By Elizabeth Furey
The future is here when it comes to how we consume beverages. Our resident expert, Nobu Beverage Director of the U.S., Marcus Voglrieder, weighs in on some of the ways technology is changing the drinking game.
The Polyscience Smoking Gun
The at-home cocktail party is about to undergo a major facelift, with all the technology being developed. Trends that were once considered to be so unattainably chic, can now be a part of your home bar with the help of gadgetry.
"Smoked cocktails are having a moment," Voglrieder says. Everywhere bar from New York to LA to Manila has smoked cocktails on their menus. So an at-home smoker could make your next cocktail party even more chic. Smoking cocktails requires individual attention to each drink, so it will definitely be an impressive and worthwhile feat.
The Polyscience Smoking Gun makes smoking anything at home incredibly easy. And we mean anything—according to the product’s description, the smoke produced is cool, so there is no fear of melting or heating any ingredients. Any wood chips of your choosing are compatible with this machine, which means your flavor options are plentiful. It comes with samples of applewood and hickory chips, but you are encouraged to try and smoke anything—including tea, herbs, spices, and dried flowers.
Wintersmiths Ice Baller Kit
Clear ice transcends trends, and is ideal for all beverages. Completely clear ice melts slower than the cloudier variety, meaning it will dilute your drink gradually. The slow melt theory also applies to the shape of an ice sphere—which will take longer to melt in your drink than a few cubes. And so, the Wintersmiths Ice Baller Kit is a great option for your at-home bar. It’s a bit of a more involved process than making your average ice cube, but the results are worth it. You get a totally clear, perfectly round ice sphere that is sure to impress your friends.
Voglrieder says that totally clear ice is preferred, for both aesthetic and practical reasons, and was quite impressed that this gadget makes it accessible for the at-home cocktail maker. Clear ice is usually very expensive, so buying it for your home is not typically the best option.
And for those who are willing to forgo the totally clear angle, the Muji Silicone Ice Ball is also an option for getting that spherical shape.
Synek Draft System
The Synek Draft System is a brand new technology--the Keurig machine for a totally different type of “brew.” This dispensing machine promises to be a more effective and delicious means of drinking beer.
The inventors of the Synek envision it as an alternative to bottling beer, which can be costly and take up a great deal of space. Smaller craft breweries would actually benefit from distributing beer this way. The bag that holds the beer is the “first ever flexible packaging that can withstand the pressures of beer and other carbonated beverages” and keeps beer fresher for longer than a growler. Plus, the Synek Draft System lets anyone have a tap right in their homes, which is sure to impress.
It may be hard to believe, but your phone and your drinking life can exist in harmony.
- Delivery: A few apps, like Drizly or Thirstie, let you order booze from the comfort of your own home. Available in major US cities, these apps save you the trouble of browsing through a liquor store, which can be intimidating. Of course, they will check your ID when they arrive with your order, so don't try any funny business.
- Beer: A number of apps are dedicated solely to the appreciation of beer. BreweryMap is basically the start of your next adventure. The app helps you plan a road trip where you and your pals stop off at various breweries. Simply enter your start and end locations and breweries along the way pop up. Untappd brings the social element of beer drinking to your phone by connecting it with your Facebook friends. You'll be able to catch-up on what your friends have been drinking and recommend your favorites to them.
- Inspiration: Voglrieder swears by the Bar Notes app--which lets you connect with other cocktail enthusiasts and hobbyists, as well as seasoned professionals. It’s a great source of inspiration, and clues you in on what’s popular right now in the cocktail world.