Drinkworks Home Bar by Keurig
Party hosts and casual cocktail drinkers, gather round because Keurig, in partnership with Anheuser-Busch, recently launched their latest product – Drinkworks Home Bar. It is, quite literally, the Keurig for cocktails.
Keurig and Anheuser-Busch hoped to remake the success of coffee pods with premixed cocktails and beer. The Drinkworks Home Bar launched with 24 drink pods, including beer, cider and sangria, as well as 15 cocktails (think Mojitos, Moscow Mules, and Long Island Iced Teas). The machine itself was created to give party hosts quick, easy cocktails, so they can get out from behind the bar.
The Drinkworks Home Bar looks and operates much like the K Cafe Espresso maker. It is slightly bulky, with a water tank and spout. Instead of heating water though, the Home Bar cools it. Another notable difference from Keurig’s coffee makers is the addition of a CO2 container – this adds carbonation to the cocktails (as needed). Using it is the same; you take a pod, put it in, close the lid, hit a button and it makes your drink for you.
The machine is intuitive. It scans the barcode on the pod to know what temperature to make the cocktail, how much water and/or carbonation to add, and tells you which glass to use. It’ll also let you know when you’re running out of water or CO2, and even if it needs to be cleaned. A companion app is available on iOS for those users who like using apps; it connects via Bluetooth and gives you details on the The Drinkworks Home Bar operation, access to ordering pod refills and troubleshooting.
Drinks can be made in three different sizes: 3.9 oz, 6.5 oz and 8.1 oz. The time it takes to make a drink varies depending on the pod used; for example, a Moscow Mule takes about 50 seconds, while a Margarita takes 25 seconds. The biggest challenge though is getting the drink temperature right. Though, if it isn’t cold enough for you, you can always pour it over ice, thus adding an authentic feel to your cocktail.
The drink pods, available for $3.99 each or $15.99 for a pack of four, contain concentrated versions of the specific cocktail’s ingredients. For example, the Old Fashioned pod contains cask-strength whiskey, concentrated bitters and some simple syrup.
Unfortunately, the Drinkworks Home Bar does not come with a garbage bin. You’ll have to remove the pods by hand. You’ll also need to replace the CO2 after every 15 to 18 cocktails, so if you are throwing a party with more than 18 guests, you’ll need to stock up on CO2 canisters. (They’re sold in packs of two for $14.99.) And, of course, like the Keurig coffee machines, you’ll need to keep refilling the water tank.
Now comes the answer to the biggest question of all – how do the cocktails taste? Well, the Moscow Mule pod was decent, exactly what you would expect from this cocktail. However, it would benefit from freshly squeezed lime juice instead of concentrate. The Old Fashioned was ok. A little too sweet. And the Margarita tasted very much like Anheuser-Busch’s Lime-A-Rita (which is roughly $2 per can at Ontario’s Beer Store). Overall, taste wise, it’s not bad. Worse cocktails have been served at bars.
Cocktail aficionados – and people particular about the contents of their cocktails – this is not for you. You cannot modify the contents of the cocktail in any way. The Drinkworks Home Bar is for casual drinkers or frequent party hosts who enjoy drinking cocktails but not making them.
Speaking of money, it is more affordable than going to a bar to try new cocktails. After the “big” purchase of the machine – retails at $299 US – it’ll cost roughly $4.5 per cocktail, even after factoring in CO2 tank refills.
The Drinkworks Home Bar is currently only available in St. Louis; residents of Florida and Missouri can pre-order the machine now, with delivery starting later in 2019. California should see the machine in their stores next year (2020).
Drinkworks Home Bar by Keurig / $299*
*Available for Pre-Order in select US States only