection of the best classic Tiki drinks from the Trader, the Beachcomber, and others. A product of teamwork between Beachbum Berry and Scorpiostech, Tiki+ is based on the same engine as Cocktails+, with a few modifications.
First, where Cocktails+ is a general reference, Tiki+ is not only genre-specific, but it is also curated more rigorously in the quality of the recipes therein. Cocktails+ avoids the real clunkers you find cluttering the 6,000 recipe apps, but it is still more variable in how good the drinks it offers are. TIki+ has only 150 recipes, with some notably bad drinks like the Pina Colada (tropical, but not TIki) conspicuous in their absence.
Tiki+ offers most of the features that have become de riguer in cocktail apps, and does them well. The browse drink screen has lots of useful information, with the drink name, most ingredients, and an icon which tells you in what manner it is served (frapped, shaken, rocks, hot etc.)
The individual recipe pages are well designed as well, with all basic info on a single, scrollable page. The tiki-themed backgrounds are fun and somehow manage to not make the pages unreadable. Each ingredient is hyper-linked to an informative page describing it. The source is given for each drink, as well as any relevant historical or conversational information. Finally, there is a small but lovely picture of the drink itself at the bottom of the page. The controls at the bottom are very limited, just the essential Favorites button, and a sharing button by which you can Tweet, Facebook, or email your find to the world.
There is also a host of good, concise information on the app, from Tiki history, to technique, to links to some good web locations to further your Tiki journey.
There are a few nigglling faults I find with in TIki+. You cannot page through the recipes without returning to the browse page. I’d like full-screen versions of the drink pictures. While browsing by base ingredient is nice, rum is so pervasive a spirit in Tiki drinks that 120 out of 150 drinks show on that page. To be more helpful, it should be broken down further by type of rum. Finally, while the apps page on iTunes shows a recipe with metric and one with imperial measures, the app itself has only imperial. (The Zombie recipe shown above is in ounces on my phone) I’m guessing this is localized by the country of your app store.
If there is a preferences panel in the app that lets you change measures, I haven’t found it. And it should be there. (In the very first comment, Subfuture schools me. The preferences panel is in the global setting app, rather than inside Tiki+ itself. You can set your phone to give you recipes in ounces, cl, ml, or gills) The biggest problem with the app is that the developer, Ian Baird, has gotten a job with some rinky-dink outfit called Pear, or Mango, or Apple or something…. Any further updates or development (as with Cocktails+) will thus have to wait for a new developer. Fortunately, from my experience, the app is rock-solid as is, so don’t worry much about buying orphan-ware. Finally, $3.99 is on the high-end of cocktail apps pricing (equaling the superlative Flip ‘n Drink). But when people are shelling out two bucks for 50 Ultimate Lesbian Cocktails, it doesn’t really sound that bad.
I rate Tiki+ a solid buy, especially during Tiki Month, so pick it up and let it help you follow me through the tropical warmth of February!