Digital Trends got a demo of the machine at the 2017 International Home and Housewares Show. Such drinks as appletinis, margaritas, and mai tais come with all the non-alcoholic ingredients premixed in a foil pouch. And now, the alcoholic pouches — a new addition as of July — have been introduced and licensed exclusively by Claremont Distilled Spirits. The New Jersey-based spirits makers will be providing the booze you need to make your beverages. If the drinks sound female-friendly, that’s because the Bibo is currently aimed at women who entertain frequently — though the ability to make beer cocktails is in the works. The cucumber melon drink was refreshing and a bit sweet; the cucumber taste definitely came through and didn’t taste artificial.
The machine has a reservoir in the back that holds enough water for eight drinks. The top of the Bibo lifts up, and that’s where you put the pouch. An RFID reader scans the pouch to determine what kind it is, then mixes the proper amount of water for the drink. When switching between drinks, you can hit a button to rinse out the machine, and the pouch holder lifts out, so you can clean that as well.
Most of the magic seems to be in the pouches themselves — the flavor packets have fresh ingredients and a shelf-life of six months, whereas the alcohol packets ought to last, well, as long as liquor lasts. But if you wanted to try and bypass the RFID reader and just mix a cocktail with the packet, some water, and your choice of liquor, there doesn’t seem to be way to do that currently.
You can buy the Bibo for $200, and a 12-pack of non-recyclable pouches retails for $20. Between the pouch and the alcohol, you’re looking at $3 to $4 a drink, said Walker. That’s pricier than a DIY dark and stormy but less than you’ll pay at the bar. The real benefit, Walker says, is that at your next party, your guests can make their own drinks, leaving you with more time to socialize.
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Update: Claremont Distilled Spirits is now providing alcoholic pouches for the Bibo Barmaid.