Correct measurement It’s an essential tool to have in the kitchen, so why not a bar?
Turns out, many reasons. On paper, the Barsys Smart Coaster system is not a bad idea. Imagine a digital scale (like a dropper) connected via Bluetooth to an app on your phone that tells you what ingredients to pour into a glass. And that’s exactly how Barsis works. Want to make margaritas? Pour in the tequila until the lit coast turns green. Then double it for three seconds until you get another green light. Then lemon juice. Then simple syrup. For the novice mixologist, it’s just a matter of waiting for the coaster to say “when” each time and the drink to run out.
Well, sort of. There are so many problems with Barsi, both in concept and execution, to the point where it just doesn’t work, even as a novelty.
First, the bar may be a scale, but it doesn’t take any readings other than colored lights. As you add the ingredients specified in your chosen recipe, the scale starts off white, then gradually becomes more blue. Finally, it will blink and turn green, taking you to the next element and starting the process again. The problem is that if you don’t know how much ingredients to pour in (and the app doesn’t tell you when it’s mixing), you can either find yourself adding ingredients to the drop – which takes forever – or running low by drinking and puffing before the “stop” notification. If you’re a free-wheeling home bartender who isn’t a big risk of finding things, this might not be a big deal. But in that case, it’s pretty easy to guess everything when you pour the ingredients into a shaker willy-nilly and call it close enough.
Another big issue is integration. Barsi is not the most powerful way to mix drinks when it comes with an optional mixing unit – a plastic glass with an electromagnetic stirrer unit. A martini is great for stirring, but if you want to shake the hell out of that margarita, you’re going to have to put some muscle into it (with a different shaker). It is not clear when and if Barsis should add ice to the mixer during recipe-building. The engine can handle a little snow, but you can’t fill the tank to the brim and get any traction. Any ice you use needs to be added at the beginning (when weighing the empty mixer) or at the end, which throws off the liquid weight measurements. For recipes that require a dry shake – such as soy sauce made with egg whites – and then a second shake with ice, the Barsys is particularly well-suited. It should also be noted that the system is actually designed to produce only one beverage at a time.