The Bibo Barmaid is basically a self-serve novelty cocktail appliance. It is designed to disperse cocktails using a premixed flavor pouch. Representatives of Bibo Barmaid invited me to try out Bibo in exchange for an honest review. They also gave me an extra Bibo Barmaid to give away at my discretion. More about that in a minute.
Bibo Barmaid products provided by brand representatives. All photos and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
This kitchen and bar appliance looks and works a little like single serve coffee makers. The Bibo Barmaid uses pouches rather than pods. Debra Walker, the brainchild behind Bibo Barmaid, wanted to simplify the way consumers make and enjoy cocktails at home. The premixed flavor pouches are designed to take the guesswork out of measuring mixer ingredients. These flavor pouches do not include spirits needed for the drink. The consumer must supply any additional spirits called for in the recipes. The appliance is designed to save the home bartender time mixing. The theory behind the appliance is that the consumer can enjoy a great cocktail in 20 seconds.
Bibo’s mission: “With the rise of the cocktail culture in the US, having the ability to enjoy great tasting cocktails at home is the ultimate convenience. They are quite complicated to make and Bibo takes the guesswork and expense out of the process.”
The Bibo Barmaid comes with the appliance itself, cocktail shaker, and shot glass. The starter kit includes three flavored cocktail pouches. Additional cocktail pouches are sold separately (currently $22.99 for variety pack of 12 on Amazon.)
My Bibo Barmaid Experience
The appliance itself was fairly easy to set up. After removing all the packaging, reading the directions and giving it a quick wash, it was ready to go. I filled the back tank with cold water and chose a packet that I had refrigerated a few days prior as recommended by the company. I chose the margarita pouch since the margarita is fairly common and the taste could be compared with a freshly made margarita.
Instructions advise shaking the dispensed liquid with ice (thus the cocktail shaker) and then pour into the glass for sipping. The cocktail shaker is black, so it is not see-through. I used a glass with the recommended amount of ice to capture the liquid so I could see everything. I added the recommended amount of tequila to the glass with ice, inserted the pouch into the machine, and closed the top as per instructions.
The mixer pouch immediately began dripping into the glass before pushing the “Mix” button. After pressing the button, liquid began to flow as intended. It took roughly 15 to 17 seconds for the liquid to slow to a drip. The liquid is a mixture of the flavor pouch and the water held in the reservoir. The machine itself does not chill the water and mixer, but rather it merely mixes the reservoir water with the liquid in the flavor pouch.
Bibo Barmaid dispensed approximately four ounces of water into the glass. That drip I mentioned earlier went on and on until I finally opened the top panel where the pouch is inserted. Upon removing the pouch to discard, I discovered a mostly full pouch of liquid remaining. Liquid from the pouch did not dispense as intended. I checked the pouch to make sure it had opened correctly and it had. A small blade slices the pouch and liquid is supposed to dispense through that slit. I had to squeeze the remaining liquid from the pouch into the glass.
The liquid in the pouch was sticky and syrupy. I took a sip after thoroughly mixing everything together in the glass. The cocktail was super sweet and artificial tasting. Not my idea of a great cocktail whether at home or out at a bar.
The cocktail taste was less than mediocre in my opinion. It was too sweet and artificial tasting. The ratio of mixer to liquor was quite off as well. The four ounces of water, recommended amount of ice, and 1.6 ounces of syrupy mixer completely neutralized the 1.7 ounces of tequila recommended for the recipe.
Work needed for a three ingredient margarita includes measuring tequila and Cointreau or agave syrup, squeezing a fresh lime, and shaking the drink or pouring it all over ice to stir. No reservoirs to fill, no artificial flavored packets to chill and squeeze into the drink, no machine to clean, no machine to take up space on a counter top or inside a cabinet.
My Bibo Barmaid Verdict
My overall experience with the Bibo Barmaid cocktail appliance was unexceptional at best. The appliance does little more than dispense water and flavor packet into the glass. It would be less work to just cut open the flavor pouch and pour into a glass of ice and cold water. But where’s the novelty in that?
With a price tag of $169.99 at JC Penny, $179.99 as listed on Amazon and Home Depot, $199.99 at BiboBarmaid.com, $229.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond, and $299.99 at Hudson’s Bay at the time of this writing (not affiliate links – but read other’s reviews of this product while you’re at it.), I would take a hard pass on purchasing this novelty bar appliance. Spend your money on ingredients for a cocktail you absolutely love and enjoy cocktail after cocktail for a fraction of the cost.
Basic Fresh Margarita Recipe
Making a basic fresh margarita is pretty simple and straightforward. Not complicated at all as the company’s mission statement leads one to believe. My favorite margarita recipe is super easy. It follows the 3-2-1 rule. 3 parts spirit, 2 parts sour, 1 part sweet. That breaks down to this:
2 ounces Tequila
1 ounce Lime Juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau or Agave Syrup
Salt if preferred
Rim a glass with lime and dip rim into salt if desired. Fill glass with ice. Add tequila, lime juice (approximately 1 fresh lime squeezed) and your choice of sweetener. Stir briefly and enjoy.
The basic margarita uses minimal tools that can be found in most kitchens.
Bibo Barmaid Giveaway
I agreed to an honest review and to give away one of the Bibo Barmaid appliances the company sent to me. What better way to try it out for yourself than get it at no cost? Just answer one or all of the questions below in the comments section and I’ll choose someone at random from there. It would be terrific if you shared this post on social media, but I won’t twist your arm to do that.
Since I am absorbing all shipping costs I will have to limit the giveaway to the continental United States. However, even if you are living in another country, I would love to read what you have to say too!
Hypothetically, if you could purchase an absolutely fabulous, fresh tasting, pour and serve premade cocktail, what cocktail would you want bottled to buy? What price point per drink would you deem worthy of said cocktail?
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Cheri Loughlin is the Omaha writer and photographer behind www.intoxicologist.net. Email Cheri with comments and questions at str8upcocktails at gmail.com.