Could a Robotic Bartender Replace Your Hotel Minibar?
No, it’s not an idea pulled out of the Jetsons—and yes, it’s actually possible. Somabar, a robotic bartender, was introduced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and it’s capable of creating any cocktail with six or fewer ingredients at the push of an app button. Roughly the size of a Nespresso machine on steroids, it has six chambers built into its sides that store liquid ingredients (think gin and tonic) and a smaller back compartment for bitters or simple syrup. A companion app has all the recipes you could ask for, so pick one that matches up to the ingredients in stock, and Somabar will automatically measure, shake, and pour the creation of your choice. (And yes, you can teach it to make the latest recipe from the Nomad cookbook—or anything else you fancy.)
So what’s the catch? The company is still in its Kickstarter phase, though units will begin to ship this year. You’ll still need access to an ice machine (or call the front desk for some). And you won’t be able to totally get rid of that little fridge in your room—unless you’re okay with having the OJ and cranberry juice for your madras sit out on the counter for the length of your stay. (No thanks.) But at a retail price of $429, it’s certainly not out of the question as a viable minibar alternative.