Daily

THE SPIRITS IN THE MACHINE

Alcohol-dispensing vending machines are popping up around the world

Retailers are experimenting with vending machine concepts that dispense their products quickly and frictionlessly to consumers who demand nothing less than immediate gratification. Now, alcohol brands are getting in on the action, giving rise to boozy vending machines that are appearing around the globe, allowing customers to imbibe in a fun new format.

NAPOLEON HOTEL

This past December, the Napoleon Hotel in London welcomed guests with a whiskey vending machine located at the front of the hotel entrance. The vending machine came courtesy of UK-based Whisky-Me, a Scotch whisky subscription service that aims to make the pastime of enjoying whisky more widely accessible and less intimidating. Whisky-Me’s well designed and pleasantly graphic pouches not only feature helpful visual tasting notes, but serve as a perfect vehicle for vending machine distribution, rendering the whole experience speedy and frictionless.

EXISTING CONDITIONS

Opened last year in NYC’s Greenwich Village, casual neighborhood bar Existing Conditions has a vending machine that dispenses pre-made and highly experimental cocktails, including a popcorn-infused rum highball, to thirsty patrons who prefer to skip the bar queue. The bar’s playful yet relaxed concept leaves plenty of room for other types of alcohol-based experimentation as well, especially as the bartenders and mixologists pride themselves on sourcing ingredients one might never think to put into a cocktail, offering new and innovative sensory twists on classic cocktails.

MAMA LION

LA-based social club Mama Lion is the first lounge in California to boast a self-serve boozy vending machine. The club’s Moët & Chandon machine vends 320 mini bottles of the brand’s Moët Impérial Brut or Moët Impérial Rosé champagne, complete with a mini champagne flute so that patrons don’t literally have to hit the bottle. To procure the bubbly beverage from the machine, customers must first buy a special $20 branded Moët token at the lounge’s bar, as the machine does not accept other forms of payment.

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