Typewriter Cocktail Machine

Excuse the continued delay to fresh posts here lately. I’m currently drafting a talk for a conference next month called Get Together – hosted by the Next Bigger Better Society – and truth told as it’s my first speaking gig I’d like the content to be as fresh as possible.

I’ll be talking on the subject of technology and evolution, probably around how the liberal arts act as playground to new & culturally transformative ideas. If you’re interested in coming along, tickets are available right here.

In the meantime though, here’s the first of some less heavyweight posts I’ll be making over the coming weeks!

I love how this invention takes an analog medium (plastic / liquid) and mimics a digital one (LCD display) in the guise of another analog medium (the typewriter) to output not words, but what looks like a terribly strong concoction of different drinks. Each customer would create a different, personalised recipe based on their input.

I can see this being really fun in a bar that sold tokenised access to the machine, along with predefined recipes such as the keywords ‘pineapple’ or ‘cherrybomb’, each letter plugged into its own mutually exclusive blend of base flavours. Nice work morskoiboy (site currently down).

Are You Ready For Your Close Up, Miss Colada?

BevShots have discovered what you’d call a niche: they take your favourite alcoholic drink, crystallise a single droplet of it in an airtight container, photograph it at 1000x under a microscope, and then sell the resulting image on a printed canvas.

And man, are these things selling! Since August last year BevShots estimate sales of over 20,000 prints ($24.99-$549). The product is aimed at the ‘hedonist with a mind for science’ segment: those who appreciate good photography, laboratory conditions and a damn-tasty cocktail now and then.

Here’s my favourite image, the classic Vodka and Tonic:

The shots are taken in Florida State University’s chemistry department, where founder Lester Hutt developed the approach, which can take up to three months to produce an image.

Lester says:

“What you can see in the magnified pictures are the crystalised carbohydrates that have become sugars and glucose. With my background in chemistry, I saw the potential in these kind of pictures and am so glad to be able to offer them up as art works. It is a pleasure to show people what makes up their favourite drinks and how beautiful it can look.”

Most alcohols are blends, with varying levels of carbohydrates, sugars, acids and glucose, so each shot taken is entirely different from the last. Some favourite drinks are so pure that when they crystallise  into their component parts, they fall apart or don’t dry out properly. So, not unlike the perfect Margarita, they’re pretty hard to get ‘just right’, sometimes taking up to 200 attempts.

Here’s some more of their work – click through for the full images or visit BevShots.

I’m thirsty! Who’s for a drink?