Whether it’s Mimosas at brunch, Aperol Spritzes during happy hour, or hard seltzers at any time of day or night, sparkling cocktails are clearly having a moment. While most fizzy beverages get their bubbles from sparkling wine or soda water, there’s a more fun way to fizz-ify your drinks. It’s called the Drinkmate, and it’s sure to change your home bartending game forever.
Like a SodaStream designed specifically for booze, the Drinkmate allows users to add bubbles to any drink. It comes in two models: The Countertop (about $100) and the instaFizz bottle (about $80). It is perhaps worth noting that VinePair originally attempted this with an actual SodaStream, but it broke our CEO Adam Teeter’s machine. And so, on a recent afternoon, while sitting for what felt like the millionth weekend in a row in my parents’ kitchen with little to entertain myself, I decided to put the Drinkmate Countertop machine to the test.
My experiments were driven by recreating some bubbly favorites, as well as adding carbonation to classic drinks, such as the Margarita, that aren’t typically spritzy. (As I learned, there is a reason for that.) I also tested out some extra-boozy cocktails to see how carbonation affects their taste and overall experience. To make this a challenge, I decided to forgo all ingredients that are already bubbly. That meant using none of the Prosecco, La Croix, and hard seltzer that were sitting in my parents’ fridge. Thankfully, the machine does all the mixing for you, so no need to shake or stir. Simply add the ingredients to the Drinkmate bottle, connect it to the Drinkmate machine, and push the button on the top of the machine to carbonate. Here’s how it went.
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Gets the job done
No Prosecco? No problem. Combine 2 ounces of Aperol, 3 ounces of white wine (preferably unoaked Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio; I used the cheap Pinot my parents had stocked in their fridge), and 1 ounce of water in the Drinkmate, and fizz! While the result doesn’t have the layered texture you’d expect from an Aperol Spritz, it tastes pretty darn close to the real thing. Rating: B
I tried it so you don’t have to
My main takeaway with this one is: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I tested out a classic gin Martini, combining 2 ¾ ounces of gin and ¾ ounce of dry vermouth in the Drinkmate. The result, though clear like sparkling water, was essentially bubbly booze, which I tasted then promptly poured down the drain. Stick to making your Martinis stirred, not shaken or sparkling. Grade: D
Boozy brunch at home will never be the same
This cocktail was by far the best of the bunch. Add equal parts Pinot Grigio and orange juice (or, you know, mostly Pinot Grigio with a splash of orange juice) and add some bubbles. The result is as delicious as a Mimosa from your favorite breakfast spot. Rating: A+
Play with proportions
For this one, proportions are everything. As I used grapefruit juice and water in place of grapefruit soda, my first batch was way too bitter. My advice? Add some sweetener to taste, and the result will be delicious. Pour 3 ounces of tequila, 1 ounce of lime juice, a splash each of grapefruit soda and water, a bit of salt, and simple syrup or agave nectar as needed into your Drinkmate, and fizz away. (Tip: If you want to spice it up, muddle some jalapeño in a glass, and add to your Drinkmate along with the rest of the ingredients). Rating: B+
New summer staple
Daiquiris were the VinePair team’s favorite drink of the summer. And here’s why: They’re easy to make, and instantly crushable. Adding bubbles to the rum-based concoction only adds to its sessionable deliciousness — adding levity to an already refreshing libation. Simply add 2 ounces of white rum, such as Ten to One, or that handle of Bacardi you’ve had lying around since June of 2018, ¾ ounce of lime juice, and ¾ ounce of simple syrup to the Drinkmate. Carbonate and enjoy. Try it once and you’ll be making this cocktail every time you’re too lazy to go out. Rating: A-
Your Spritz’s cool older cousin
This concoction tasted like an extra boozy Aperol Spritz. Though I still prefer a classic Negroni, adding bubbles lightened up this cocktail’s alcohol-forward flavor, making it a good fit for those who prefer a more refreshing aperitif. To make one, simply combine 1 ½ ounces of gin, 1 ounce of Campari, and 1 ounce of sweet vermouth. Rating: B-
Sounds strange, tastes amazing
We all know that the Margarita is the drink of the summer, and also the century. It’s easy to make at home, it’s perfect for taking on the go, and ready-to-drink versions make it easier than ever to enjoy this iconic cocktail. Adding carbonation to the drink is yet another way to enjoy the cocktail: After the Mimosa, this one was the best of the bunch. To make one, combine 1 ¾ ounces of tequila with an ounce of lime juice, and ¾ ounce of triple sec in your Drinkmate. You know what happens next. Rating: A