Mix high-tech highballs with the MixStik cocktail gadget

Take one part gadget, one part crowdfunding and one part cocktail app, mix well and voila: the MixStik.

Richard Trenholm

Richard Trenholm

Movie and TV Senior Editor

Richard Trenholm is CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture over the past 15 years from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.

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BERLIN -- Well hello there, friend. What can I get you? A refreshing cocktail? Coming right up -- with the help of the MixStik, a smart device that blends technology with mixology.

The MixStik is a waterproof silicon stick with a row of 24 big bright LED lights arranged along its length. Pop the stick into your glass or shaker and the LEDs show you how much of each component you need to add to mix the perfect cocktail. It won't be as essential a tool for professional mixologists as a shaker, ice, or a silly moustache, but it is fun for mixing your own drinks or adding a gadgety twist to parties.

The MixStik blends technology and booze. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It works by pairing with your Android device, iPhone or Apple Watch via Bluetooth. You choose your cocktail from the app's menu and you're shown the recipe on your phone or watch. For each element of the cocktail, whether it's alcohol, mixer or ice, the the requisite number of LEDs light up to the level to which you need to pour. Sluice in all your ingredients, mix and enjoy.

To adjust amounts the app is calibrated with a choice of different glasses, from highball to pint glass. Or you can use the MixStik as a ruler to measure your glass, recording the diameter of the top and bottom of the glass, and its height, so the app is able to give you the right proportions no matter what you're drinking from.

The app is programmed with a list of classic cocktail recipes. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

There's a list of classic cocktails programmed into the app, including such timeless hangover-inducers as the Tom Collins, Mojito or Bloody Mary. The app is about be updated to have 100 recipes in the list, and you can customise the recipe or add your own creations. If the shops are shut and you're desperate for a drink, you can tell the app what you have in the liquor cabinet and it will suggest a recipe that incorporates what you have to hand.

The stick itself has a USB connection in one end to recharge it, while the other end is textured so you can muddle your ingredients. Yes, muddle -- that's the technical term for crushing herbs or other ingredients to release their flavour.

One smartphone can drive up to five sticks if you're a sociable sort. The novelty value would make them great at a party as everyone mixes their own drinks.

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If you don't want to get booze on your phone, you can use the app on your Apple Watch. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The system has an open API, so MixStik says it can be used for other things besides mixology. The LEDs can be used for light painting, or the accelerometer could control a game or music.

If all this sounds like your cup of Long Island Iced Tea, $39 gets you a MixStik -- but you're in for a bit of a wait. After launching on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, Mixstik hit its funding goal in just a couple of days. Once the campaign finishes, MixStik has said it'll take about six months to produce the device.

For this and many more weird and wonderful gadgets from technology trade show IFA, check out cnet.com/ifa. Bottoms up!