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Predicting the Future (of Drinking)

From robot bartenders to bottles that keep track of their contents, the future of indulgence looks bright and shiny. And oddly metallic.

The current storms battering the UK have done some minor damage outside London Bridge station, including blowing years’ worth of adverts off a billboard, revealing this treasure:

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No, not an advert for Metal Mickey, but rather for Cynthia’s Bar & Restaurant, a turn-of-the-21st-century drinking hole (reviewed here by The Telegraph and here by London Evening Standard).

The bar is long gone, but like so many visions of the future, it apparently involved an impossibly large, barely mobile, shiny metal robot (Think Robby the Robot). Yes, at Cynthia’s Bar, the vision of the future was a slow-moving robotic bartender that could make 60 different drinks.

Why is it that both in popular culture and in the world of Sci-Fi, the future is always painted as a slightly shinier remake of today? Of course many would argue the very best Sci-Fi is exactly that, using the prism of the ‘future’ to get a clear view of the failings of today. But I digress.

So what does our vision of the future of drinks look like today? Mobile-centric, of course! We have Project Gutenberg, which is partly a “library” of spirit-filled “books” suitable for any self-respecting modernist. More important, there’s a companion mobile app that recommends cocktails according to how much of the ingredients you currently have. The app and the booze containers work together to guide you through making the perfect drink, dispensing just the right amount of each thing into the proper type of glass.


Despite Cynthia’s demise, we haven’t given up on robot bartenders, as affirmed by the Monsieur, which is powered by an Android tablet, and also comes with a companion mobile app.

Even for water, there is a mobile solution (pun intended) to warn you to hydrate via Bluetooth!