Your robot bartender has arrived bearing cocktails

Somabar's automated craft-cocktail appliance on Kickstarter wants to put a robo-bartender in every home.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

You'll need to add your own cherry on top. Somabar

There is a hierarchy of kitchen appliances. The oven and refrigerator, thanks to their bulk and utility, are kings of the kitchen hill. The toaster has an inferiority complex when faced with a toaster oven. The coffee maker is like its own separate fiefdom because it knows how much you love it. All those appliances may have to bow down to a new usurper, a brash young upstart that could become your most beloved single-purpose kitchen gadget: the Somabar.

Somabar is a Kickstarter project that is fueled by the hope that people will clear some room on their crowded countertops in order to have an automated cocktail maker. The Somabar team describes it as a "Nespresso for cocktails." The Wi-Fi-connected device holds six cylinders that you fill with your favorite cocktail ingredients. An app for iOS and Android acts as the controller, letting you tell the Somabar to mix you up a Manhattan, martini, or a Death in the Afternoon (absinthe and champagne courtesy of Ernest Hemingway).

The Somabar even has a special bitters infuser and is designed to precisely mix a cocktail. If you find a recipe you like, the Somabar will be able to replicate it exactly the same way every time. The six liquid-holding pods can be filled, refilled and swapped out for different drink combinations. An automatic internal water flushing system makes sure the taste of bourbon is wiped clean before you mix a margarita.

At this point, you're probably thinking, "Robo-cocktails, sign me up!" Well, it's going to cost you a $499 (about £316, AU$585) pledge. That's certainly a lot of money, but it's quite a bit less than fancier competitors like the Monsieur ($1,500 to $4,000) and the Bartendro ( $2,499). Somabar is currently in working prototype form with the Kickstarter aiming to raise funds to go into production. It has attracted over $8,000 in pledges towards a $50,000 goal with 47 days left to run.

Nobody really needs a robot bartender, but it definitely could fall into the "want" file for a lot of people. It could be a good bet for people who like to horde kitchen gadgets and people who love cocktails, but hate mixing them. It all depends on how many folks are willing trade the cost of a dozen bottles of high-end liquor for a robo-mixologist that can shake things up.