Picture of The Manhattan Project: A mechanical cocktail mixer

The seed for this project was the desire to mechanically measure specific amounts of liquid in a way that was both adjustable and easy to clean. In the past, I have used measured pour spouts on cocktail machines, and they work fine, but they are not adjustable and occasionally they just stop working.

I started by thinking about the Japanese Shishi-Odoshi ("deer scarer") bamboo fountain feature, which measures liquid against a counterweight and pours when the liquid reaches a certain level. The system is wonderfully simple, with one big caveat: the liquid never stops pouring.

So I began prototyping on a piece of plywood with a plastic cup. I new that the receptacle had to be lightweight, so that the liquid would make up the majority of the total weight and be easier to fine tune the "cut off" point for the pouring. I discovered that the pouring mechanism would actually need four parts:

  1. The bottle of liquid above with a flanged pin valve, which releases liquid when pushed up. I made a stainless pin and used a little piece of silicone sheet as a gasket.
  2. A receptacle below. The receptacle needs a hook to latch onto the counterweight arm. I made a little four-bar set so that the cup would pour where I wanted it.
  3. A counterweight arm with a little ledge that the locking arm can lock onto
  4. A lock arm that pushes the bottle's pin valve up when activated, and locks onto the counterweight arm.

When the cup is lifted, it pushes the Lock Arm up, releasing liquid. As the Lock Arm lifts, the Counterweight Arm lifts also and the two lock together. The hook from the Counterweight Arm is now holding the cup up. When the cup fills with enough liquid to overpower the Counterweight Arm, it pulls free of the hook and pours, while the Counterweight Arm pulls free of the Lock Arm and the bottle is sealed again.

It pretty much works. A little leaky, but overall a great first step.

gogowanda19 days ago

Hi, I just got into mixology at home and your machine looks fantastic. Is there a CAD drawing I can download? I have access to waterjet at school (Ga Tech)

pheenix422 months ago

I'll say it right here--this machine is The Bomb!

schumi231 year ago

Is there a reason not to use a motor to turn the clamp? Have an on switch (Which could be turned off by the final part falling) turn on a motor?

I'm just curious why that wasn't done.

tinkertinker (author)  schumi231 year ago

Hi schumi23! I kept this project mechanical for a few reasons. Mainly it is more interesting IMO to actually touch a machine and turn a crank than just push a button. Also, adding a motor means adding wiring and switches to an item that will be used in a wet environment. That means lots of work to protect the wiring from water/liquids. I don't think motorizing it would add to the experience.

Or even a stepper that knows exactly how many "steps" needs every cocktail!!!

This means you need some micro-controller to drive it, and some buttons to control it. So an User Interface. and this can become commercial and get you some bucks...

dlebryk1 year ago

Great job.

Hey you missed something really important in that Manhattan - the bitters. It isn't a Manhattan until you've added two or three dashes of bitters.

tinkertinker (author)  dlebryk1 year ago

Hi dlebryk! Actually there is a pipette that delivers a few drops of bitters. I didn't get good images of that part of the construction process, but you can see it in the middle of the machine. I'll see if I can add that as a step later.

snicholson1 year ago
very nice. well done.
r570sv1 year ago

Love it! Are you going to enter it in the barbot compitation?

Wazzupdoc1 year ago

This is just insane! I love it. ELegant with a capital L!

couchpilot1 year ago

This is nice. Make it out of copper tubing and you've got a cool steampunk looking machine!

remendab1 year ago

I cannot imagine a better use for a creative mind and fantastic skill set. Very well done!

terry.kohm1 year ago

From another visionary artist to you ... NICE WORK !!!

Turtle Da Mannn

Remag12341 year ago

Genius. I could get drunk before you mix 1 drink with your gadget, but I love it.

Your my hero.

tofugami1 year ago
I saw this in person at Pier 9. Nice to see it in action.
eatteyah1 year ago

Unbelievable ...

lebowski1 year ago

So awesome!