We tried the Bartesian Cocktail Machine for the holidays
First, can we see an ID? Then let us know what you want to drink.
No, it’s not a bar – it’s actually a full-service cocktail lounge that you can bring into your home and place on your bar cart or counter.
The Bartesian Cocktail Maker really can do all that and more, and we’ve got all the delicious details after reviewing a unit ourselves. Don’t worry, we’re writing this completely sober and let our review serve as an aperitif before you invest in one yourself.
The Bartesian also makes a fantastic holiday gift, for the cocktail lover or the person who has everything and loves making memories over a good drink with friends. It even makes a great treat for yourself, should you be hosting holiday parties this year and don’t want to hire a bartender for the evening.
Read on for the full story of the cocktail machine, plus information on pricing and our unbiased review – was our glass half full or half empty?
What is the Bartesian Cocktail Maker?
Well, I personally call mine the cocktail robot, but we’ll explain it a little more.
The Bartesian Cocktail Maker is like a Keurig coffee maker and a bartender had a baby. Instead of K-cups and case, use the Bartesian cocktail capsules to create a perfectly mixed drink. The pods each contain one drink’s worth of mixers, whether it’s cranberry juice for a cosmopolitan or a sweet lemon juice mix for a perfect lemon drop.
The other aspect of the machine is the actual alcohol. The pods are all virgin, so when it’s time to make the cocktail, you also need to fill the bottles on the side of the machine with your spirit of choice. Then, when you insert the pod, you can choose your cocktail strength from a mocktail to a strong drink, which tells the Bartesian how much alcohol to use.
How much does the Bartesian cost?
It depends on which version you prefer.
For those who like to have a full bar of options when it comes to your base spirit, the Bartesian Premium Cocktail Maker with four containers is for you. We found it at a number of retailers and on the Bartesian website for $366, but currently find it on sale on Amazon for just $314 and Walmart for as low as $293.
If you value counter space as much as handcrafted cocktails, then the smaller Bartesian Duet is a great choice. It’s also a good option for those who only like a few spirits, as the Duet can hold two alcohol containers at once. This version retails for $269 on the Bartesian site and will return to Walmart in 2023.
Then, the only additional expense other than filling the cans with your preferred alcohol is the cocktail pods themselves. It varies in price and comes in packages of between six and 36 capsules. It can also be purchased on the Bartesian site, as well as at Walmart and Amazon.
Our review of the Bartesian:
If you live in New York where cocktails can cost $20 each, the Bartesian is a really good investment.
I’ve had the OG Bartesian Premium Cocktail Maker for about a year now, and introduce all my friends to it as my personal cocktail robot. It’s served drinks for New Year’s Eve, pre-games for Halloween and a glass or two on the weekends for me and my roommate.
Since I do live in a smaller apartment, I was delighted to try the Bartesian Duet this month, especially since I really only enjoy gin and tequila drinks and could do without the vodka and whiskey cans anyway.
Both gadgets work the same, and I love the ability to choose my alcohol strength because sometimes a mocktail or a shot of booze is all I want for a nightcap. They also both use tap water and an electricity source to operate, which isn’t much at all for a fully functional in-home bar.
I also like that both devices give you instructions on which glasses to use, or if a cocktail shaker with ice is needed. It’s just another layer of glamor, making me feel like a real bartender with the right glassware and garnish – even though I forgot to pick up espresso beans for the top of my martini, the foam it created was restaurant quality!
The pods themselves are also pretty spot on, because even after my fair share of cocktails in bars, the Bartesian version is pretty much 1:1. The other advantage of the machine is the ability to choose your own spirits, leaving the price and type of alcohol up to you and your preference – feels a lot better than getting a lift at the bar for good booze.
The only thing I would wish for is more potions, but I guess that’s not too lofty a goal as new capsules are being added to the site all the time. Speaking of, I was lucky enough to order before the holidays and was able to try the limited edition Holiday Collection 2022 and the Naughty Collection, with seasonal drinks like Spiked Candy Apple and Mocha Bliss Martini to name a few.
- Drinks are much cheaper than in a bar, with a comparable taste
- Ability to make mocktails and adjust alcohol level
- Ability to choose your own base alcohol
- Choice of a smaller machine with two spirits or a larger one with four — both machines are otherwise very similar!
- Large selection of cocktail pods, which change seasonally
- Drinks take less than a minute to make
- Regular sales on the devices, sold at a variety of retailers such as Target, Walmart, Amazon and Williams Sonoma
- No ability to mix and match pods in a pack
- Alcohol not included in the pods (and no caffeine in the coffee flavored drinks)
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