I Tried the Bartesian Cocktail Maker—Is It Worth the Splurge?

Updated: Apr. 29, 2024

Also known as the "Keurig for cocktails," the Bartesian cocktail maker is the next best thing to having an in-house bartender at your service. Here's my honest Bartesian review.

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As the resident bartender in my family and friend circle, I take pride in learning how to make all types of mixed drinks. Whether I’m whipping up frozen margs or sippin’ on an espresso martini, I’m always experimenting with my cocktail recipes. It’s truly only a matter of time before I turn my mixology skills into a full-fledged side hustle.

As an at-home bartender, I’ve had the oh-so popular Bartesian Cocktail Maker on my radar for quite some time. Billed as the “Keurig for cocktails,” I leaped at the opportunity to put it to the ultimate test. Like everyone, I wondered, “Is it worth the price tag?”

What is the Bartesian Cocktail Maker?

The best way to describe the Bartesian Cocktail Maker is as a Keurig for mixed drinks. Just like your favorite single-serve coffee maker, it pours cocktail lounge-worthy drinks in seconds. All you have to do is provide the liquor, and no, it doesn’t matter if spirits are top or bottom shelf.

The machine holds four types of liquor at a time, which feed into the machine when it’s time for mixing. The key to Bartesian’s magic is the more than 50 cocktail capsules available. The capsules are concentrated versions of popular mixed drinks and include all the bitters and sweeteners for the perfect taste. Indulge in the classics (old-fashioned, anyone?) or take it up a notch with a blackberry margarita. Just pop in the cocktail capsule (like a K-cup!), select your drink strength and enjoy!

Not big on boozy drinks? It pours alcohol-free versions of your favorite cocktails, too! This feature alone makes it the ultimate gadget for entertaining.

Product Features

  • Premium cocktail maker with touchscreen
  • Comes with five glass liquor reservoirs
  • Includes a drip tray mat
  • Premixed drink capsules offer a high-quality tasting experience

How We Tested It

Img 1443 Bartesian Cocktail MakerMadi Koetting/Taste of Home

Upon unboxing my Bartesian machine, everything was carefully packed and arrived on my doorstep in one big box. I rinsed and dried the glass reservoirs before pouring in the liquor. The fact that the reservoirs are glass instead of plastic was a pleasant surprise. They truly add to the elegance of the gadget. The liquor bottle slots are labeled by spirit: vodka, whiskey, gin/rum and tequila. The gin slot is shared with the rum reservoir since the machine comes with five liquor bottles, but only has slots for four. I filled the bottles with their respective spirits (so satisfying!), screwed on the airtight lids and inserted them into the slots. I also filled the water reservoir with fresh, filtered water and plugged in the machine after arranging it on my bar cart. Time for the first pour!

For my Bartesian review, I was very interested to test the quality of taste for each cocktail. I received a handful of cocktail capsules to test, including an old-fashioned, blackberry margarita and a variety pack filled with pods for a lemon drop, long island iced tea and more. The blackberry margarita sounded delightful, so I lifted the lid to insert the capsule, selected regular strength and watched it pour over ice in my cocktail glass. Each cocktail capsule has a barcode, so when it’s added to the machine, Bartesian automatically knows what alcohol to mix with it—so smart! I’m not a huge fan of super-sugary cocktails, so I was intrigued to see how the margarita tasted. Would it be too strong? Too sweet? Do the flavors taste artificial? I had so many questions.

Honestly, my first taste test was spectacular. The blackberry margarita packed a rich punch and wasn’t overly sweet. It was so smooth, and the tequila was mixed in perfectly. That’s the thing, the liquor isn’t just poured on top of the cocktail concentrate. The Bartesian machine mixes everything as it pours into the glass, so you don’t have to worry about getting a mouthful of spirits upon first sip. Considering Bartesian was created by a former bartender, I had high expectations for the drinks to not just be bar-quality, but cocktail lounge-worthy. Luckily, Bartesian delivered on the taste test the first sip and beyond.

I hosted a movie night to let my friends join in on the Bartesian fun. Let me tell you, they had so much fun picking out their drink and “asking” Bartesian to mix it for them. Bonus: I didn’t have to lift a finger! It’s self-serve friendly. I no longer have to leave my home every time I crave a premium drink!

Pros

  • Mixed drinks are extremely high quality in taste
  • Not super-sugary (in a good way)
  • Holds four glass liquor reservoirs at a time
  • Drip tray catches spills
  • Choose your own drink strength (there’s a mocktail option!)
  • Fun way to experiment with new drinks
  • Over 50 cocktails available
  • Easy to assemble and clean

Cons

  • The machine’s lid is a little finicky
  • Machine is pricey, but makes a fun gift or treat if you host frequently

How to Clean the Bartesian Cocktail Maker

To keep the Bartesian magic alive, it’s paramount to keep it running smooth with frequent cleanings. After every pour, discard the cocktail capsule. The machine self-cleans after every pour, but I also like to gently wipe the capsule holder with a damp cloth after a few uses.

Every week, I clean the capsule holder and drip tray under hot, soapy water. The capsule holder is easily removable—just make sure to “pop” it up from the bottom to avoid poking yourself with the puncture needle on the inside. It’s also important to clean the water reservoir when it’s empty. I wipe the rest of the machine down with a microfiber cloth. When it comes time to refill the liquor reservoirs, I will definitely clean them with warm, soapy water before refilling.

FAQ

Is the Bartesian machine worth it?

The machine is pricey, but if you host a lot it’s a worthwhile investment. It saves precious time by pouring high-quality mixed drinks in seconds. Plus, you don’t have to worry about having endless ingredients on stock for margaritas, old-fashioneds or whiskey sours. The drink capsules offer it all.

Are the Bartesian drinks good?

The quality of Bartesian’s mixed drinks is surprising. It’s not fair to say they taste like bar-quality, because they’re better. The drinks are cocktail lounge-worthy and don’t taste too sugary or strong. You can also choose the drink strength if you prefer less or more alcohol.

Can you leave liquor in the Bartesian?

Yep! The glass liquor reservoirs offer an airtight seal, so spirits stay fresh for months. Plus, the reservoirs don’t leak and liquor never evaporates.

What Other Reviewers Had to Say

“My Bartesian Cocktail Maker is such a help during dinner parties and other gatherings,” says Taste of Home editor, Caroline Stanko. “My guests can help themselves to a tasty beverage while I welcome others or finish some last-minute prep, rather than play host and bartender. Plus, I really like that I can choose what brands of alcohol to use and the strength of each cocktail.”

“I’ve had my Bartesian for two years, and it’s the talk of all of my get-togethers,” says senior shopping editor, Daria Smith. “Unlike other cocktail machines, each pod comes with a drink mixture, and you get to pick your favorite brand of alcohol. My go-to cocktail is a Painkiller with RumHaven Coconut Rum.”

Final Verdict

I’ve tested my Bartesian Cocktail Maker since February 2023. The machine’s cocktail-mixing experience is just like having an at-home bartender at my service—minus the fact that there’s not an actual human on the other side. My favorite part, however, is the new-found confidence experimenting with drinks I don’t usually care for. I’ve tried new tastes, like old-fashioneds and whiskey sours, which aren’t cocktails I usually go for. Still, I can trust Bartesian will mix them to perfection—and I actually enjoy them now. Plus, I have extra time to carefully garnish each drink.

The only con I’ve found with my Bartesian review is that the lid is a little hard to maneuver. Just be careful not to press down too hard when loading the cocktail capsule—it just needs a little push. Too much force and the capsule will puncture and leak a bit on the drip tray (but that’s what it’s there for!). All the little details, like the labeled liquor reservoirs to the touchscreen and drip tray, make this small luxury kitchen appliance an absolute dream. File it under gifts for the at-home bartender. Trust me, they’ll never get tired of experimenting with this beauty.

Where to Buy the Bartesian Cocktail Maker

Find your own cocktail maker on Bartesian’s website and Amazon for $300 to $370, depending on sales and promotions. A box of cocktail capsules goes for $15-$20 each.

Still, considering how much time and ingredients go into one mixed drink, the Bartesian is well worth it in the long run if you’re frequently hosting. Do yourself a favor and invest in a personal bartender (aka Bartesian cocktail machine) for an appliance worth all the oohs and aahs.