While social isolation is in place, the online happy hour has become a common occurrence… unfortunately, most of us don’t have the mixologist skillset. Enter Bartesian – a home cocktail making machine that uses your liquor of choice with specialized cocktail capsules to make a growing number of drinks. The elegant design, seamless function, and intuitive interface have garnered the Bartesian a 2020 CES Innovation Award, a spot in Oprah’s Favorite Things Holiday Gift List, and the Good Housekeeping 2020 Best Innovation title.
Drinks are selected by choosing from the catalog of cocktail capsules that contain all the mixers, including real juices, bitters, and extracts. Currently the catalog of Bartesian drink capsules includes more than a dozen different cocktails, including: Old Fashioned, Margarita, Long Island Iced Tea, Cosmopolitan, Sex on the Beach, Rum Breeze, Gin Martini, Negroni, Mint Julep (still allowed even though this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled for September), Manhattan, Paper Plane (my new favorite aperitivo), Spiced Coffee, and more. The mixologists at Bartesian are constantly searching for the next offerings and we have been told that there are more than fifteen coming soon, including capsules for Mai Tai, Lemon Drop, Low-Cal Cosmopolitan and Whiskey Sour, and a Matcha Martini. The entire catalog, including any “coming soon” capsules that have been announced can be found on the Bartesian website at bartesian.com/collections/cocktails.
Getting cocktails from Bartesian is very much like using a pod-based, single-cup coffee machine. Initial preparation of the system is simple: users fill the four glass spirit bottles with vodka, tequila, bourbon and gin/rum (which share the same holder, so the bottle needs to be swapped if the recipe calls for it). The process for crafting a cocktail is basically a single button press: insert a cocktail capsule and the system sets the recipe, then asks users to select the desired strength from an on-screen menu (ranging from mocktail to strong). Bartesian then takes over, drawing and blending the appropriate spirit(s) with the capsule ingredients and dispensing a delicious cocktail in seconds. Once the cocktail is finished, Bartesian’s auto-clean cycle runs to ensure the next cocktail is as premium tasting as the last.
We were sent a Bartesian review unit and a collection of cocktail capsules for the purpose of this review; all opinions are, of course, our own. Our first hesitation was the potential of waste that we have with any pod-based drink system (coffee, cocktail or otherwise), and we were thrilled to find that Bartesian capsules are made with 100% recyclable materials.
The Bartesian unit was simple to setup, and once I got over the trepidation of pouring most of a bottle of tequila into the dispenser, we were ready to cocktail. We started with a margarita, because it takes a lot of effort to make a really bad margarita… Bartesian did not make a bad margarita, in fact it was very good, so good that my wife appropriated most of the testing sample. The second cocktail was an Old Fashioned (I really enjoy a good one, and I happened to have a jar of cherries in the refrigerator), which I shared with a group of other bloggers while on a Zoom happy hour. The drink was very nice, and the others on the call were very, very jealous (which made the drink taste even better). The only thing missing from the Bartesian is a cocktail shaker and strainer (you will need one for some of the drinks) and you will also want a few cocktail glasses of different styles because you’re serving up real drinks, you should put them in the appropriate glass.
Your own Bartesian premium cocktail machine is available for you now on Amazon (affiliate link) and, before you ask, it is not delayed by COVID-19, so you can get your own bartender working from your place within days.