Review: Bibo Barmaid Cocktail System
Let’s say you want to make a quick-and-dirty margarita. You might take a bottle of margarita mix out of the fridge, dump some into a glass with ice, pour in tequila, stir, and drink.
Wow, that sounds like a lot of work, you might say. What if I could instead make that drink with a big machine that sits on my countertop, instead!? Well, your prayers are answered, because the Bibo Barmaid is just that machine. Instead of dealing with all those steps above, you simply do the following to make your margarita:
Remove the water reservoir from the back of the device (imagine a Keurig, but for cocktails), fill it with water, then run a cleaning cycle to make sure everything is primed. Then, just take a pre-packaged pouch of margarita mix (noting its syrup-like consistency) and load it into the top of the device. If you have a pouch with tequila in it, you can load that in as well, or you can just pour tequila into the ice-filled shaker (included in the kit) that you’ve prepared separately and placed underneath the dispensing nozzle. Then just press “MIX” and, like that, Bibo squirts mixer, water, and spirit into the shaker. Now, all you have to do is wait about 20 seconds for this process to complete — a lot of dripping is involved — then shake your drink, strain it into a glass, and enjoy. Don’t worry about the residual dripping of syrupy goo that ends up on the tray below. You can clean that up later.
If ever a machine were designed to solve a problem that didn’t exist, Bibo is it. While Bibo claims that you are a mere 20 seconds away from your cocktail, the reality is it takes far longer to do all of the above — not even considering the messy cleanup — than it does to make a drink, even one from scratch. Even cutting and squeezing fresh citrus is no more time-consuming than dealing with all the parts and pieces of the Bibo — and the results, it must be said, are going to be far superior than what comes out of the device. I tried four different Bibo cocktails, including a rum punch, tangerine paloma, cucumber melon vodka-something, and the margarita. Only the margarita was even approachably drinkable. The rest I poured out in short order.
The Bibo’s got some operational issues, too: When I put the first pouch into the system, it was abruptly sliced open as I inserted it, which prompted it to leak out immediately. I quickly saved it and punched the mix button — otherwise how would I get “the precise amount of water to make a scientifically perfect drink” as promised?
Basically, for $200, what you get is a hunk of plastic that squeezes goo out of bags of cocktail mixers (about $2 each) and sprays out a precise amount of water, takes up a lot of counter space, makes a huge mess, and produces drinks that I would refuse to pay for if served at a bar. Good times, y’all.