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Indy Lifestyle Online
Question: how many different cocktails can you make if you have to hand a bottle of vodka, a banana, a can of beer, half a dozen eggs, a few sticks of cinnamon, a carton of milk and a bottle of Pernod? The answer, according to the iDRINK! interactive cocktail site, is an inebriating 19, ranging from the suitably wintry Iceberg (two parts vodka to one part Pernod) to the nauseous-sounding TurboBear (beer, eggs and milk) to the frankly alarming Erik's Deep Throater, which involves a banana - "as long as you can handle" - and 12 fl oz of beer. The iDRINK! site has a database of more than 5,000 cocktail recipes - all you have to do is whip round the kitchen, tap in what you've got and up come the results, with instructions on preparation and presentation. And if the guests aren't actually falling through the door gasping for a snifter, why not take your time, browse the site's cocktail cabinet, and choose a drink you think you might genuinely like. You can also specify non-alcoholic cocktails, and you are invited to vote on the success or otherwise of any concoction you try, which means every drink has a constantly updated rating (Erik's Deep Throater, for example, scores a spectacular 75 per cent approval - but then again only eight visitors appeared to have tried it and lived to cast their vote). Rather more entertaining but less stylish than iDRINK! (and let's face it, style matters when you're dealing with maraschino cherries and artistic shavings of lime peel) is The Virtual Bar site. As well as interactive cocktails, it also has such diversions as Bar Tips & Secrets (how to frost a glass, etc), Corky's Jukebox (eclectic accompaniment for your whizzing and shaking, everything from "A Whiter Shade of Pale" to the theme from the The X-Files) and Drinking Games, such as Ibble Dibble which involves players having to say things like "this is number 5 ibble-dibble with 1 dibble-ibble calling number 7 ibble-dibble with no dibble-ibbles". Well, it probably gets easier the more you have to drink. Jonathan Dyson

http://www.idrink.com/ iDRINK!

http://www.TheVirtualBar.com/ The Virtual Bar

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