ANN ARBOR, MI—Hotel operators are always on the lookout for the next “wow” factor for their properties—something that guests will remember and that will take their experience to the next level.
Drinkmate, a new system from i-Drink Products, can add that something extra to F&B operations. The system uses CO2 gas cartridges to add carbonation to any drink—not just water, but cocktails, spirits, wine, juices, iced tea and coffee as well. As an added convenience, the system also doesn’t need an electric source or batteries.
“Hospitality operators can provide guests with a memorable experience by using Drinkmate to craft a custom sparkling beverage for them, and even sparkle the drink right in front of them,” said Douglas Wang, CEO,
i-Drink Products. “The typical reaction from most people after trying their first sparkling Drinkmate beverage is ‘Wow.’ By creating a memorable experience in serving sparkling drinks, hotels help differentiate themselves from other brands.”
The system is available in two types: Drinkmate Spritzer, which is portable, and Drinkmate Countertop. Wang recommends the product for foodservice or bar areas. “This provides maximum impact as other guests will see what’s happening,” he said. “It will also speed the service by having someone already familiar with Drinkmate preparing an exacting drink recipe.”
The system can carbonate any cold beverage to the desired level—and even revive flat ones back to life. “Users can add as much or as little carbonation to the drinks as they like,” he said. “We don’t provide syrups or flavors to add, because Drinkmate is the only machine that can carbonate any cold beverage, not just water. Other machines require users to first carbonate water only, then add flavor to it, but Drinkmate can directly carbonate water, fruit juices, lemonade, iced tea, wine, cocktails and more. So, the drink doesn’t have to be diluted by adding sparkling water to it. This opens up a whole new world of sparkling beverages that couldn’t be made before.”
Wang said that operations can add a new profit stream. For instance, operations can upcharge for a ‘sparkling’ version of a drink, and inventive bartenders can also create completely new cocktails.
While the product is currently used mostly in restaurants and bars, including some located in hotels, some hotel brands are experimenting with other uses for the system. “One luxury hotel chain is experimenting with Drinkmate to create and bottle its own unique carbonated beverage to place in guestrooms with the brand’s label on it,” said Wang.
Drinkmate is part of the recent popularity of systems that allow users to carbonate their own beverages, like SodaStream. Wang believes that it is part of the consumer’s desire to have more control in what they are putting in their bodies. “Everyone is now aware of the negative health issues of drinking too many carbonated soft drinks with excessive sugar and other chemicals in them,” he said. “That is why sales of soft drinks have been declining for a decade, while sales of all other kinds of healthier carbonated beverages are growing rapidly. People also love the enhanced taste of carbonation in most cold beverages. And in home use, these devices greatly reduce the amount of plastic water bottles used.” HB