Budding mixologists no longer have to measure, muddle, shake or stir the perfect cocktail. New mixology technology helps hosts serve premium cocktails on demand.
Press a button for a perfectly concocted margarita or mint julep — it’s time to celebrate the future of cocktail technology.
New tech gadgets — from single-serve mixed drink machines to smart sommeliers — can turn novices into star mixologists.
“In the past few years, we’ve seen robots converted into robotenders on cruise ships and vending-machine-like devices capable of automating a round of cocktails,” said Ann Tuennerman, a leading expert in the cocktail industry and founder of Tales of the Cocktail, the world’s premier cocktail festival.
“Tech tools are only effective if they give people the ability to transport the leisure, convenience and attractiveness of the public bar into the private home,” she said.
Keurig for Cocktails
Popping in a pod is no longer reserved just for brewing up coffee.
Dubbed as “the world’s first app-controlled robotic bartending appliance,” Somabar ($599, pre-order online) is controlled wirelessly by smartphone and includes seven refillable pods for adding a favorite spirit or mixer. It electronically detects the ingredients and suggests drink recipes from a menu of more than 300 craft cocktails. Its self-cleaning system makes setup and break down a snap.
“Somabar is the hardest working bartender you’ll ever meet,” said Dylan Purcell-Lowe, Somabar’s co-founder and CEO. “[It] measures, mixes and pours every cocktail in under 10 seconds.”
Purcell-Lowe started Somabar so everyone — consumers and restaurants alike — could have a personal bartender without the cost. The robo-bartender currently mixes drinks in a limited number of restaurants in Los Angeles and will be available for consumers in late 2017.
Home mixologists may spend less time making drinks and more time mixing with friends with the Bartesian ($299, pre-order online).
The single-serve cocktail machine offers six cocktail pods: margarita, sex on the beach, cosmopolitan, zest martini, uptown rocks and Bartesian breeze. Mixing cocktails is as easy as making a cup of coffee.
Home bartenders simply fill the glass reservoirs with the basic spirits: gin, rum, vodka or tequila, then insert disposable recyclable capsules that contain real fruit juice, non-alcoholic liquor and premium bitters. They then choose strength — from mocktail to triple shot — and hit pour. In 18 seconds, the Bartesian makes a perfect cocktail and even cleans itself.
Jigger No More
Cocktail tech isn’t limited to mixing machines.
Bernooli ($99-$349, pre-order online) is a Bluetooth-enabled smart spout, which attaches to liquor bottles and mixers and takes the guesswork out of how much to pour.
Users choose a cocktail on the Bernooli app, and the LED rings on the spouts light up to show which bottles are needed to make the selected drink. All the mixologist needs to do is pour — the spouts auto-measure the correct proportion for each ingredient. Bernooli also offers the option to make stronger or weaker drinks based on guests’ preferences.
Bernooli helps home bartenders make hundreds of cocktails and the app even suggests drinks based on the available liquor. Users can also add custom recipes to the app and share with other mixologists around the world.
The Keurig concept of making the perfect temperature beverage has expanded into the wine industry, thanks to French company 10-Vins. D-Vine ($997, pre-order online) offers single serve glasses of wine via a high-tech decanting machine.
D-Vine users buy sommelier-selected cylinders of wine affixed with RFID technology. The decanting machine reads the chip on the bottle to determine the ideal serving conditions. Then the D-Vine aerates and brings the wine to the perfect temperature based on the varietal. No wine will be served before its time, which in this case is less than a minute.
Even when just opening a bottle at home, wine aficionados strive to serve wine at the right temperature. The Menu Fahrenheit Wine Thermometer ($14.95) straps around a bottle and gives an instant reading. The Kikkerland Wine Bottle Thermometer ($8) recommends the ideal temperatures based on the wine varietal.
Oxygen is the enemy of most wine, eventually turning open bottles of wine to vinegar, according to Popular Science.
The Coravin Model Two ($299.95) lets wine lovers drink wine without removing the cork, which is great for pouring just one glass. The device clamps on to a bottle of wine, inserting a thin wall needle into the cork, allowing the wine to flow. Pressurized argon gas helps reseal the cork to prevent oxidation.
There’s even technology for preventing unpleasant reactions to wine, including the headaches, congestion and skin flushing many wine lovers experience. Stir The Wand ($24.99) by PureWine in a wine glass for at least three minutes and it will absorb the sulfites and histamines that trigger adverse reactions to wine.
A New Brewmeister
Ingredient kits called PicoPaks contain the necessary grains and hops that allow brewers to recreate craft beer from recipes of breweries around the world — all at the push of a button. Once the two-hour brew cycle finishes, the beer brews in a keg for a week, then the brewer adds carbonate and it’s bottoms up.
Brewers can also come up with their own concoction using Pico’s freestyle program.
“These are incredible innovations, but we’ve only begun to test the waters of what is possible,” said cocktail expert Tuennerman. As cocktail technology evolves, budding mixologists and busy party hosts will have more ways to celebrate.
Cheers to the future.