Bartending isn’t for everyone. Mixing a perfect drink or chilling a glass of wine to its ideal temperature isn’t as easy as Tom Cruise made it look in the 1980s hit, Cocktail. And while it’s not real hard to drink a beer, making one is another matter entirely.
Alcohol is as much a part of CES as big screen TVs. Typically, it’s more of an after-show event, but this year there are a number of booze-themed gadgets and gizmos on display, many of which have the potential to make you the hero of cocktail hour.
D-Vine – Single glass servings of wine are becoming more common at grocery stores and bottle shops, letting people who just want a glass enjoy wine without having to open a bottle (and risk it going bad). D-Vine takes things a step further. Each tube of wine is placed into the device, which then reads the type of wine on an embedded chip. From there, the vino is chilled to the perfect temperature, opening up the right tastes and aromas, and poured into the glass for you. It’s basically a Keurig for wine lovers, offering variety and doing all of the hard work. Currently available in France, the team is working to bring it to the U.S. later this year.
Somabar – Messing up the proportions in a mixed drink can ruin it. Somabar lets technology handle the mixology. The device has six sealed chambers that keep the mixers and spirits fresh, and automatically makes the drink you select on the accompanying smartphone app. (You can also program in your own adult beverages of choice.) About the size of a coffee maker, the self-cleaning system has a menu of 300 pre-programmed drinks and can turn out a cocktail in just five seconds. Currently in pre-production, it carries a $429 price tag.
PicoBrew Pico – PicoBrew’s Zymatic made home brewing easier, though the price scared some people off – and others were still nervous about buying hops and malt themselves. Pico is a more consumer-friendly device, where would-be brewers can buy ingredient packs from brewersr like Rogue and Dogfish Head and begin brewing immediately. It takes about two hours to complete the brew on each batch. From there, let it cool, drop in some yeast and three to five days later, you’ve got your own homebrewed beer from a professional’s recipe. Shipping this May, it costs $599.
Bartesian – While Somabar has you provide mixers and alcohol, Bartesian takes a different approach to automatic cocktail creation. Owners fill the pods with gin, vodka, rum and tequila, then use Keurig-like disposable capsules. Once that pod is inserted (again, as you would a K-cup), you choose the strength of the drink and hit pour. There are only six drinks at present, but the company’s looking to expand those.
Brewie – Like PicoBrew, this company is looking to automate the beer brewing process. The device is closer to the Zymatic, tasking owners to select their own proportions of grains and hops, but has users in 50 countries who contribute recipies. Cooling is automatic and it makes 5 gallons of beer, but the $2,000 price point might scare away consumer when it ships in the second quarter.