The Royal Caribbean cruise line created a buzz in 2014 when they introduced automated Bionic Bars on some of their ocean liners. Passengers can order mixed drinks from a computer tablet, then watch the robotic arms mix and shake cocktails. It’s not quite Tom Cruise in the film Cocktail, but it can be mildly entertaining. Since then, the manufacturer of these bionic barkeeps, a company called Makr Shakr, has installed automated bars in Las Vegas (called the Tipsy Robot), and the Hard Rock hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi. No drink concoction is too complicated for these machines, and they can whip them up in 90 seconds or less.
A short history of the cocktail:
- The first reference of a “cocktail” appears in an 1803 publication of the Farmer’s Cabinet, from Amherst, New Hampshire. The term was used to refer to a fellow drinking more to cure a hangover.
- During Prohibition, “speakeasies” would offer mixed drinks using ingredients such as creams and juices to camouflage the alcohol, and to make the poor quality liquor taste better.
- Why "cocktail"? History is fuzzy on the question, but the term may have come from a drink called a Coquetel served to French soldiers during the American Revolution