There’s a reason we have professional bartenders and sommeliers - there exists a vast variety of drinks of all kinds that the amateur needs help navigating. Concocting a new cocktail and turning grapes into wine is as much an art as it is a mixture of skill and science. Professionals can guide your drinks experience, learning your tastes and making recommendations on the endless choices available on the market. With this essential human knowledge involved, how could you ever become your own bartender and sommelier. What innovation would you need? Could recent breakthroughs ever replace professionals?
Highly unlikely. At least not in the near future. But it doesn’t mean that people aren’t trying.
Put that flask away! Have a pre-mixed cocktail
We’ve talked before about machines that mix cocktails replacing bartenders. But what about bartenders replacing bartenders?
A number of professional cocktail creators are trying to capitalize on their creativity by making for their customers to have similar experiences at home. How? By bottling their concoctions. Sure, Jack and Coke and Captain and Coke in a can have been around for years. But what if you could get a quality Manhattan or Vesper?
Companies like Poison Cocktails are driving a rapidly growing scene. All you have to do to grab a cocktail such as a Lazy Cosmo or June Bug on the go is add ice to the jar in which they sell their tipple and give a little shake. It’s a trend that is becoming so popular that The Spirits Business even held the first Pre-Mixed Masters awards event this past November which saw a Dutch Bramble by “True Cocktails” company Tails take the crown.
The latest to make headline and make investors pull out their checkbooks is a Stateside company called Zipz Wines. It scored $2.5 million (£1.6 million) on the Dragon’s Den equivalent, Shark Tank, the biggest investment ever signed on the program.
The concept is straightforward - single-serve cups of wine. What’s that you say? You can already buy a cheeky single serving of wine at Marks & Sparks on your lunch break? Perhaps. But Zipz attempts to take the single-serve a step further by selling their wine in a recyclable “high-quality plastic vessel (that) looks and feels like glassware.” The glass cover is also resealable so you can have a few sips and take it with you if you don’t finish.
However innovative, you won’t have to worry about Zipz replacing the professional advice you receive in an independent wine shop or restaurant. Zipz currently comes in four varieties; Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Merlot. Let’s just say their wine is far from “terroir”.
Even if you don’t agree that these innovations are actually innovations and you prefer to stick to the advice of your favourite bartender and sommelier, ingenuity will never stop. To prove to yourself that your traditional drinking habits are best, why not try a pre-mixed cocktail or a glass of wine on-the-go?