Sunday, December 14, 2014

So Set 'Em Up, Robot

No. Everything in life shouldn't be able to happen fast. Yes. Words have actual meaning, and "craft" once had meaning too until it became a happy marketing slap-it-on synonym for "so good you should pay more for it."

That's why I want to kick this Kickstarter in its robotic teeth: Somabar: Robotic Bartender for Your Home. I like a cocktail as much as the next person (as long as that person is Dean Martin or Foster Brooks), but it's simple--you aren't supposed to rush them. The making of them--the craft--is a crucial part of the experience. The smells of each component as you open each bottle. The new scent when it all comes together. The feel of the shaker in your hands as its metal plummets down the thermometer, chill, cold, colder, icy. The addition of the perfect garnish, which isn't what parsley was in the 1970s--it's one more crucial ingredient, part of the aroma's dance that will make you want to drink.

But no, the important thing is--find something on your mobile phone and get it made in 5 seconds.

Sorry, but this kind of thinking sickens me, as it steals 2/3 of the magic of the cocktail hour. Making the drink is part of the ritual. It means you get to focus on something relatively simple--measuring pours--that will bring you exponential rewards for the work you will do. And it puts you in line with history, countless barkeeps, people home from the war (that might just be the daily drudge), stars like Dale DeGroff or Jerry Thomas. Don't you want all that? Shouldn't every last bit of that be in your glass?

If not, that Somabar is all yours. I'll be over here drinking deep of much more than a drink.

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