Drinks on Demand

A robo-bartender takes orders, mixes cocktails, and then cleans up

by Greg Neumaier

Greg Neumaier

Digital Beverages MyFountain XL
Price: From $2,575
Get It Now: digitalbeverages.com
Get It Later: It hits stores next spring, partnered with a major brand.

It pours an Old Fashioned, but it's all modern-day tech. MyFountain is the first fully automated drink slinger.

Beneath the countertop dispenser, a dorm-style refrigerator holds up to 12 types of alcohol and mixers, plus a water-line link and a carbon-dioxide cartridge for fizz. (If all goes well in upcoming trials, it may also stock concentrates from a big-name soft-drink maker.)

Atop the fridge sits the brain: an Internet-linked Windows XP computer. Enter new recipes on the touchscreen or on a personalized Web page, where you can also trade formulas with your friends.

Tap the screen to select a drink-say, the PopSci Smartini* (see below)-and pumps send each ingredient up a tube to the nozzle, which mixes and pours them. While you imbibe, a pulse of hot water cleans the nozzle. A leftover droplet of water plugs each tube to keep the flavor from dripping into your next glass. Best of all, you don´t even have to leave a tip.

*Behold, the PopSci Smartini
Ingredients:
-Four parts Magellan gin
-One part Cointreau
-Dash orange bitters

Directions:
Stir with ice in a cocktail shaker until cold. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist. Drink, and feel your brain pulsate with power.

**If there's anything we at PopSci really love, it's a robo bartender. We reviewed a more do-it-yourself approach to the automated mixologist, the Lazy Drinker, last summer. Read more about it here.