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
  • @FumbleFingers To me, foodie sounds more like interested in eating than relishing/ quantitative vs. qualitative. ;) – Kris Feb 22 '12 at 6:04
  • @Kris: Nah - foodies are definitely up for quality over quantity. I don't think "foodie" was a common term back in the days of nouvelle cuisine (notorious for small portion sizes), but that's the sort of thing they would go for, imho. – FumbleFingers Feb 22 '12 at 13:14

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 corresponding formal words for followers beer or whisky, but there are plenty of catchy circumlocutions for the same.

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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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  • according to the OED, a liquorist is one who makes liqueurs. – Toothrot Apr 18 '19 at 10:12

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

How about tippler?

A habitual drinker; a bibber.

It could be considered pejorative depending on context, but I usually hear it used playfully. There's a fancy New York cocktail bar called The Tippler.

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