If you’ve ever gotten annoyed at having to make drink after drink at your parties, this machine will solve you problem.
If you’re going to make rum punch, the recipe might call for several kinds of juices and a couple types of rum. Or you might just need a pouch, plus the rum, if you’re using the Bibo Barmaid, a smart cocktail machine that spits out your drink in 20 seconds. All you need to do is supply the alcohol, maybe do a bit of shaking, and add garnish.
Digital Trends got a demo of the machine at the 2017 International Home and Housewares Show this week. Drinks such as appletinis, margaritas, and mai tais come with all the non-alcoholic ingredients premixed in a foil pouch. If the drinks sound female-friendly, that’s because the Bibo is currently aimed at women who entertain frequently — though the ability to make beer cocktails is in the works. The cucumber melon drink was refreshing and a bit sweet; the cucumber taste definitely came through and didn’t taste artificial.
The machine has a reservoir in the back that holds enough water for eight drinks. The top of the Bibo lifts up, and that’s where you put the pouch. An RFID reader scans the pouch to determine what kind it is, then mixes the proper amount of water for the drink. When switching between drinks, you can hit a button to rinse out the machine, and the pouch holder lifts out, so you can clean that as well.
Right now there are six varieties of pouches. Bibo creator Debra Walker told Digital Trends that more flavors are in the pipeline, as are alcohol pouches. That way you can stick the two pouches in the Bibo, and have the machine do all the work. Most of the magic seems to be in the pouch itself, which has fresh ingredients and a shelf-life of six months. But if you wanted to try and bypass the RFID reader and just mix a cocktail with the packet, some water, and alcohol, there doesn’t seem to be way to do that currently.
The Bibo is currently on sale for $230, and a 12-pack of non-recyclable pouches retails for $20. Between the pouch and the alcohol, you’re looking at $3 to $4 a drink, said Walker. That’s pricier than a DIY dark and stormy but less than you’ll pay at the bar. The real benefit, Walker says, is that at your next party, your guests can make their own drinks, leaving you with more time to socialize.