I'm a freelance web developer, and I've just created www.applevodka.co.uk (practice more than anything else).
At the moment I've just got a few amazon items on it, and cocktails which I've found from other sites...
I'm wondering if there's anything you guys (as vodka/cocktail drinkers) would like to see on a website like this? is there anything you'd want to be able to see/do on a website that no other websites offer?
I don't want to offend you, Ash but I'm going to make it easy for you and everyone here by giving you some quick, first impression based, no bullshit feedback. Short and concise, because I'm on my iPad.
The website. Really? It looks like it was made 15 years ago by a 15 year old. This may be your first site, but if that is the case, you're not a freelance and I would rather use FreeWebs.
I am glad you included a Drink Aware link because the recipes you have copypasta'd from Google with no proof reading or understanding of the erroneous methods employed are shameless Wetherspoon-going, binge-drinking troglodyte fodder. Trogs that are somehow concerned with how many calories they have consumed in their appletini. Your calcutions are also way out as even with my limited experience with Sour Apple Pucker I would estimate there being more than 8g of carbs in 250 ml of Appletini at 3:2 ratio. Or I suppose you have factored in the inevitable 175ml of dilution as you have served said appletini on ice in that dashing cocktail glass..... Oh wait! The cocktail glasses you link to "only" hold 210ml. Never mind.
If you really are interested in web design, I commend you for doing what you enjoy, but you should design a site about something you are also interested in and know the first thing about. Writing ( and I use that word generously as I'd guess that amongst the recipes that are obviously not your own and remain uncredited and all the useless Amazon links you have written less than 100 words of content) a website about something you know nothing about is insulting to you and the drinks industry. I imagine apple vodka.co.uk with enough meta tagging could receive a lot of web traffic, pushing quality products that you kindly link to such as Chase Vodka toward the bottom of the pile. It will do nothing more than perpetuate bad drinking and bad taste and if you don't believe me, then try one of those drinks as written on your site.
It may seem like I'm being overly critical and the truth is, I can't tell you what you should put on you Apple Vodka website. I'm far too busy working full time, amassing recipes for the new bar I'm opening, trying to have a social life and keep up with the drinks industry enough as it is to give you ideas. You have to come to the industry with a great new product, not the other way around.
As a parting note, take a look at this great single purpose (Ironic, because it will teach you a thing or two about web design and drinks) website about the first cocktail you should make. http://oldfashioned101.com/
I think there's a fine line between what I would consider as constructive criticism, and saying "I don't mean to offend you, but..." at the beginning of a message doesn't give you a green light to cross that line.
The website is not directed towards an up-market know it all like yourself. Its a simple website, directed at normal everyday people, who want to make a cocktail because they've never done it before... or just for the shear fun of it. People who don't care that they're using a 210ml glass for the ingredients to a 250ml cocktail, or whether they've accidently put a few extra ml of an ingredient more than what's recommended in the instructions. If that makes us "weatherspoon-going trogs" then so be it.
Weatherspoons is the biggest and most successful pub chain in the UK, and probably one of the biggest in the world... I'd welcome every single one of those "trogs" to my website with open arms.
I came onto these forums (and others) to ask for advise, or constructive critisism, because i genuinely want to improve my website in general, and gain an audience for the services I want to prove. Yes, it's in the early stages, and yes, there are still a lot of improvements to be made, and work to be done... but that's why I am here.
I appreciate the time you've taken to have a quick look at the website, and I have read between the lines of your post to take something constructive out of it, so thanks for that. However, I think you need to understand that there's a manner at which to give a criticism. If I came into your bar, even if I down right hated the place... If you genuinely asked me for my opinion on how to improve it, i would give it in such a way as to assist you in making those improvements. I wouldn't needlessly point out flaw after flaw without any consideration as to how those flaws can be fixed, or how mentioning them so negatively would have an effect on other forum members being able to give there own opinions.
You have helped by suggesting that your target audience is people new to cocktail. I don't really understand why you have chosen to brand your site Apple Vodka. It really limits the potential content and users of the site. Even a very esoteric product like vermouth would open up hundreds, if not thousands of recipes and you could include comparisons between brands and advice on storage and service. All this information is not hard to find on Google as it has been discussed ad neuseum over the last few years.
Since you're obviously on the same learning curve as your target audience, why not admit this and turn the site into a blog about your new exploits into home bar-tending? If you're not willing to really do all the mixing and shaking and, importantly, buying you could even make the blog fictional. Each of the entries could be a short in which you, our dashing, romantic hero live the high life and at some point has, or makes a stunning drink. You could call it 50 Shades of Aqua Vitae and score so much traffic and poon tang! In fact, if you don't take that name, I might right now!
Again, I want to emphasise that I'm not knocking your enthusiasm for the project, but you really need to do some research into the topic to at least understand basic bar tending lexicon so as to proof read your recipes and spot any obvious mistakes that reflect badly on you.
I don't mind helping, so if you have any questions, please ask.
Your site is outside the focus of this forum -- high-end craft cocktails. I suggest you solicit advice from people who like what you are offering. What's a high-end craft cocktail? Here are the style guidelines for Kindred Cocktails.
kindredcocktails.com | Cocktail recipe database for professionals and enthusiasts | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community
I would like to see a photo of the drink made. There aren't that many of them so as to make the task daunting; instead, there is a generic photo of the glassware which isn't very alluring.
Otherwise, it is a mini-version of other vodka sites out there like Absolut (which has a massive drink database). It makes me wonder what your angle is. Cool photos using great glassware, unusual garnishes, interesting settings, etc. is one angle. Collecting and presenting great vodka drinks from bartenders across town or across the world is another angle. Showcasing a handful of recipes they can find elsewhere isn't much of an angle though. There needs to be a reason why people will return and recommend it to their friends as well.
Cocktail Virgin blog & author of Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book.
Fred Yarm:Collecting and presenting great vodka drinks from bartenders across town or across the world is another angle.
About as easy as proving Fermat's last theorem. ;)
There's got to be a good vodka drink out there somewhere...
Sputnik with Fernet, citrus, and sugar is a damn good vodka drink.
However, it's rare that I have a vodka drink and don't think "this isn't bad, but it would be a whole lot better with gin!" Often times, I'll order the vodka cocktails off the menu and ask if I can specify the vodka. When they say sure, I ask for Beefeater (it's a flavored vodka of sorts).
The only drinks I've found to not work with gin are dessert drinks like Espresso Martinis and the such - but they work better with rum, tequila, whiskey or brandy, so...
How silly of me! This is a great vodka cocktail that I should have remembered before now as I work for Kammerling's!Although I work for Kamm's, I have to give massive props to Chase for this vodka. It's easily the best of any flavoured vodkas on the market - the most natural and balanced flavoured vodka going.
Purl in London also do a Negroni riff with Chase Marmalade, Carpano and Aperol. They serve it with an oil burner gently heating Juniper oil. So, after five minutes of sipping your drink, it starts tasting like gin!
Bisongrass Vodka is pretty decent. Making a Club Cocktail (equal parts vodka and white port, dash Angostura) with it won me over -- the bisongrass notes paired really well with Angostura's spice. Not sure I would enjoy the regular plain vodka version of the drink after trying it with the flavored vodka.
Makes a nice Sour, too. 42 Below Manuka Honey also makes a nice Sour.