Bev by Black & Decker Cocktail Maker Review: Let the Robot Tend Bar

Bev by Black & Decker Cocktail Maker Review: Let the Robot Tend Bar Leave a comment


Ever get up so bleary-eyed and unable to perform you could barely get it collectively to stumble your method into the kitchen and blend a cocktail? Well, have we obtained a product for you. The Black & Decker Bev does for combined drinks what Keurig did for espresso, full with all the professionals and cons that the comparability implies.

The $250 Black & Decker Bev “corded cocktail maker” is sort of the monstrosity on the countertop, weighing 16 kilos unloaded and measuring 15 inches tall with a footprint of 16 by 18 inches. Six tubes prolong downward into liquor bottles that you just present—vodka, gin, whiskey (your alternative), rum, and tequila. The sixth hose is used for an included water carafe. 

The secret sauce of the Bev is that it makes use of Okay-cup-like capsules to ship all the different components in the cocktail. So a margarita pod contains lime juice, sweetener, and a few kind of orange flavoring—by it’s not triple sec, as a result of the pods are nonalcoholic. The tequila for the drink comes from a bottle you load into the machine.

An organization known as Bartesian, which pioneered the idea and which additionally makes its personal (dear however elegant) dispenser {hardware}, is the brains behind all of this. Bartesian makes more than 40 flavoring pods, every producing a special cocktail starting from the easy old style to the complicated intercourse on the seaside and, sure, even the iconic Long Island iced tea. Eight-packs of pods are $20, and observe you don’t get even a single freebie with the Bev.

The Bev just isn’t the most elegant of contraptions, however in case you requested me what a Black & Decker-produced cocktail making system would appear like, this may most likely be what I’d sketch.

Raising the Bar

Photograph: Black & Decker

Setting up the Bev requires a little bit of effort and exposes a few of the gadget’s limitations. An ordinary Grey Goose bottle is simply too tall to slot in the machine’s vodka slot, whereas a Patron tequila bottle has too broad a mouth for the hose’s rubber gasket to connect to it. So positive, you should use no matter spirits you’d like … so long as the bottles are the proper measurement. (You can even pour that Grey Goose into an empty Popov bottle if you wish to hold it elegant, I suppose.)

The different massive catch is that the Bev doesn’t do any shaking or stirring. It dumps the components—at room temperature—right into a glass, after which you’re by yourself in relation to chilling them and serving the drink. Initially I disbursed all the components right into a shaker stuffed with ice, then chilled them by shaking and eventually depositing right into a serving glass, however finally I realized that stirring drinks in an ice-filled serving glass was far easier and produced roughly the identical outcomes with rather a lot much less cleanup. We aren’t speaking about craft cocktails right here, so some shortcuts aren’t going to kill anybody.

This method of working is very key in case you use the Bev in the solely method it makes any actual sense: As an attraction for a celebration the place individuals make their very own drinks as a substitute of you. Toss a bunch of Bartesian capsules right into a bowl, present some common directions, and let your friends have enjoyable with it. They’ll certainly get pleasure from the gentle present the Bev places on throughout the dishing out and the capability to “dial your strength” amongst certainly one of 4 booziness ranges, together with virgin—although I’d warn you in opposition to choose the highest degree, which may depart you with greater than 4.5 ounces of hooch in your glass and a nasty hangover the following day.

I used to be actually hoping that the Bev would do double responsibility as a push-button booze dispenser, the place I may pull a lever and have a shot of whiskey or gin produced with out having to cope with a measuring gadget, however sadly the Bev can’t do that easy feat. It’s cocktails or nothing, and the machine doesn’t do something with no Bartesian pod in place. A easy function like this may give the gadget slightly further performance past making the comparatively restricted set of drinks that Bartesian affords. It most likely goes with out saying you could’t add your personal recipes to the system.

As for the cocktails, they’re hit or miss. They all veer towards being too candy—some overwhelmingly so, it doesn’t matter what energy you choose—although in testing a half-dozen totally different pods, I surprisingly discovered the cosmopolitan to be the most approachable, adopted by the old style. The Long Island iced tea wasn’t half dangerous, both, however reminiscence after all will get a bit foggy from that time on.



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