As Bourbon lovers, we sometimes crave something besides a pour of whiskey. We’ve all experienced wanting a quick cocktail but not feeling like taking the time to make it ourselves.
While many of us maintain a very well-stocked bar with premium bitters and other components to make a variety of cocktails, there are many cocktail lovers who do not. Frankly, that includes me usually too. I like going out to bars and tasting new concoctions created by my favorite mixologists.
However, now that I have a Bartesian at home that decision is a bit more complicated.
I’ll put the end of this review right up front – Bartesian does not replace your favorite mixologist or the experience of enjoying a cocktail in your local bar any more than Keurig has replaced Starbucks. We deeply care about bartenders and the hospitality community more than we ever have at both BourbonBlog.com and ManTripping.com and encourage you to continue to support them.
What Bartesian (Bartesian.com) does, however, is allow you to instantly create a respectable cocktail, quickly, with virtually no mess or cleanup (aside from the glass).
There are other options on the market whose pods are completely self-contained with the alcohol already in the pods. What I really appreciate about Bartesian though is that it allows me to create cocktails with your own premium spirits the way I would if I were going to on my own.
This was one of the failures faced by Keurig Drinkworks since their pods included everything in one and that meant if you wanted to make a rye Old Fashioned with WhistlePig Piggyback, Rye you couldn’t… instead you were limited to whatever default spirit the manufacturer decided to partner with.
For me, my complement of spirits includes Rabbit Hole Heigold High Rye Bourbon, Don Julio Blanco, Wildcat Brothers Sweet Crude French Style Rum, Las Californias Citrico Gin, and Belvedere Vodka.
At this point, it appears that Bartesian has become the standard pod format. Because of this, there is a huge variety of cocktail pods available as well as other machines such as Bev by Black & Decker (https://www.blackanddecker.com/solutions/bev) that we did not test, but support the same system as the Bartesian unit.
Thankfully, the Bartesian pods are actually quite good. We tried a variety of pods from their Classic Collection Variety Pack – Whiskey Sour, Long Island Iced Tea, Margarita, Cosmopolitan, Uptown Rocks, and Old Fashioned, as well as the Margarita pack and each one of them was enjoyable.
Bartesian is constantly releasing new packs as well as this makes for a very exciting ecosystem to bar part of. For instance, since I initially received the unit for review they have released a couple new cocktail packs including Penicillin.
To make your cocktail, the process is simple – place the pod in the machine just like you might with a coffee machine, and then it tells you what glassware and other preparation is recommended – such as adding to a shaker to cool or pouring over ice in the glass.
Additionally, it allows you to select the strength of your cocktail.
Then, Bartesian dispenses the mixture based in pre-established proportions that are pulled from the glass containers that you installed during the initial setup. One of the disappointing aspects of the machine though is that while there are five primary spirits that you can set up – Whiskey, Vodka, Gin, Tequila, and Rum, Vodka and Gin have to share a spot.
However, this flexibility – and ability to buy other containers does allow you to also switch things up by purchasing additional containers so you can have a Rye or Bourbon to switch things up depending on your mood.
The price for the base unit is $369.99 and pods are priced at $19.99 for a pack of 8. This makes the per-drink price $2.50 + the cost of alcohol which I think is a great option if you just want to stay at home and watch a movie, though it could get expensive if you are inviting the guys over for a night of drinking.
Written by James Hills
James Hills is the founder and publisher of ManTripping.com. It is the top Men’s Lifestyle & Travel Blog covering food, wine, spirits, fishing, trucks, gadgets, sports, and fashion for men, dads, & the women who love us.