Diageo sends Amazon Alexa to assist home bartenders

Australian spirit drinkers are now able to consult their Amazon Alexa smart speaker for help making mixed drinks at home.

The Bar Cart is an interactive skill developed by Diageo on Amazon Alexa that has been programmed with a range of 12 cocktails featuring its proprietary spirits brands such as Tanqueray, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker.

Amazon Alexa owners can access the voice-activated technology by first activating the skill on their Alexa account, then asking Alexa to ‘Open the Bar Cart’.

The interactive skill then takes users through a menu to determine which spirits they have at home to use as the base for their drink.

Alexa will then provide step-by-step instructions to mix up drinks ranging from a simple G&T or whisky highball to a negroni or martini.

The Bar Cart at work on Amazon Alexa

Home bartenders winging it: Diageo

The project was inspired by the rise of home bartending in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diageo’s research suggests there are 2.2 million Australians currently “guessing” their way through creating mixed drinks at home.

“Seventy three per cent of Aussie spirit drinkers say they are not very confident in their ability to make mixed drinks or cocktails at home,” the distiller says.

“More than three quarters of Aussies (77 per cent) report that if there was a digital assistant to help make drinks, they’d use it to become more confident.”

Smart speakers in Australia

There are 2.9 million Australians who currently have a smart speaker in the home, according to a September 2019 study by Nielsen.

The market share of Diageo’s chosen platform – Amazon Echo (Alexa) – is quite small; seven per cent versus 68 per cent for Google Home.

Amazon Alexa integrated with a bar cart
Amazon Echo integrated with a bar cart

“Diageo has worked with Amazon on similar concepts in other markets and we saw an opportunity to take it to the next level in Australia,” a spokesperson told Drinks Adventures.

“In addition, Diageo has a working partnership with Amazon as an online retailer in Australia, but The Bar Cart does not link through to purchases on Amazon.”

Spotify integration

The Bar Cart is now available on Amazon Alexa and can be integrated with Spotify to provide curated playlists for entertaining.

“To enable the campaign to be targeted effectively, Spotify provided an insight-led recommendation on genres and artists that aligned with Diageo’s in-home consumption occasion, leveraging data from Australian listeners on the platform,” the spokesperson said.

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Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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