There are a zillion kinds of alcohol stove.
The ones that work reliably are also many, but, reliable means different things to different people.
My go-to for cold weather is a Mini Atomic from Minibull - it has a wick around the outside that you put a few drops of fuel on and light, and the stove blossoms like magic. It requires a pot stand separate from the stove.
I also have a White Box stove - this stove requires you to put the pot (it works best with wide pots) on the stove to pressurize it. The larger version holds more fuel for a longer boil. This is a boiling stove, not a cooking stove.
I have a Featherfire stove - this has a knob, and a snuffer cap. You can burn for an hour on a simmer, or open it wide and boil fast - and once you get to a boil snuff it and recover the fuel that's left. The caveat with this stove is that the legs are delicate and it needs to be packed carefully.
Then there's the cat can stove, the supercat - make one or a dozen out of Fancy Feast cans, using a pattern you download at Zen Stoves. You can make a second stove for simmering. The Supercat boils fast but is not so efficient as some others.
All alcohol stoves burn best on yellow bottle HEET or denatured alcohol; I've also found some brands of alcohol burn better than others. In cold weather, a wicked stove and keeping the fuel in a pocket will give you a quick prime. You can expect best results if you practice with your stove before taking it out, and if you always use a windscreen, a base (foil keeps the ground from being a heat sink in the cold and prevents you from lighting the duff on fire with the stove), and a lid on the pot, you'll do great. The windscreen needs to be 1/2 - 1 inch from the sides of the pot to allow the stove enough air, but also needs to block side drafts that will steal the flame off the pot.
zenstoves.net has more info than you ever wanted on all kinds of stoves.
For convenience and ease of use, you'll have to decide on your own. I find that when I require only boiling water all the stoves i have are convenient and easy to use. Trying to cook on any of the backpacking stoves (pocket rocket included, I hated that thing, it had settings "boil fast, boil less fast, boil slow, boil slower, off") can be challenging. My best success with steam baking muffins came with the Minibull Black Fly, a stove that he no longer makes.
Good luck, happy stove making. Fortunately, most alcohol stoves you buy pre-made are much cheaper into the bargain.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzukihttp://hikeandbackpack.com