Connected Cocktail Project brings high-tech spin on mixology to the home

(The Painted Burro)
(The Painted Burro)

If you prefer an Aviation to a glass of wine or an Old Fashioned to a light beer but lack mixology chops, a Somerville design firm recently conceptualized a “smart” solution to your imbibing woes.

The Connected Cocktail Project, from design house Altitude, is a full cocktail-making ecosystem complete with Bluetooth pour spouts, cloud computing, and crowdsourced recipes to bring posh drinks to the living room.

“People want the cocktail experience,” Altitude CEO Dan Ostrower said. “They want to graduate to cocktails.”

In 2012, less than 13 percent of spirit purchases (booze that is not beer or wine) happened outside of bars, according to the design firm.

Ostrower and company saw that as an industry failure and an opportunity to innovate, but not necessarily a replacement for a night on the town.

“We don’t see this as replacing the ‘going out’ experience,” Ostrower said.

Altitude uses industrial design, wireless connectivity, and cloud computing to bring fancy drinks to residences and “unlock the bar”.

The company’s video demonstration shows a tablet application that connects to pour spouts on liquor bottles which light up when a user selects a recipe, illustrating the ingredients. Upon tipping the bottles, each pour spout releases only the amount of spirit or mixer called for by the selected recipe.

The project is a natural extension of two other Altitude designs that bring the bar experience into the home: the Margaritaville line of frozen cocktail makers and the Draftmark home draft beer system.

The Connected Cocktail Project will remain in the proof of concept realm for a while. However, Altitude will continue to innovate and keep trying to disrupt the stale liquor industry, all the while demonstrating the firm’s ability to tackle big challenges.

“[People] care about having an experience and this is about selling them an experience. And if you can do that, you can change the economics of an industry,” Ostrower said.

George is a regular contributor to BetaBoston, and can be reached at george.levines@gmail.com.
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