I've been bartending a lot. Today marks a year since I set foot inside a bar, and my home collection has grown sizably. As I gain skill in shaking and inventing cocktails, I find myself exploring the ingredients themselves more and more.
Recently I was having a conversation with a coworker, and I mentioned that my brother had stopped drinking, and talked a bit about the cocktails I was enjoying making that didn't have alcohol. This coworker had included their kids in their cocktail hobby, who he didn't want to get drunk. He mentioned (and sent me a copy of!) a book called Zero. It's published by the Alinea group (proprietors of the Next restaurant and Aviary bar, among other projects, in Chicago).
I also have the Aviary book, and most of the recipes in both are whimsical, but not particularly executable, at least at home. I have patience and persistence, but can't put a bottle of chartreuse in a convection oven for a year, or give up an entire freezer shelf (or glassware shelf) for the purposes of a single-drink. However, the "Back Bar" section of Zero was something I had been looking for and had yet to find: a starting point for an entirely alcohol free back bar.
As I read the recipes, I started to imagine the flavors, and it became immediately obvious to me that I'd want to refine based on the ingredients I would use (for instance, I will use Burlap & Barrel products wherever possible, which will require adjustments to the recipes). It also became clear to me that shopping for these recipes would require some software.
So, I built a product. In the section below, you'll find the names of all the back bar recipes contained in the book. If you select one or more recipes, you'll notice that below it is a table of ingredients. As you add recipes to the set, the list of ingredients will update. The column immediately to the left shows you how much of each ingredient you'll need to make all of the recipes you have selected.
Below the table you will find a shopping list that is generated based on the recipes you have selected. You may have some of these ingredients already. If you check them off in the table, they will be removed from the shopping list.
Once your list is accurate, copy paste it to your favorite markdown application (I use Bear or Quip), and it should convert itself into a checklist. Then head to the store or the internet and check it off.
Source: Dry Bar by Jesse Ditson