How to serve a martini without gin? What cocktail to make with the bottles you have on hand? What original drink to make to impress your guests? All of these answers are at your fingertips, for free, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI). New apps for cocktail lovers are gaining popularity, and even professionals are starting to use them.

In Houston, Texas, the Axelrad bar hosted a unique competition in March. He put his classic cocktail recipes to the test against those generated by the ChatGPT artificial intelligence system. For each order, customers received two versions of the same cocktail, then they were asked to vote for their favourite: the one invented by the machine or the one created by a human.

“The cocktails designed by our team won the vote hands down,” said Axelrad manager Julia Green. Before serving those in ChatGPT, many, many questions had to be asked in the virtual tool, because the recipes and ingredients were ridiculous. We couldn’t serve that! »

Since this extraordinary competition, the artificial intelligence system has launched a new application called BarGPT. As in the original version of ChatGPT, all you have to do is ask a question or explain the type of cocktail you want to get an answer. As of this writing, 10,033 recipes have been posted on the site.

The free version of BarGPT allows you to get three cocktails per day. In addition to the recipe, the tool provides a step-by-step walkthrough and a photo of the drink. The paid version generates unlimited cocktails to subscribers. She also creates cocktail recipes with ingredients chosen by the client.

BarGPT is not the only application offered to facilitate the creation of cocktails. BoozyBlend went live a few months ago. This tool allows you to select the flavor, the theme and the type of glass to obtain a recipe in a few seconds.

If several American establishments are inspired by it, the Quebec mixologist Julien Vézina is not convinced. The co-owner of Honō Izakaya in Quebec and winner of the Mixologist or Bartender of the Year award at the most recent edition of the Lauriers de la gastronomie doubts that artificial intelligence has enough creativity.

“There are so many things to consider when creating a cocktail,” he explains. I doubt it’s effective. »

In Montreal, Cloakroom Bar mixologist Maximilien Jean is also on the side of the skeptics.

At Bar Axelrad, Julia Green believes the true strength of her mixologists is taste. She thinks that’s why her house cocktails won the competition. “Let’s call it physical taste,” she said. The machine can’t do it. We taste our cocktails before serving them! »

Some recipes offered on the BarGPT site are also labeled “taste tested by humans”.

The Cocktail Invasion event will celebrate its 10th anniversary in September. Its founder, Maryline Demandre, does not plan to include artificial intelligence in its programming.

“We haven’t gotten there! “, she replies by email.

The Absolut brand did not hesitate to take the turn of AI. In the spring, it unveiled a series of cocktails developed using virtual images.

To create them, the company entered four words describing iconic neighborhoods in Canada. In each case, the tool generated an image, which then served as inspiration for guest mixologists to create original cocktails. In the end, they invented cocktails for twenty neighborhoods across the country, including Mile End, the Village, the Plateau and Old Montreal.

For example, in Mile End, the words ‘creativity’, ‘fashion’, ‘coffee’ and ‘craftsmanship’ spawned the illustration of a very fancy cocktail in a martini glass. Megan Turcotte, at the Bishop and Bagg pub, rue Saint-Viateur Ouest, was chosen to develop the recipe inspired by this image.

“The photo looked a lot like an espresso martini, it’s very trendy right now,” she said. We tried to bring creativity into a very popular cocktail. The word “coffee” has surely inspired artificial intelligence. »

The recipe developed by the mixologist is original and contains several nods to the neighborhood: there is an infusion of toasted bagels from Saint-Viateur Bagel and coffee from the Olimpico roastery.

If the espresso martini seemed obvious in the photo generated for the Mile End for Megan Turcotte, the illustration with pink cups generated to represent the Plateau Mont-Royal or the colorful cup of the Village both left more room for creativity . A total of 26 cocktails were created with the AI-generated images as part of this initiative. It is still possible to propose your neighborhood to Absolut and, after having described the neighborhood and received the virtual photo, it will still be the human who will make the recipe. For the moment !