Is the Bartesian Cocktail Maker Worth It? My Review

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Have you ever wanted to make a cocktail as easily as you can make coffee with a pod machine? The Bartesian Cocktail Maker is just the machine you’ve been looking for.

I recently received a unit from the Bartesian company along with some capsules to try out. In this article I’m going to tell you what it is, how it works, and who I think it’s perfect for – and who it’s not.

Bartesian cocktail maker machine on table in front of window

What is the Bartesian?

The Bartesian is basically the Keurig of cocktails. It makes a cocktail with the push of a few buttons. Once I had the machine set up, which was easy, I only needed to insert a cocktail capsule into the machine, select my desired strength, and press the mix button.

It’s truly so easy that it’s almost like having a bartender serve you. Okay, it doesn’t smile or say anything friendly, but it’s user-friendly and good-looking, so close enough.

How it Works: The machine reads a barcode from the capsule and pulls the correct spirit from its reservoir and mixes your cocktail in seconds. This eliminates the need for you to manually measure and pour ingredients, which means you’ll get consistent drinks every time.

Setting Up

Short version: setting up your Bartesian Cocktail Maker is easy. Instructions are clear, and there wasn’t that much to it.

The machine arrived in a big box. Inside was the machine with five glass bottles with stoppers. Before I started, I washed those bottles and also the water reservoir in the back of the machine, which comes out completely for easy washing, filling and emptying.

Collage of images showing a hand removing the lid of the water reservoir and then the reservoir itself from the back of the machine

The lid of the water reservoir comes off, and then you can take out the whole reservoir to fill it elsewhere or clean it, or you can leave it in place and pour water into it there. Use filtered or distilled water to prevent any flavor from your tap water affecting the flavors of your drinks.

Following the instructions, I filled each bottle with the alcohol named on its lid. Then I turned them upside down and put them into the specified reservoir for that spirit.

Each spirit bottle holds 750 ml of liquor, which is a full standard sized bottle. This is nice because it means you won’t have to refill them anymore often than normal bottles.

Putting the vodka bottle into its reservoir

There are four reservoirs, so one reservoir works for both gin and rum. You switch out the spirit bottles as needed, depending on what cocktail you’re making.

I had no issues with spillage. The bottles are easy to handle, and they fit well into the base.

How to Make Drinks With Bartesian

First you pop the capsule into the machine:

Cocktail capsule for Gingerbread Cookie Martini inserted into the machine

Close the lid. The machine will read the bar code from the capsule and tell you what kind of glass or shaker to put under the dispenser.

Note: cocktails are better chilled, and Bartesian knows this, so you will need ice. If you don’t normally keep ice at home, get some.

I got a sampler of 4 cocktails. Three of them told me to put a shaker full of ice under it. One called for a glass filled with ice.

Bartesian touch screen saying to place a shaker with ice under the dispenser

If you get a shaker cocktail, that means you’ll have to (a) own a shaker and (b) shake the cocktail. This couldn’t be easier, even if you’re brand new to making cocktails. I actually have a post on how to shake a cocktail.

Cocktail shaker full of ice under dispenser

Then you close the lid firmly, use the touchscreen to confirm you’re ready. The next screen asks you about strength. I was surprised and pleased to see mocktail is a setting! This is great for entertaining.

Bartesian touch screen with menu offering Mocktail, Light, Regular or Strong as cocktail settings

Pick your strength, press “Mix” and the machine will make the cocktail in just a few seconds. If it goes into a glass, you’re ready to garnish and serve the drink as soon as it’s done.

If it goes into a shaker, just shake until the shaker is cold and condensation is beading on the outside, and then pour. Super easy!

Finished cocktail being poured into glass of ice under dispenser

The Capsules

The capsules are the point of this machine. They’re what enables you to make cocktails so easily. So let’s talk about them.

Bartesian cocktail capsule for Gingerbread Cookie Martini next to cocktail glass

There are some great points about the capsules. First, they were created by master mixologists and include a lot of favorites like margaritas, whiskey sours, old fashioneds, and more.

They contain real juice concentrates, bitters, and extracts, so you get a surprisingly authentic, fresh taste. Each capsule has a best by date on it because it’s real food – mine are 7 months in the future.

And each capsule can be made with three strength settings, plus a “mocktail” version. That gives you a lot of options for variety.

What some may not like is that because the machine doesn’t make cocktails any other way, you’re locked into buying the capsules for future cocktails. They’re not cheap, but on the other hand I keep trying to work out if they’re actually more expensive than stocking the mixers yourself. Probably, but then there’s the convenience factor.

So some will consider them overpriced, but others won’t. It’s something to consider when gifting, but I think anyone who loves the convenience will be willing to overlook the ongoing investment.

Great News: Once it makes one cocktail, the machine has an auto-cleaning cycle to make sure the flavors from the previous capsule don’t affect the next drink you make.

How Do They Taste?

Since we all have different taste, I’ll start by saying the most objective thing I can: these were comparable to cocktails I’ve been served in quality bars and restaurants.

Speaking more to my own taste, they weren’t super sweet, and that suits me. The flavors were balanced and clean, and I enjoyed all of them.

Gingerbread Cookie Martini

This one really tasted like gingerbread, but it’s delicate, not overwhelming. It wasn’t overly sweet, and tasted similar to ginger-themed cocktails I’ve had. Sweet with a little spice, and a little hint of bitters toward the end.

Mrs. Claus Nightcap

This one tasted a lot like a Margarita, and comparable to the best I’ve had at restaurants. It has a wonderful citrus flavor that lets the tequila notes come through.

Grinch Appletini

This vodka drink was an Appletini with a very light green apple flavor. It tasted more like real fruit than schnapps.

Santa’s Punch

This one was hard to pin down, but also hard to put down. I tasted spices – cinnamon and clove, I think – and something fruity like orange or berry, or both. It was unique and fascinating.

Who’s It For?

Here’s my take on who will love this machine:

  • Anyone who loves the idea of having a cocktail almost instantly, without having to stock their home constantly with mixers and fresh fruit.
  • People who entertain and want guests to be able to mix drinks for guests on the fly – or even let guests do it themselves.
  • Someone who’s already got everything! This is one of those perfect gifts for someone who’s got it all.

Who it’s not for:

  • People who love mixing their own drinks and have no interest in a machine that decides everything for you but the strength of your drink.
  • Anyone who wouldn’t like having to buy the capsules.
  • Someone in a seriously tiny apartment. The dimensions are 12.75 x 13.25 x 12.5 inches, so it’s not huge. But if you’re thinking of gifting it, make sure the person has room for it.

Cleaning and Maintenance

There’s not much to it, which is great. You’ll need to clean some removable parts sometimes – the spirit bottles, the drinks mat, maybe the water reservoir.

These parts can be put in the dishwasher, or they’re very quick and easy to wash by hand – which is what I did, because I wasn’t ready to run the dishwasher for the day at the time I needed to wash them.

Is The Bartesian Worth the Price?

Short answer: yes, definitely, if you love the convenience.

The price tag for this Bartesian Cocktail Maker, and also the smaller ones, is a bit of a splurge, but it does make cocktail crafting so easy. The capsules are an ongoing expense, but so are mixers and fresh fruit juices. If you or someone you’re gifting love the idea of push-button cocktails, then you or they will accept the cost of the capsules as a small price to pay.

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Last Updated:

April 19, 2024