Somabar Is Touted As The First Affordable Robotic Bartender, But It Comes With Limits

The Somabar robotic bartender makes mixing the perfect cocktail at home as easy as pressing a button. The robotic bartender allows users to mix up to six different liquids and an optional spray of bitters in seconds. The machine also has a self-cleaning feature, which allows the bartending machine to move between drinks effortlessly without cross-contaminating the flavors of each cocktail. However, reviewers of the Somabar note that the robotic bartender does come with some obvious limits.

The Somabar touts itself as a “personal bartender” that can craft perfect cocktails in just seconds. The unit can mix up to six different liquids in each cocktail and offers an optional spray of bitters in any drink. The robotic bartender is operated through an integrated phone app that allows users to select their cocktail of choice based on the liquids currently stocked in the machine. Once the user selects the beverage of their choice, the robotic bartender will ask the consumer how strong they would like the beverage before whipping up the alcoholic concoction.

“We have a passion for cocktails. So we spent the last three years designing the robotic bartender we always wanted in our own kitchens. We’ve been obsessed with three principles: Performance, Perfection and Price. As a result, Somabar delivers mouthwatering bitters infused cocktails in under 5 seconds and is priced the same as an affordable smart appliance.”

The reason Somabar is getting so much attention is because it is the first mainstream robotic bartender in a price range affordable to everyday families. The unit will cost $430, as opposed to the other current robotic bartenders that cost thousands. However, the lower price comes with some limitations. A reviewer with Engadget notes that the main setback with the unit is that the beverages cannot be served chilled. Instead, the person drinking the beverage must physically chill the Soma Pods themselves or add an ice cube to the beverage once it is complete. For many drinkers who prefer drinks straight up, this can be a deal breaker.

In addition to the lack of chill, the Somabar is also unable to shake or stir your martini or provide any sort of garnish on the beverage. Therefore, many people used to craft cocktails may be left wanting.

“The result was an unfortunately warm, ungarnished Manhattan, that had neither been shaken nor stirred. This was a Manhattan in name alone. And that is the fundamental issue with Somabar: it promises craft cocktails when in reality its limited feature set makes it more of a mixed drink dispenser than an automated mixologist. There are no cherries on top, no egg white froths; you won’t see dustings of nutmeg or cinnamon; it won’t muddle your mint; and it most definitely will not talk you through a breakup.”

Despite its flaws, the Somabar can whip together a variety of cocktails quickly and would provide the ability for entertainers to focus on their guests instead of making drinks. The robotic bartender would obviously be the talk of the party and would be a great party trick for those who entertain frequently.

What do you think about the idea of the Somabar? Do you think the unit’s inability to garnish, shake, and chill the drinks will hinder its sales?

[Image via Somabar]