It’s 2019, the year of sustainability and zero waste. This year, I’m avoiding overuse of wrapping paper and one-time use gifts. And, if we’re being honest, I’m hoping to not get that much “stuff” this year, because ya girl lives in a tiny NYC apartment and the closets are already stuffed to the brim. So instead of another holiday of water bottles and sweaters, I present to you the only present you need to ask for this year — Drinkworks Home Bar by Keurig.
I have to say, when I first encountered Drinkworks (aka a Keurig for cocktails), I was skeptical. First of all, it's not a giant machine, but it's not tiny, and I have seriously limited counter space. I was also truly skeptical of pre-mixed cocktails. I'm picky with my cocktails and very rarely like anything that comes from a mix or a can — and I like my drinks boozier than most. I also just cannot stand sugary sweet anything and I was figured this machine was going to serve me up sugar with a side of stevia and an agave rim.
So, when I popped my pod into the machine, stuck my machine-suggested whiskey glass under the spout, waited what seemed like max 10 seconds, and took my first sip of the Drinkworks old fashioned, I was truly flabbergasted. It was GOOD. Like, I would accidentally order three of those and need to Uber home good. It was so good, in fact, that I wanted another, but I had eight more cocktails to try and it was 4 p.m. Next, I went for the margarita, which was good, but on the sweet side, so my bitter self would probably add some more tequila to balance that out. I also tried the winter mule (a Moscow mule but with whiskey) that was excellent, and something with rum that was honestly not for me, but mostly because it reminded me of college.
Initially, I cried sustainability because lots of pods equals lots of waste, but it turns out Drinkworks recycles the pods if you send them back, so problem (mostly) solved. (There is the element of additional packaging to send the pods back, but at least we can be mostly sure they're going to a recycling facility and won't accidentally end up in the trash).
I still wasn't convinced that I needed Drinkworks until my coworker and I got into an argument about gin and tonics. Gin gives me an instant headache, but my coworker insisted it's her favorite drink and what she always looks for at parties. As a person who both loves to entertain and is a people-pleasing Capricorn, I realized that this machine was what I needed to become The Greatest Party Thrower In The World (a title I am actively seeking every waking moment of my life). I could provide my friends with gin and tonics and sweet margaritas and rum cocktails without having to invest in alcohol/mixers I wouldn't otherwise use. And I could sip my perfectly-crafted old fashioned all night long without once worrying that I might not have the right drink for each guest.
Also, for what it's worth, the science of it all really made me nerd out. The machine uses a barcode to determine what cocktail it's making, it can carbonate water, it self-cleans, and its makers somehow figured out the perfect amount of barrel-strength alcohol to put in each pod. I don't know about you, but I'm honestly in awe of any kind of science that provides with a good drink at the end.
Drinkworks is currently available in stores and to ship to New York, California, Florida, Missouri, and Pennsylvania and retails for $399. However, if you buy before December 31, you’ll be able to take advantage of their holiday pricing, which knocks the price down to $199 using the code HOLIDAY100. Drinkworks will be available in Massachusetts, Washington, Arizona, DC, Maryland, Minnesota, and Nevada in 2020.
If you’re not an alcohol drinker, or you just really care about specific alcohol choices, you might want to go with this alternative choice, The Bartesian. These cocktails are a bit on the sweet side (for my whiskey-loving taste) but are a great option for alcohol-free drinks, as this machine has a mocktail choice and also allows you to choose your own alcohol.
A final holiday wish: May your holidays be filled with as little drama and waste as possible and absolutely as many cocktails (or mocktails!) as your little heart desires. And mom, please get me Drinkworks Home Bar for Hanukkah, xoxo.