The other day, someone pointed me to an AI “bartender” site that’s similar to ChatGPT, but for crafting cocktails. You can find it at BarGPT. You can give it a description, a mood, a title, or any number of things, and it will respond with a drink recipe and image. You get three free attempts per day, so I thought I’d take it for a spin. The three prompts were:
- “An original cocktail that goes by the name The Smoking Microchip.” I do enjoy smoky drinks, from peaty scotches, to mezcal, to drinks prepared in a smoker. I thought it might do a good job at making something smoky, but wanted to see how it pulled in the concept of microchips.
- “An original cocktail that goes by the name The Dancing Raven.” I had no idea what to expect, but wanted to see how it transformed such an open-ended title into beverage.
- “I’d like a vampire-hunter themed cocktail that uses garlic as an ingredient.” This was definitely an intentional curveball. I’ve only seen garlic used once in drinks, and that was an infused vodka. Even then, it was a challenging drink to enjoy.
- The title of this blog posts mentions “quartet” of cocktails. I made a fourth one, but not through BarGPT. Instead, it was a play on a drink found in the Zelda games, the Noble Pursuit.
The Smoking Microchip
As per BarGPT:
The Smoking Microchip is a mysterious and intriguing cocktail that will take you on a journey of smoky flavors and just the right amount of sweetness. This drink is made with:
- 2 oz Mezcal
- 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
- 1/2 oz Agave Nectar
- 1/2 oz Lime Juice
- 1/4 tsp Activated Charcoal Powder
To make The Smoking Microchip, start by adding the mezcal, grapefruit juice, agave nectar, lime juice, and activated charcoal powder to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds, then strain the mixture into a chilled glass.
To create the smoky effect, use a culinary torch to light a small piece of wood or rosemary sprig on fire and place it on top of the drink. Let the smoke infuse into the cocktail for about 10 seconds before removing the wood or rosemary and serving.
Sip and savor the unique combination of flavors in The Smoking Microchip, and enjoy the smoky aroma that will transport you to another world.
The recipe itself had some logical problems, but as a cocktail it was… fine. I think the grapefruit and lime were a little too understated. I might have boosted their amounts a bit. Charcoal powder is always fun, from a goth point of view, and has a great presentation. I’d probably omit it in a home bar, since it should be consumed in moderation because it can act as a filter for any medications you might be on. I’ve previously made drinks with a smoking sprig of rosemary, but that didn’t feel right for this particular drink — the rosemary being a little to herbal for a fried computer chip. The instruction about lighting a small piece of wood just. didn’t. work. Or maybe I needed to find a long piece that could stick out of the glass like a Bloody Mary garnish? All I have are small chips for smoking empty glasses and finished cocktails. It immediately extinguished itself upon being introduced to the drink.
I ended up pulling out the big boy gear to properly smoke the thing.
Overall, it was an average drink, with slightly muddled instructions that I had to fix as I went along. As mentioned above, if I were to do this again, I’d bump up the citrus and omit the charcoal.
The Dancing Raven
The second drink I asked for was The Dancing Raven. I had no idea what direction it would take, given this prompt. I was pleasantly surprised by the result. Its recipe:
The Dancing Raven:
- 1 1/2 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. blackberry liqueur
- 1/2 oz. lime juice
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Club soda
- Blackberries, for garnish
- In a shaker filled with ice, add vodka, blackberry liqueur, lime juice, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters.
- Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds until well combined.
- Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.
- Top off with club soda and give it a gentle stir.
- Garnish with fresh blackberries and serve.
The Dancing Raven was almost spot-on. There was a little discontinuity between the AI-generated image and AI-generated instructions, but that’s just window-dressing. I’m always happy to have an excuse to get more fresh blackberries. I was also happy to have an excuse to grab a bottle of blackberry brandy.
I do have a few minor notes. First, the instruction to “garnish with blackberries” was incredibly vague. Large things like strawberries can be split and attached to the rim. Blackberries, not so much. I decided to skewer them like they’re olives, and I absolutely love how the result presents.
Second, the AI image clearly shows a martini glass, but this thing already has 3.5oz of liquid before you “top off with club soda.” You can’t really fit that much more in. I also tried pouring it into a Collins glass, with a few ice cubes, but that didn’t allow much more soda to be added.
I can see taking this drink two different ways. Omit the sodawater and serve in a martini glass. That sounds like a nice evening cocktail. Alternately, serve it in a pint glass, add a lot of soda water, diluting the alcohol significantly, and have it as a much more light and refreshing sunny afternoon drink.
Finally, it was just a touch too sweet. Is that because the brandy I used was a little more sweet than other similar liqueurs? Was there too much simple syrup? If I were to try this again, I might back down the simple syrup from 0.5oz to 0.25oz.
The Garlic Slayer
The Garlic Slayer is where the recipes took a turn. Admittedly, I introduced a very heavy handicap.
This vampire-hunter-themed cocktail is the perfect drink for all those who want to take down the undead. Its main ingredient is garlic, which is known to ward off vampires. To make this drink, you will need:
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic
- 2 ounces of gin
- 1 ounce of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce of simple syrup
- A pinch of salt
Muddle the garlic cloves in a shaker until they are well crushed. Add the gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and salt to the shaker. Fill with ice and shake well. Strain the mixture into a glass over ice and garnish with a garlic clove. This drink is not for the faint of heart, but it will surely keep those vampires at bay.
Honestly, the first sip was surprisingly good! There was some complexity and depth to the mix of flavors — a pleasant surprise, given I’d expected it to be absolutely vile. The lime and salt, as expected, played well with one another. The garlic was light, barely noticeable, and played well with the Aviation gin’s mix of flavors.
Oops. And then it set in. After a few more sips, that vileness sneaks up. I suspect it’s the garlic oil, and that it is binding to your tongue, leaving a strong lingering aftertaste. In fact, at that point, that aftertaste overpowers any other flavor that was present. I had to dump it out and follow it up with a strong vodka martini to reset my tastebuds. You can tell it was bad because I really did dump it down the drain; I usually stick with a drink, even a bad one, to get my money’s worth from it.
I do wonder… if I were to try again (which is unlikely), would using garlic powder or garlic salt provide a flavor that doesn’t linger? On the other hand, I’m unsure how well either of those would dissolve? Who wants a gritty cocktail?
The Noble Pursuit
Bonus: this one isn’t from BarGPT. In playing the new Zelda game, I ran across what looked like a fancy cocktail.
I’d found that someone else invented a Noble Pursuit recipe and figured I’d try it out. Mine’s a little different in that I didn’t have any whole limes left (I recently squeezed them all), all I could find was Aloe+Honey water, and I only had melon liqueur (Midori) rather than watermelon liqueur. What I ended up making was:
- 1oz White Tequila
- 1oz Midori
- 3oz Aloe Drink
- 3 Spoons of Dragonfruit Flesh
- 1/4oz Fresh Lime Juice
- Muddle the lime and dragonfruit in a cocktail shaker.
- Add Tequila, Watermelon Liqueur, and Aloe Drink.
- Shake and strain over a large ice rock.
- Optionally garnish with aloe and leftover dragonfruit as shown above.
Overall, it was a pleasant and smooth drink. I’m on the fence about the dragonfruit seeds in there. On the one hand, it would be more smooth if double-strained. On the other, the texture of the seeds, and the look of them on the ice cube, added a little something extra.
My only complaint is that this recipe isn’t going to achieve the red and brown tones seen in the game. And I need waaaaay more garnishes. And is that… mashed potatoes? ice cream? cottage cheese? What’s that island in the middle of the drink?
I’d love to know what you think of these — especially if you decide to make one. Leave a comment below.