A classic conundrum: a semi-stocked bar, a desire for a decent cocktail, the willingness to make aforementioned cocktail, but no idea how to go about it with the smattering of ingredients you have on-hand. The options are usually to hit the Internet, flip through a bar book, or forge ahead blindly.
Designer Lily Szajnberg was all too familiar with this problem, so she crafted a solution in the form of the “Cocktail Computer.” While perhaps not the kind of computer you’d immediately imagine, the device is based on early digital models with the look of a super stylish, retro kitchen appliance. You can get one of your own by donating to Szajnberg’s Kickstarter effort.
The Cocktail Computer aims to be reliable, well-curated, and catered to your individual supplies, achieving that end through punched cards and cocktail pins. In her research, Szajnberg concluded that most classic cocktails can be made from combinations of 24 basic ingredients, which are listed on the top of the contraption. Choose which three you want to use by inserting the pins into the corresponding holes, and the recipes with those components will filter down so when you open the lid, options await. You can then make your libation and repurpose the pins as a cherry or olive skewer.
The cards can be updated as your cocktail prowess grows, though there are more than 100 included in the initial batch. The project has already earned $7,552 of its $50,000 goal with 24 days left. To see the Cocktail Computer in action, check out the video below.