The BarNotes app puts the crafty drinker in touch with a community of like-minded enthusiasts who introduce new takes on old classics. Users can like or comment on cocktails, suggest different portions, post variations and even create their own recipes. Curated cocktail lists cater to the holiday, game day or even time of day. Creator Brandon Herring, an Atlanta native who now lives in San Francisco, and partner Peter Bodenheimer, who resides in New Orleans, have blended the two cocktail hubs using social media. “It’s like bringing the oldest and the newest together,” Herring said, paying tribute to the revolutionary cocktail and technology traditions of both cities.
Was there a particular moment that sparked the idea for the app?
I had a drink from Dan Stone of the Alembic on Haight called the American Trilogy. When he left, I wanted to make it. I looked online, called him, texted him. He was too busy to get back to me. The light bulb was, “I wanted his exact recipe. What else can he make that I don’t know about?”
What are your hopes for this app?
I hope this becomes the hub for people who are into craft cocktails. We want to access interesting people, stories behind the drinks. We don’t want to be just a database of drinks. We’re all about drinks with a point of view.
How big is the community so far?
We’ve got about 1,000 members. We don’t require you to sign up in order to browse. We’ve got about 600 cocktails. It’s growing every day and never gets static.
What makes this different from a typical cocktail recipe search?
We curate these lists and introduce bartenders that we know. We’re trying to come up with different ways for people to find drinks. Our lists are topical, seasonal. It’s social. And no cocktail apps are social. Our users determine what goes to the top. We’re tapping into something people are truly passionate about.
Describe your perfect day of drinking.
It’s a long day, I know that. If I gotta start early, there’s got to be a bloody mary with brunch. In the afternoon, a piney IPA. My very favorite thing is a dry gin martini with a lemon twist at about 5 o’clock followed by a big, beautiful meal with a nice red. Finish the day off with a whiskey, maybe a bourbon or rye.
What was your first drink?
Too much crappy beer. I threw up and said I wouldn’t do it again. And here we are.