Bartesian Cocktail Maker review – BGR

Trying to figure out what to serve your guests when you host a party can be difficult. Putting together a menu can be exhausting but, if you’re going for an overall theme, it makes sense. You want to heighten the experience for the guests and food isn’t the only place to do so. When it comes to serving drinks, you can be left with a whole lot of needs on your shopping list, from mixers to garnishes. The Bartesian Cocktail Maker is meant to be your own personal bartender for those parties, helping you minimize what you need to buy.

The Bartesian Cocktail Maker allows you to make cocktails in a speedy fashion. It also saves you having to buy a lot of mixers as well as the mess of making a different individual cocktail for each guest. If you have guests who want a variety of cocktails, this machine can help. I’ve been giving it a test to see just how useful it can be in the kitchen. Here’s what I found.

Pros

  • Rather tasty cocktails
  • Good variety of drinks to choose from
  • Can choose strength
  • Machine cleans lines with the push of a button
  • Transport mode

Cons

  • Have to provide your own alcohol
  • No carbonation option
  • Need to have your own cocktail shaker

Bartesian Cocktail Maker unboxing

Bartesian top view
The Bartesian Cocktail Maker from a top angle. Image source: Chris Hachey for BGR

Opening up the box for the machine, you’ll notice that it comes with a main compartment where the drink will be poured from. The base has four areas where glass bottles that hold your alcohol snap into place. Along with the machine, you’ll receive five glass bottles with tops that are labeled vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and whiskey. The four areas in the machine are for those liquors (gin and rum share one spot). 

The removable Bartesian cocktail mat that sits below your glass and the removable water container come pre-installed. The removable plug is also wrapped up. Cocktail capsules are sold separately, so that is a must that you will need to purchase. What you notice when you pick up the machine is that it is not too heavy but will take up a decent amount of counter space. You need to wash all of the washable pieces before your first use. After filling up the water reservoir and plugging in the machine, the LED screen on the top will prompt you to prime the lines and clean them. It takes seconds to do so and then you’re ready to decide what drink to make.

The cocktail capsules

First off, you need to provide your own alcohol to fill the glass bottles. This is both good and bad in my mind. You get to pick the exact brand that you like, which is a plus. But you have to fill these bottles, meaning you need to spend money on this machine, the cocktail capsules, and the actual alcohol itself. If you don’t have a bar cart or liquor cabinet in your home, having bottles around can take up a lot of space. 

The cocktail capsules, while they don’t have alcohol in them, take care of the mixers that you’ll need for popular drinks. I was given the Classic Collection Variety Pack to try. This has a number of recognizable cocktails such as an old fashioned, Cosmopolitan, Long Island Iced Tea, margarita, and more. I was also provided the Espresso Martini kit. 

From my bar cart, I chose Cîroc vodka, Bulleit bourbon, Aviation gin, and Captain Morgan spiced rum to fill the glass bottles with. I poured 2.5 shots of each into the glass bottles and plugged them into the machine. Then, I picked the first drink.

Using the Bartesian Cocktail Maker

Pouring a drink
The Bartesian Cocktail Maker pouring an old fashioned Image source: Chris Hachey for BGR

I started with an old fashioned, which is one of my favorite drinks. I took the old fashioned cocktail capsule and, after lifting up the lid as the LED screen told me to, placed it in the machine and closed the lid. The barcode scanner scanned the capsule to recognize what drink it is and what alcohol is needed for it. It then told me what kind of glass to use and to add ice. 

After that, it let me pick the strength of the pour. You can choose from Mocktail, Light, Regular, or Strong. I picked Strong, pressed go, and it started mixing and pouring from the whiskey container. It is important that you put the proper alcohol in the proper spots because that is what will come out. 

In less than a minute, I had a mixed old fashioned. On first taste, it tasted a bit sweet but, overall, it was rather pleasant. It just tasted like someone added a bit too much simple syrup, which isn’t the worst thing for an old fashioned. My wife also tried it and agreed it was a good-tasting mix. 

The next option I tried was the Rum Breeze. On the top of the capsule, it told me to use Cruzan rum, which I should’ve recognized was a white rum. But, not thinking, I had put in Captain Morgan spiced rum, which is brown rum. The LED screen made me confirm that I had rum in the back left corner before it allowed me to produce the drink, which is a nice feature. I made the cocktail and the mix wasn’t bad. But it definitely would have been better with white rum. This was a user error, not the machine’s fault.

Gin and vodka drinks next

I had never heard of an Uptown Rocks drink but it called for gin, so I wanted to try that out. After the first two drinks, I decided to clean out the line. By pressing the settings button on the LED screen, I selected Switch. It used some of the water to flush out the line into a glass, making it clean for the next cocktail. I loaded the Uptown Rocks, selected gin and Regular strength, and I had a new cocktail within seconds. 

I am a fan of gin, so I enjoyed it. It was a bit synthetic tasting but, overall, I liked it. My wife, who is not a fan of gin, thought it tasted a bit fake but didn’t dislike it, which is saying something. The final option we went with was the espresso martini. I’m not a fan of them while my wife is. 

After cleaning out the Bartesian Cocktail Maker lines again, I placed the cocktail capsule in. It told me to grab a shaker with ice to make this one. If you don’t own a shaker, you might be scrambling for a vessel to pour this into. You can buy one from Bartesian, but it is another added cost for this machine. I own one, so I loaded it with ice and made a Regular strength espresso martini. 

The machine then told me to shake it, strain it, and serve. These little directions are helpful for people who may not be adept at cocktail making. I poured it into martini glasses and we each took tastes. The mix proved to be pretty good again, as agreed by both of us. 

Espresso martini
The Bartesian Cocktail Maker with an espresso martini in a shaker. Image source: Chris Hachey for BGR

Cleaning and maintenance

There are many parts of the machine that are easy to wash. The glass bottles are simple and, while the tops to those come in two parts when they don’t really need to be, they aren’t hard to clean either. Plus, they are labeled for easy storage. The guide that comes with the machine tells you which parts of the actual cocktail maker are able to be washed. The water reservoir is oddly shaped, making it not the easiest thing to wash and dry. But it is doable. 

There is a Rinse/Clean mode that will clean all of the bottles and lines at once. There is also a Transport mode that you can put the machine in when you’re bringing it from one place to another. These will flush everything out of the lines and make the machine easier to move.

Conclusion

BGR Gold Award 2022

The Bartesian Cocktail Maker stirs up some solid cocktails and is easy to use if you need a bunch of different cocktails at once. While a carbonation factor may make some of the drinks less sweet, the cocktails are tastier than ones from other cocktail-making machines I’ve tried. The easy-to-follow directions and the ability to choose a strength are features that many people will like.

The competition

With the Drinkworks Home Bar Classic no longer being made, there aren’t many competitors to this product. You could opt for a daiquiri machine like the one by VEVOR if those are the kind of cocktails you like.

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Should I buy the Bartesian Cocktail Maker?

Yes. While it is expensive to purchase ($369.95) and keep stocked, providing mixers and spending time making multiple cocktails is alleviated with the push of a few buttons.

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