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The Best Smart Cocktail Devices

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.

Update, March 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.

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

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. 

What You Need to Know

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.  

What to Look For

  • Fully Customizable Ingredients: The best cocktails are made with fresh ingredients, so we think you should only pay for devices that will help you use and mix those ingredients properly. If you want your drinks to be delicious, avoid packaged capsules (more on this in a minute). Our favorite smart scale worked with whatever ingredients we had on hand and didn’t limit us with expensive capsules. The scale also allowed us to use more liquors than the small handful installed on the automated machines. If we wanted to use a higher-quality spirit for a special occasion, we could just reach for it instead of having to remove and replace the bottles on the automatic machines. 
  • Simple Controls and Displays: We preferred uncluttered displays that only listed a few words or ...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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Reviews you can trust

Reviews you can trust

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 Brightwell

Chase is an associate editor for ATK Reviews. He's an epidemiologist-turned-equipment tester and biscuit enthusiast.