These gadgets are meant to take the guesswork and effort out of crafting cocktails. Are any of them worth the price?
Published Mar. 7, 2023.
Our winning smart scale and app, the Perfect Drink Pro, is currently out of stock. We are in contact with the manufacturer and will update this story when the winner is available again.
Smart cocktail devices are all the rage, but some are more trouble than they’re worth. We think most people should skip the pricey, bulky automatic machines that use concentrated capsules. The drinks they produce are mostly dull and unappetizing. If you’re interested in learning more about crafting cocktails and want the guidance of a reliable app to do the measuring for you, we recommend the Perfect Drink Pro Smart Scale & Recipe App. The scale accurately weighs each cocktail component, and the app guides you through cocktail-making step by step. We were impressed with the number of recipes available and found both the app and the scale generally easy to use.
There are two types of smart cocktail devices on the market. Some are automatic machines that work similarly to Keurig or Nespresso coffee makers. They use prepackaged capsules that contain concentrated juices, bitters, and other flavorings necessary to make specific cocktails. Barcodes on the sides of the capsules direct the machines to mix with corresponding spirits and water drawn from separate bottles through a system of pumps and tubes. These machines allow you to customize the strength of your drink, from nonalcoholic to “strong.”
There are also smart scales or “coasters,” which work in conjunction with their respective cocktail recipe apps on a phone or tablet via Bluetooth. These devices walk you through cocktail recipes step by step by indicating how much of each ingredient to pour and lighting up when you’ve added the right amount. One model includes a Bluetooth-enabled mixing tumbler that wirelessly mixes the cocktail using a motorized paddle.
We were interested in whether either type of device could simplify the process of making excellent cocktails. For the most part we weren’t impressed, but we did find one model to recommend.
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Chase is an associate editor for ATK Reviews. He's an epidemiologist-turned-equipment tester and biscuit enthusiast.