Following a post on Reddit, which subsequently led to a post on Hack A Day and other sites, we’ve had quite a bit of interest in our little project over the past couple of days. Comments have been very positive, so thanks guys, we really appreciate the feedback.
One recurring theme has been the lack of an Ice Hopper and Stirring mechanism, so thought I would make a post about them. Frankly we would love to add both of these features, and they have been considered many times, but so far we have not found a suitable solution.
Stirrer mechanism: Magnetic stirrers have been mentioned a couple of times, and we considered one in the early stages of the project. But there are a few issues preventing their use; First, how do you fish out the stirring bar out of the drink after stirring? Secondly, and from my perspective a little more important, how do you prevent cross contamination between cocktails. Some of these cocktails have potent ingredients, last thing you want is your White Russian tasting of Tequila, or your Tequila Sunrise having bits of curdled milk floating on top (OK I know, you’re not meant to stir a tequila sunrise, but you see the point?). So in the mean time we have gone for the solution of having a pot of disposable stirrers next to the machine so people can stir their own cocktail. Perhaps a simpler solution would be just to fix one of the disposable stirrers to a stirring mechanism, and have a vessel of water in the machine that is then used to rinse the stirrer afterwards.
Ice Hoppers: This is something we really want to solve, in use people often forget to add the ice before putting the glass on the machine. Unfortunately we haven’t had any good ideas on how to approach this. Issues from how to channel the dripping of the melting ice away from the machine, to how to actually dispense a consistent amount of ice face us. Ice also tends to partially defrost and kind of refreeze into a block which I think will complicate the mechanism further.
Over the next few weeks we are going to post some updates to version 2 development, and also I think it’s about time the beast was fired up again and put through some rigorous “testing”.