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Thread Starter 
My wife and I have a variety of cocktail books, each one with hundreds of recipes. We had a system of labeling the ones we like with multi-colored tabs, but that becomes clunky. At this point, creating an evening drink is a 30 minute process that looks something like this:
  1. Open one of the books to a section with our base ingredient.
  2. Go page by page looking for something new that we have all the ingredients for.
  3. Give up and switch to our cocktail book that can search by ingredient, and reverse search by minor ingredient to try and cross reference with the major ingredient sections to find something new to try.
  4. Give up and skim from green tab to green tab, searching for something we like that we have the ingredients for.
  5. Give up and pour bourbon over ice. "Improve" it with a dash of absinthe and maraschino liqueur, if we're feeling frisky.

What we'd like is some software that can simply some of this process. Ideally, it would allow for both an ingredient inventory and a recipe database, where I could search by name of recipe or by available ingredients. We would want to build both lists from scratch, so that we can provide a certain amount of quality control - I've seen a variety of community-built online tools, but they either don't have all of the possible mixers or they're full of drinks that are either jokes (ice water) or disgusting.

There's the off chance that this is something I could create myself. As a former PC user, I've done some work with MS Access, but I would be ashamed to show anyone the hodge-podge of programming/jerry-rigging it took to get those few projects to work. I don't have File-Maker or Bento, however, and I don't really want to spend the money required to get that software until I know whether or not this is something I can accomplish.

Anyway, I'm turning to the experts, as my Google searches are turning up nothing. Do you all have any suggestions for software that already exists? Do you have any suggestions as to how I could pull this off on my own on a budget? At the very least, do you have a beverage that you've found that you'd be willing to share with me?

Thank you, in advance, for your help, and I wish you all a happy new year!