Connect with the spirits

Like holiday superfreaks on a shopping spree, you just have to know where to find the novelties that'll put that shot in the arm -- so to speak -- to drinking merriment. Here's a road map for virtual tripping before making the real drive to the liquor store:

Epicurious Type in "red" and the search engine takes you to recipes like "Nose-warmer punch." A search for green yielded the "Fallen Angel." Equipped for all the colors in the rainbow.

iDrink Enter what you've got in dusty bottles in the back of the cupboard and they'll find a snappy recipe that puts it to use.

The Webtender: An On-Line Bartender A slew of drinking games can be found that involve cards, movies, TV shows or nothing more than time, with a buzz-level rating included.

Wine Spectator Newsy offerings, like a transcript of a chat session about holiday champagnes. Never knew there could be so many questionable nuances.

Cocktail Magazine Commercial and very confusing site approaches drinking from a geographic point-of-view, with recipes from a selection of clubs around the South and the country. Included is a recipe for Red Pirate's Punch provided by Orlando's Colossal Studios Pirate's Dinner Adventure. Yuck.

WebBar Mostly a grass-roots effort, this site makes use of contributors who write the items that are stored in a searchable database. The recipe for a "Snowy Hangover" came with the explanation, "`it` was a drink made just for a bet at a party and was more popular than sex."

Ultimate Bar Guide Sophistication smacks you over the head from the moment you enter between the blinking martini glasses. Search possibilities include by "alcohol," by "preference" and by "glass type." Recommend-ed for those serious about presentation.

The Virtual Bar Well-rounded and neatly organized site that offers the practical inclusion of a Toasts and Toasting section that boasts "cheers for all occasions." And under "curses": "May a band of gypsies camp in your belly and train bears to dance on your liver."

Flora's Collection of Mixed Drinks & Brewing Recipes Odd but efficient, with a listing of recipes that includes "New Year's Eve Cocktail" (vodka, sweet martini and Pepsi Cola?).

The (Un)Official Internet Bartender's Guide There's more than you need to know at this site for pros that begins with an "Introduction to Mixology" and ends with somber "Overindulgence information." From the latter: "There is another important component to the hangover besides dehydration and that is acetaldehyde. The breakdown of ethanol in the liver is a two-step oxidation carried out by two separate enzymes."

Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Teens and Adults Serviceable but limited sampler of virgin goodies, like the "New Year's Punch Bowl" fueled by non-alcoholic versions of peach schnapps and Brut champagne. Good for those with conditions outlined in the aforementioned "Overindulgence information."

Jellophile Unbelievably detailed site, justly titled, with three volumes alone of alcoholic Jell-O recipes, better known to aficionados as "Tiddly Jell-O." And before this dilemma can rattle your brain, Chaz "Hazel" Baden , the Jell-O Maven, has already tackled with success the "margarita question."

ACATS Internet Bar Pages Enthusiastic but pointless assortment of oddball links distinguishable for the dated entries in the "Best and worst pickup lines heard in a bar" section. Lad: "So, how do you like your eggs in the morning?" Lass : "Unfertilized!" And a New Year's pick-up possibility: "HEY! There's a party in my mouth and you're invited to come."