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Is there a non-pejorative term analogous to "foodie" but in the context of alcoholic drinks? Everything that comes to mind suggests some form of alcoholism or affinity for binge-drinking.

More concretely, I am looking for a term that describes a person that enjoys making or trying new, possibly eclectic drinks, but is not interested in doing so solely for the buzz.

"Foodie" almost fits, but it seems too broad.

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Foodie is not formal. Gourmet and Epicurean are the formal words related to connoisseurs of food and drink. –  Kris Feb 21 '12 at 6:01
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Also foodie is by no means "non-pejorative", outside the endless stream of facetiously-titled Foodies guide to [some city] beloved of the publishing industry. In common parlance for many people, Foodies are all palate, with a vestigial person attached. For them, the only activity that comes close to eating is talking about eating –  FumbleFingers Feb 21 '12 at 13:03
    
@Kris, gourmand might be more appropriate than gourmet in this context. –  Peter Taylor Feb 21 '12 at 20:30
    
@PeterTaylor Oh yes, I agree. Thanks. –  Kris Feb 22 '12 at 6:02
    
@FumbleFingers To me, foodie sounds more like interested in eating than relishing/ quantitative vs. qualitative. ;) –  Kris Feb 22 '12 at 6:04
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I think you might have to content yourself with words or phrases for lovers of particular types of spirits. For example, an œnophile is a fine word for a wine connoisseur.

I don’t know of formal words for corresponding followers beer or whisky, but there are plenty of catchy circumlocutions for the same.

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Food & Wine magazine calls such folks cocktail connoisseurs.

Also note this article that asks, "Are You a Foodie or a Cocktail Connoisseur?"

If you're into the process of creating or formulating such drinks, you're a mixologist.

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But you could love beer, and hold cocktails in contempt. –  slim Feb 21 '12 at 20:47
    
@slim Yeah, but the OP asked, "More concretely, I am looking for a term that describes a person that enjoys making or trying new, possibly eclectic drinks." Sounds like cocktails to me. (Hefeweizen is as eclectic as I get with beer.) –  Gnawme Feb 21 '12 at 20:55
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It's not perfect, but it's quite fun: liquorist

See http://drinkmemag.com/2010/03/the-liqourist/ for some examples of the problem...

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