House and Home

Meet the Monsieur, the Artificially Intelligent Bartender

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Imagine a machine that makes a custom cocktail for you in less than five seconds. It knows what you like, how you like it, and is programmed to remember your order so that you can be sure to get the same drink every time you come home after a long day.

Sound too good to be true? It's real, it's called the Monsieur, and we tried it.

We were all very impressed by the Monsieur for its "wow" factor. It's easy to see how it can become the life of any party. It's capable of making as many as 300 different drinks, which are mixed and poured almost immediately.  The particular machine we tried came pre-loaded with its tropical cocktail options (which of course can be customized), and the ones we taste-tested were quite good. You can select a pre-determined drink from the list, or you can scroll through several options and allow the Monsieur to make a recommendation based on your selected preferences.

Various settings allow you to control the amount of alcohol in your drink from "light" to "boss." (We refrained from indulging in the "boss" version but it was possible to smell the alcohol emanating from the glass).

"I thought it was really visually appealing and cool that a robot could not only prepare you nearly any drink of choice, but also give you background information about the cocktail itself and additional recommendations. Try getting that kind of customization during happy hour!" says Stephanie. "Plus, the drinks were actually tasty and they were done instantly. Major win."

The upside is that it can make whatever you want, whenever you want. You can even program the system to have liquor delivered to your door when you're running low on certain ingredients. "I was surprised how fast it serves up drinks, and I like that you can program it to do just about everything," says Kristin. "If only dishwasher and coffee machines were this smart!"

However, two of our testers said that while they were impressed with its capabilities, they aren't quite ready to hand cocktail making over to a machine. "While it’s capable of making more complex drinks that may taste great, some things just seem better shaken…not computed and poured," Kristin says.

"I prefer having an actual mixologist create a custom cocktail for me using fine spirits that I normally wouldn't splurge on, as opposed to buying my own liquor and letting the robot mix it for me," says Stephanie. "A mixologist can give me a more personal experience in learning about different spirits, as well as how they can make my drink taste better."

At a cost of $2,699 for an eight-container version and $1,499 for the four-container model, it's certainly a pricey investment, which may turn some potential customers off.

"The Monsieur was a really cool gadget, and I could see how popular it would be at a party," says Mike. "That said, I don't think I'd ever be willing to buy my own. The price is too steep for what it is, and I don't really mind mixing my own drinks at the moment."

Still, we all agree that it would be a great thing to have at party or event.  "I'd be willing to rent one for a wedding or anniversary party — or any banquet-style event — because you just know it would be a hit with guests," Mike says.

Bottom line: If you're the type of person who entertains frequently, this may be a good investment. For everyone else, we suggest making friends with someone who has it, because you'll definitely want to give it a try.