(Editor’s note: As of December 15, 2021, Drinkworks halted production and sales of the Home Bar machines.)
Hosting a party can be a hectic situation. You have to worry about having enough food for everyone. While you may ask people to bring a dish or two, you have to make sure everyone is accounted for. The idea scenario of heavy appetizers doesn’t always work out. Sometimes, you need to plan a full sit-down meal. But when people arrive at your home, they often times will expect drinks. Providing cocktails to your guests is part of being a good host.
But, as you’d imagine, you can’t hire a professional bartender to come and mix up cocktails for every party you throw. When your guests all have different preferences and tastes, it is hard to make sure you have all of the ingredients and alcohol on hand. While you may have a huge bar cart, keeping it fully stocked costs a lot of money. There has to be a simpler way to give your guests what they want.
Enter the Drinkworks Home Bar Classic. This is a cocktail-making machine that allows you to treat your guests to many of their cocktails of choice. Drinkworks is a joint venture between Anheuser-Busch InBev and Keurig Dr Pepper (Keurig). So the drinks come in pod form and you just add water and ice. I’ve been testing out the machine to let you know whether it’s worth keeping in your home for your hosting duties, for $299.99.
Drinkworks Home Bar Classic design
In 2017, Drinkworks released the Drinkworks Home Bar Pro as its first machine. A lot of the technology that is in the Drinkworks Home Bar Classic is the same as the original machine. The design is slightly different though. This machine is more compact, so it will take up less room on your countertop.
There is a water tank that you need to fill up with water and ice. There are lines that tell you where to fill it up to, whether you want to make one drink or more than one. The water tank is on the outside, rather than an inner water tank like the previous option. This makes it simpler to clean as well. It is very easy to set up and takes only a few minutes. The CO2 cartridge that you need to install in order to provide your drinks with carbonation comes with the set.
The build of the machine feels a bit flimsy. The door that hides the CO2 container is just plastic that pops off. Where you put the pods is solidly built. It feels similar to a Keurig coffee machine there. The water tank is more thickly constructed.
Different beverages will fill up different glasses. So you’ll get more of a rum punch than you will an old fashioned. But that is just how you would any time you made one at home. You can experiment with different cocktails and glasses. I had different glasses when I tried most of the cocktails. The dispensing may splash a bit, but there is a catching tray that is easy to clean.
The way that you use the Drinkworks Home Bar Classic is that you insert a pod that is filled with your favorite cocktails. Similar to how a Keurig coffee maker makes coffee, you just place the pod in the door, close it, and press a button. The pods have barcodes on them that the machine scans. The barcode will let the pod know how much water to use and if there is carbonation needed to be taken from the CO2 cartridge. The technology is rather impressive when you see a carbonated drink being made.
You can get classic pods like one for a Moscow mule, rum punch, Paloma, Long Island iced tea, or an old fashioned. These are put together with typically house brands of alcohol and ingredients. But Drinkworks also got together with different alcohol distributors, such as Heaven Hill and Pernod Ricard, to name a few, to expand its cocktail portfolio. You can get an old fashioned with Elijah Craig bourbon or a Chambord French martini for more elevated tastes. While some of the cocktails are definitely better than others, the ability to drink across different taste platforms is a pleasing one. You won’t be receiving the freshness of an individually made cocktail that you make with fresh ingredients. But for speed and variety, this is a good option.
New this year, Drinkworks is introducing the 12 Days of Cocktails Variety Pack just in time for the holidays. They are going to be available on November 15. It is perfect for gifting or sampling. You’ll get a nice variety of upscale alcohol and recognizable variety.
Drinkworks Home Bar Classic features
The main feature is that you don’t need much time at all to create a cocktail. You simply fill up the tank with water and ice and then insert a pod. The pod has to be facing forward for the machine to read it properly. Once you close the top, there is a Start button that lights up. You just put your glass under the dispenser and your cocktail starts being mixed. The lights are a fun part of the design, as they flash and highlight the dispensing of the cocktail.
The machine lets you know when it is running low on water. But you can also see that as the water tank is facing you. You can also use the water tank as a shaker if you want to pour your cocktails into it. It also lets you know when the CO2 is running low. Changing the CO2 is as simple as unscrewing it and screwing a new canister in. In order to power the Drinkworks Home Bar Classic, you just have to plug it into an outlet.
Demographic for the machine
When asked about the target age group and demographic meant for this machine, Drinkworks CEO Nathaniel Davis said it was, “for a generous hoster rather than an age group. It is a machine meant for people who drink across platforms and those who love convenience but hate pretense.” He stated there were two age demographics that they saw used the Drinkmaker: Ages 25-35 and pre-empty nesters. Young professionals and parents who are getting ready to enjoy more alone time tend to be who enjoy this machine the most.
This is a great machine for anyone who loves hosting and loves to offer guests a variety of drinks. The cocktails aren’t going to be the purest cocktails you’ve ever had and you can’t vary up the level of sweetness or tartness as you would if you were hand mixing them yourself. But if you’re just looking to serve up variations or don’t want to take all the ingredients out to make a cocktail, this is good to have. It does still take up a decent amount of space, so if you live in a smaller apartment, this may not be the purchase for you. It also is $299.99, which is a bit pricey. Plus, you’ll have to keep the pods stocked.
The Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine puts forth a similar concept. This allows you to pick the strength of the beverage while the Drinkworks Home Bar Classic does not. It auto-rinses between each beverage. This costs about $50 more.Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine for the Home Bar with Push-Button Simplicity a… $369.99 $299.99 Save up to 19%
Should I buy the Drinkworks Home Bar Classic?
Yes. If you host a lot and want to give your guests some cocktails while still being able to mingle, this is a smart purchase. But make sure you have room to store it and don’t have a need for top-shelf alcohol.