Home Cocktail Maker
There's nothing like sharing some refreshing and tasty cocktails with friends and family. And you don't always have to go out to a busy and crowded bar to get one. With the right tools, you can make your own at home. But it requires some know-how, including the right measurements and techniques. That is, unless you have a cocktail maker that takes the guesswork out of making cocktails at home. Rising above them all is the Bartesian Cocktail Maker, which lets you use your own favorite spirits mixed with pre-made capsules and water if needed to pour out the most delicious cocktails.
- Best Overall: Bartesian Cocktail Maker
- Best for All-in-One Solution: Drinkworks Home Bar By Keurig
- Best for Fizzy Mocktails: SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Maker
- Best for Frozen Drinks: Margaritaville Bahamas Concoction Maker
- Best for Big Parties: Nostalgia Margarita & Slush Machine
- Best for DIY: Cresimo Home Cocktail Bar Set
Best Overall: Bartesian Cocktail Maker
With this machine, you can make single-serving cocktails just as easily as you can make coffee with a single cup coffee machine. Keep the reservoir filled with water and the base stocked with up to four favorite spirits. Insert a capsule that contains the bitters, extracts, and/or juice concentrates for different drinks, and let the machine do the work.
You can adjust the drink strength, and the machine will automatically dispense the right amount, mix, and pour. The pods are recyclable, and the machine has a touchscreen for operation, plus you can use the iOS or Android app.
The gorgeous-looking machine employs a European design with a textured finish and stainless-steel accents. When you select a certain drink, it will even suggest the right glassware to use so you can serve it up like a pro. The reservoirs are dishwasher safe as well for easy clean-up.
There's a wide range of drink capsules available, from the classics like margaritas and cosmopolitans to other more interesting options like mint juleps. Since the pods don't contain any spirits, you can make mocktails as well. You can accommodate allergies by using your own potato-based vodka, for example, for someone who is allergic to gluten. Capsules come in various themed packs, but it's smart to start with the Variety Pack that has a little bit of everything. They can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or even freezer. If you entertain often, consider a subscription to ensure you always have capsules on hand.
- Use your own selection of spirits
- Provides an authentic bartending experience
- Can accommodate allergies, mocktails
- Wide selection of cocktail capsules
- Subscription service available
- Can't make big batches at once
- Need to buy spirits separately from capsules
Be a pro bartender
Offer up an authentic bartending experience at home with this machine that can make lots of drinks using your own spirits.
Best for All-in-One Solution: Drinkworks Home Bar by Keurig
Keurig has taken its expertise in the single-cup coffeemaker game and transformed it into making a single cup cocktail maker that is just as simple to use. Like the coffee machines, it has a water reservoir, and adds a Co2 cartridge for carbonated drinks. Insert a pod that has hyper-concentrated barrel strength spirits and real juices infused with natural ingredients, just like you would a coffee pod.
The machine reads the inserted pod, which can also include brews and ciders in addition to traditional and fancy cocktails, mixes it with water, adds Co2 if needed, and dispenses a drink in under a minute. The pods are recyclable, and you can even mail them in using the included Loop recycling bag to ensure responsible recycling.
The neat thing with this machine is that you can not only get classic cocktails but also others like Moscow Mules and White Russians, as well as limited edition drinks and local options that are tailored to the specific region. As noted, you can get other types of drinks, too. The alcohol is contained in the pod, so you don't need to add your own spirits. But this also means you can't adjust the strength of the drink. It's also advised to keep the pods in the refrigerator. You can get the pods in sets of a single drink or variety packs.
There's a bit more upkeep with this machine, including having to change the water filter, replace the Co2 cartridge, and clean it using a special tablet. But it does come with the cleaning tablets and a water filter to get started, along with a set of coasters.
- Pods contain alcohol already
- Wide selection of pods, including cocktails, brews, and ciders
- Can make carbonated drinks
- Can't make mocktails, accommodate allergies
- Requires some upkeep
- Can't make big batches at once
Best for All-in-One Solution
Cocktails in a jiffy
Pop in a pod and get delicious cocktails in under a minute, just as easily as making a cup of coffee.
Best for Fizzy Mocktails: SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Maker
Cocktails don't always have to contain alcohol, and sparkling water makers like the SodaStream aren't just for making plain sparkling water. With this handy machine, you can make your own sparkling water at home, and add fruit juice, fresh fruit, fruit drops, or yes, even spirits, to make fancy carbonated mocktails and cocktails.
The machine comes with a 60-liter CO2 cylinder and a one-liter BPA-free reusable carbonating bottle. Choose from three levels of fizz, whether you like it extra-bubbly or with just a slight fizz. The bottle, however, is not dishwasher-safe, so you'll have to hand wash after each use.
The machine is compatible with all SodaStream flavors and carbonation bottles, with the exception of the glass carafe. And it comes with a ton of recipe ideas: add lemon fruit drops, lemon wedges, and thyme sprigs, for example, for a refreshing summer drink. Sure, this isn't a cocktail maker, per se, but why not leverage its ability to make carbonated water to create your own selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails at home?
- Ideal for those who don't want to use alcohol
- Can customize the water to your liking
- Use your own ingredients
- Not ideal for big parties
- Doesn't make alcohol-based cocktails
- Need to replace CO2 cylinder
- Expensive for what it is
Best for Fizzy Mocktails
Hold the alcohol, please; with this machine and creative recipes, you can make a selection of both cocktails and mocktails.
Best for Frozen Drinks: Margaritaville Bahamas Concoction Maker
Source: Margaritaville Cargo
This machine, which is Ideal for serving up frozen drinks at a gathering, either with spirits or without, comes with a 36-ounce blending jar so you can make full pitchers of tropical-inspired drinks, including not only margaritas but also piña coladas, daiquiris, and whatever else you feel like making.
It's easy to use thanks to the no-brainer mixing tool that has measurement markings on the side to follow as you add ingredients, along with the 400 watts of combined blending and shaving power. The automatic shave and blend cycle mixes the right amount of ice with ingredients to create a perfect pitcher of drinks: the sharp shaving paddle finely and evenly shaves the ice in the reservoir while the sharp blades in the blending jar pulverize the ingredients. You can also manually blend or shave only to customize the drink texture and type.
Once done, pour drinks using the EasyPour Jar that has a hatch to open and a convenient spout, so you don't have to remove the lid entirely. The parts are dishwasher-safe, and you'll get about three full drinks per pitcher, making it perfect for small parties.
- Good for small parties and gatherings
- Easy to clean parts in dishwasher
- Easy pouring to prevent mess
- Only good for frozen drinks
- Still need to find recipes
- Requires a lot of ice
Best for Frozen Drinks
Be the perfect host, serving ice-cold frozen cocktails using a sharp blade for perfect blending and no-mess spout for pouring.
Best for Big Parties: Nostalgia Margarita & Slush Machine
Source: Nostalgia Products
If you're hosting a huge party, this machine is a perfect option: it can make up to a gallon (!) of slush-based drinks, like margaritas and pina coladas, so you can keep the drinks flowing all night long. And since you are responsible for adding the ingredients, you can use it for non-alcoholic mocktails as well.
It includes a patented stainless-steel blending cage with double-wall insulation that's clear so you can see inside, and that, more importantly, keeps drinks cold for hours. The easy-flow spout makes pouring easy with a lever-style handle that you can flip up to fill a cup or pull the spigot up to fill up faster.
The convenient carry handle makes it perfect for bringing along to parties or outdoor gatherings, and the blending chamber detaches from the base for easy clean-up. A clear window on the lid can be easily removed for adding extra ice. This isn't a machine you'll keep on your kitchen countertop all the time, but you can neatly store it away in the back of the cupboard using the storage compartment under the base, which holds the power cord.
- Makes large batches of drinks for parties
- Convenient cord compartment for neat storage
- Insulation keeps drinks cold for hours
- Might be more than you need
- Limited to frozen drinks
- Requires a lot of ice
- Still need to find recipes
Best for Big Parties
Get the party started
Invite all the neighbors and get a party going with this slush machine that can make a gallon of slushie drinks and cocktails.
Best for DIY: Cresimo Home Cocktail Bar Set
Maybe you'd rather stick to making the drinks yourself, which can be a lot of work but, in the end, might yield the best and most customizable results. To do this, you need a good set of bar tools like this one.
It comes with 12 pieces in total, including a martini shaker, muddler, strainer, bar spoon, premium double-sized 1.0, and 0.5-ounce measurement jigger tool (for measuring out ingredients versus using basic shot glasses), corkscrew, bottle opener, and ice tongs. To help you along, it also includes an illustrated Guide to Cocktails recipe book so you can practice and try your hand at making everything from Moscow Mules to Long Island Iced Teas.
If you find that your guests most often opt for drinks like wine, beer, or straight spirits on ice, this set, and some practice, will allow you to serve up the odd cocktail when requested. Just keep the house stocked with the essential spirits and bitters, along with common juice mixes like lime juice, orange juice, and cranberry, as well as ice. Keep the recipe book handy and shake up cocktails on demand.
- Need some know-how and recipes
- Total customizability
- Nothing is automated
- Not ideal for large parties
Best for DIY
Bartend your way
Have total control with this cocktail bar set that has everything you need to mix your own custom cocktails.
While dinner parties with flowing red and white wine or bottles of beer are great, sometimes it's nice to shake things up (excuse the pun) and offer guests delicious cocktails instead. But the idea of making them yourself can be daunting, not to mention time-consuming. Let's not forgot the annoyance of having to rush out to the store if you're missing ingredients.
I've actually made my own cocktails from time to time, and it usually begins with furiously Googling recipes and reading reviews before measuring out ingredients and going through the laborious task of squeezing an endless number of limes for margaritas or muddling mint leaves for a mohito. When you're doing this infrequently, it's not a big deal. But if you have people over for cocktails often, or gather in large groups, the process can be tiring.
That's why I love the concept behind the Bartesian Cocktail Maker. As long as you have a stocked supply of basic spirits at home (and in the machine) and keep a selection of drink capsules on hand, you can serve up margaritas, cosmopolitans, whiskey sours, and other drinks in just minutes. And everyone can have their own favorite drink just as easily as they could a cup of coffee. There's a wide selection of capsules to choose from, subscription options to make sure the bar is always stocked, and the stylish machine will look great in any kitchen or bar area.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
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