Highball is a new iPhone app from Studio Neat, prolific fun guys and makers of cool things ranging from the Glif smartphone tripod mount, to the Cosmonaut stylus, to the Neat transparent ice cube making set. The app is thematically in keeping with their most recent product, including the ice kit and the Simple Syrup Kit, providing a repository and sharing tool for cocktail recipes so you can employ both your Neat bar accessory hardware purchases to maximum effect.
The Highball app evokes both Passbook and an old-school recipe Rolodex, but has more design charm than both. Recipes are organized by virtual cards, which present either just the drink name or a small preview of the ingredients involved depending on how many you have in your library. You can share any recipe as an image, complete with ingredients and a paragraph of preparation instructions, with cards formatted with an eye on sharing.
Using a static image format means the recipes can be shared wherever you happen to want to place them, including on Twitter and Facebook, and the striking look of the cards themselves should entice people to actually check them out. You can then import these recipes back into Highball if you happen to see a card and have the app, using the somewhat unexpected method of importing shared images (the app reads a QR code included in each to make them editable in the app).
My favorite part of the app might be that you can create your own recipes to store and share, and Studio Neat has made it easy to make a good-looking card yourself, right down to letting you edit every aspect of the drink image using stock assets that will ensure it doesn’t look out of place among the default recipes. If you are both a drink and a design snob, in other words, this app will make you very, very happy.
Studio Neat is unabashedly using the completely free app as a promotional vehicle to push its Ice and Simple Syrup kits, as a handy introductory slideshow tells you when you first launch the app. The app doesn’t get any pushier then that introductory note, however, aside from offering an unobtrusive way to buy either the ice kit or the syrup kit, plus tip Neat without purchase, via Apple Pay from within the app.
Dan Provost from Studio Neat tells me that the team is considering how Highball might work on an Apple Watch, but they don’t have any concrete plans there just yet. He also says that while this app and many of their recent products focus on drinks and mixology, the company is still dedicated to doing a wide variety of things, and a couple of ideas unrelated to cocktails are already being bandied about between himself and Studio Neat co-conspirator Tom Gerhardt.