In the quest for the ultimate cocktail maker there is lot of interest and valuable findings. However, a closer look at the competition reveals there are not actually that many players in the arena. The range includes everything from one-off home builds to massive business’ focused products. In-between are some robotic bar choices aimed at private consumers. We take a look at some of the options on the market today. We also consider some from the past, and some in conceptual stages. Although there are different products for different audiences, we also aim to highlight where SirMixABot stands out from the competition.
Available Now Cocktail Maker Options
When evaluating our own product, as well as comparing it to the competition, we like to focus on a few critical categories. Again, different devices are aimed at different consumers. In our case we designed SirMixABot for what we call the “drinker tinkerer”. We build an affordable, durable product for those that love to customize both their cocktails and contraptions. Through open source technology and applications, as well as affordable manufacturing strategies, we’ve developed a robotic bar you can truly get your hands on.
Beyond the customization options and the mobile application SirMixABot also remains easy to handle. Both its size and ingredient replacement procedure make it a painless experience. These are some of the key categories that our robotic bartender made sure not to sacrifice, while keeping final price and attainability in mind. There are a handful of similar products currently on the market, and we break down the comparisons into these important categories. There are four current cocktail making contraptions that are comparable to SirMixABot. While the ultimate goal of mixing and matching ingredients to make delicious cocktails is shared throughout, the path to this result is very different.
Digital Beverages’ MyFountain XL is a ready to roll package, which comes with its own eight ingredients. This may seem attractive at first. But it quickly feels like more of a limiting factor in cocktail creating endeavors. The setup runs on a Windows XP powered interface, and lines running below to a refrigerator or cooler can be removed for cleaning and maintenance. Although it’s not available at the moment, the MyFountain XL retails for close to $4,000. This makes it a steep investment for someone looking to show off their cocktail know-how.
Slightly less encumbered are the Bartendro 7 and 15 models. The number stands for the number of integrated liquids pumped through the system, and prices vary accordingly. While this unit is more mobile than the MyFountain XL, it is somewhat limited by the recommended liquid containers. Although these are aesthetically pleasing, there is extra cleaning and maintenance involved. This robotic bar comes with an integrated tablet for drink ordering, and the software is reportedly open for customization. Unfortunately the base prices range from $2,500 to $4,000, making this another expensive solution for the private consumer.
The Somabar is a product seemingly at the verge of larger scale production. Going through its Kickstarter paces, the final price target is reportedly around $700. The product is undoubtedly chic, and its smaller dimensions make it easy to move and fit to different spaces. However, with these design and size considerations it feels like some capabilities have been sacrificed. Somabar uses six provided containers, meaning either the combinations will be limited, or frequent rotation is necessary. Even so, there is a 300 recipe limit. We feel this limit and bottle rinsing and rotating would get tiresome quickly.
Lastly, the Makr Shakr is a mammoth cocktail maker, not built for consumer use, but still worth mentioning. The rotating robot arms and beautiful lighting make you feel like the recipient at the end of the world’s most delicious assembly line. The price tag (which is hard to find) does not make you feel as great. These machines are strictly built for businesses, and the few in existence reside on cruise ships and Las Vegas casinos. With a $10,000+ (maybe $100,000+) price tag, the Makr Shakr is not a great value. This is especially true compared to a SirMixABot sharing most of its features at an extreme fraction of the price.
Not Available Cocktail Maker Concepts and Ceased Ventures
A quick online search reveals a lot of past projects and future concepts in the automated bar space. Whether failing for design issues or lack of time invested, we find it interesting to learn from these entries. The 500SW BarBot has seemingly been offline since 2013, but had a lot of great features. First off, we love the name “500SW”, which stands for “5 o’clock somewhere”. We also love the creative concept of dancing for your drink, where the machine would prepare a cocktail to match your moves. It was limited to vodka-based mixed drinks and was a little rough around the edges, but we applaud the creativity behind this creation.
The Lazy Drinker had an admirable goal of producing an affordable, portable cocktail maker. Concepts included the Duo, the 8, and the 16 version which reportedly went through a Kickstarter. The most recent mentions date back to 2015, suggesting the product is being reworked or has possibly been abandoned altogether. Perhaps too many creature comforts were sacrificed along the way in this venture. Regardless of its fate the Lazy Drinker set off on a great mission, and it should feel good about that.
The last entry is a pre-production device called The Inebriator. Different prototypes have been documented on its website, but it looks like production details and pricing are still to be determined. A first glance reveals a lot of features seem to be similar to SirMixABot. However, there are also features that deviate between these automated bartenders. From the laser cut enclosure to the liquor pourers used, we took every consideration towards affordability and durability. Although they might look somewhat similar on the surface (aside from not knowing The Inebriator’s price tag) we’re confident in the differences between the two details.
We believe SirMixABot’s drinker tinkerer consumer will take some (if not all) of the above considerations into their pursuit of the finest cocktail crafting machine. While different products are tailored for different people, our open ended technology and hardware is ideal for those who want to get their hands dirty. If you don’t want to roll up your sleeves, SirMixABot is still a great platform in terms of price and capabilities. We like to keep the much (and much) more expensive alternatives on edge. And in the end, what better way to take the edge off than with a crafty cocktail from our robotic bar.