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Pure Imagination Perfect Drink review: A smarter way to kill off brain cells

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The Good Perfect Drink makes it easy to make a mean cocktail time in and time out. The good-looking app has an immense database of drinks, and organizes everything around the ingredients you actually have on hand.

The Bad Despite the fact that their scales are identical, you can't use Perfect Drink with the Perfect Bake app. The build feels a bit cheap, too, with flimsy plastic and no backlight for the LCD display.

The Bottom Line Perfect Drink is a fun novelty splurge for your home bar, but it isn't a mixology must-have by any stretch.

7.7 Overall
  • Features 8
  • Usability 8
  • Design 6
  • Performance 9

After a long day, nothing hits the spot quite like your favorite cocktail -- unless it isn't mixed properly. Enter Pure Imagination's Perfect Drink system. With an app-enabled scale and step-by-step instructions for hundreds of different drinks, Perfect Drink promises a perfect pour each and every time. After all, what's a smart home without a smart bar?

If that's a pitch that has you thirsty, then you'll be happy to know that Perfect Drink works perfectly well, and costs a not-terribly-unreasonable $70 (converted roughly, that's £50 or AU$90, with most retailers currently selling it for even less). Just like its sibling, the more kid-friendly Perfect Bake system, Perfect Drink's connected scale is accurate and easy to use, and the well-designed app is packed with recipes and useful features. It's a novelty for sure, and the build is hardly perfect, but if you're looking for better-mixed cocktails or perhaps a few new favorites, Perfect Drink can certainly get you there.

Design and features

Perfect Drink takes the same approach as Perfect Bake, combining a handy scale with in-app smarts to offer precision ingredient management. In Perfect Drink's case, though, the ingredients are hard liquors and mixers, not cookie dough and chocolate chips.

You also obviously aren't baking anything with Perfect Drink, so gone are the mixing bowls and connected kitchen thermometer. Instead, you get a basic cocktail shaker with the kit.

perfect-bake-and-perfect-drink-scales.jpg
Perfect Drink and Perfect Bake's scales are more or less identical -- though not interchangeable. Ry Crist/CNET

Aside from that, they're essentially the same product, with scales that are all-but-identical, save for the logo. As such, I was hopeful that I'd be able to use the Perfect Drink scale with the Perfect Bake app and vice versa, but alas, I couldn't. That's a disappointment -- using one scale with both apps would significantly up the value proposition for both products.

The scale itself looks nice enough for what it is, though the build leaves a lot to be desired. The LCD display looks like something borrowed from a cheap alarm clock, and with no backlight, it gets a little tough to read in darker settings. It feels cheap, too, with a plastic build that wobbles toward the front whenever you press a button.

Pure Imagination did a great job designing the tablet app. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The true star, design-wise, is the app, especially if you're using a tablet. It looks great, with thirst-inducing images of every drink in the database, along with an easy to navigate interface and handy setup instructions.

In-app features are strong too -- particularly the "Cabinet" feature, which lets you select the ingredients you've got on hand from a list that's just as detailed and well-organized as the recipe database. From there, the app can tell you what cocktails you're all set to mix up -- a handy way to try something new.

Features also shine during the drink-making process. You can adjust the number of servings you're looking to make (as many as nine) and the app will scale each ingredient up or down accordingly. It'll adjust when you over pour, too -- add too much lime juice into your gimlet, for instance, and Perfect Drink will tell you how much gin to add in order to fix the ratio.

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