Barsys Coaster ($149): Perhaps the most straightforward of the lot is a “smart coaster” that measures drinks by weight, instead of by volume (i.e. using a jigger or measuring cup).
Users download an app that contains roughly 2,000 drink recipes. Then, connect to the coaster via Bluetooth, and select a drink. The app lists which bottles to pour, and the coaster lights up blue, then green when the correct weight is reached. An optional mixing glass contains a metal attachment at the bottom to agitate the liquid: 120 rotations per minute for a stirred drink, 300 rpm for a “shaken” drink. You then pour the cocktail into a drinking glass over ice.
My Negroni was just fine, although the total volume was about a quarter more than I would ordinarily make – it’s easy to overpour. Shaken drinks seem a bit more problematic, since there’s no actual shaking going on, and no ice in the mixing glass, so you won’t get aeration or dilution in your Margarita or Daiquiri.
Is this gadget a must-have? Jiggering drinks really isn’t that difficult, so no. But it was fun to use, and I could see it being entertaining for DIY drinks at parties. Speaking of which, future iterations of the coaster will include pitcher-sized drinks.