Bibo Barmaid Review

Belly up to the counter

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Having an open bar could make you the life of the party, but even the hostess with the mostess can't be prepared for every cocktail request. There are just too many recipes to remember and too many ingredients to have on hand.

Why blow your party budget on a bartender when you can simply prop up the Bibo Barmaid ($230)? The tabletop machine can turn anyone into a master mixologist—no fancy cocktail-making classes (or fully stocked bar, for that matter) required. Imagine: a variety of drinks, all produced at the touch of a button.  

The Bibo is like a Keurig for cocktails; instead of pods, though, the contraption uses pouches filled with concentrated mixer ingredients. Its current roster includes mai tais, cucumber melon cocktails and margaritas; chocolate peppermint martini and mulled apple cider pouches are coming soon, while white and red sangrias and beer cocktails are expected before the end of the year. The flavors are sweet, fruity and pronounced (nothing came off as toxic, watered down or overly strong, although you can customize that).

The device is easy to use. First, fill the attached water reservoir, which holds enough for eight drinks. Then, load your pouch of choice and press the Mix button, and you'll have a perfectly portioned drink base within seconds. Instead of adding cream and sugar, just finish off the drink with a shot of vodka, rum or tequila, depending on your mixer (the box includes a 50-milliliter shot glass.).

Weighing less than four pounds, the Bibo Barmaid is also portable—imagine how popular you'll be when you start toting the thing to cocktail parties. Another standout feature is the Clean button, which runs water from the reservoir through the machine to rinse it in between mixers. That way, your appletini won't be tinged with rum punch.

Individual flavors are sold in nine- and 18-packs ($19 to $30); a 12-pack of assorted mixers runs about $20. That sounds a bit pricey until you consider just how much cash you'd sink into trendy spirits, bitters and mixers at a liquor store. Besides, the pouches have a shelf life of 18 months.

Rachel Cericola is a freelance writer who lives in the perfect spot in New England, convenient to both Boston and Providence. Follow her on Twitter at @rachelcericola.